Page 58 - Bridging & Commercial Magazine Issue 5
P. 58

 Much of our editorial has—as is the case in an industry bursting with vigour—centred on ways in which we can sustain and support its upward trajectory. As the conversation shifts more pointedly to the role brokers, lenders and other members of the specialist finance community should be adopting, we enlisted the help of two true veterans in working through these critical ideas. Liz Syms, founder and CEO at Connect Mortgages, began her career at 19 and has most recently backed the sector’s growth agenda wholeheartedly with the advent of the Connect Academy—the network’s first-of-its-kind adviser course that sees mortgage brokers complete practicable requirements which will usher them into and help them succeed in specialist product areas. Vocal and forthright, Liz’s myriad longstanding relationships with lenders and significant profile in the industry positions her perfectly to talk about what we need to know now. On the other hand, Chris Whitney, head of specialist lending at Enness, provides a sense of balance to Liz’s ambitions for the market. Practically a born specialist broker—a rarity as the industry increasingly recruits people with diverse professional backgrounds—his 30-odd years in the market means he has one eye on lessons we seem (not) to have learned, while the other is focused on the duty he feels to urge brokers and lenders to band together, more so now than ever. Chris’s unwavering love of broking and deal-making makes him protective of the skill, and his frank approach to where we really are in terms of a need for growth is an interesting one. 

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