Steve Baker, left, and Simon Micklethwaite

Roma Finance buys in senior management experience

The Manchester-based bridging finance and development lender said it has appointed Steve Baker, previously managing director of retail at Together Money, as a non-executive director, and Simon Micklethwaite, ex-HSBC, as relationship manager.

Baker has over 35 years’ senior experience in financial services and specialist lending. At Roma Finance he will be tasked with helping to grow the company’s market share and developing strategy, reviewing and improving processes and introducing new products. Roma said Baker “will undertake a review of the bridging sector, including distribution and fulfilment, in order to prepare a road map for Roma Finance.”

Micklethwaite spent 18 years at HSBC. In his new role, he will be developing “new introducer relationships to enable Roma to facilitate customers borrowing requirements by utilising some of the new funds made available through the new funding line.”

Roma Finance was established in 2010 and recently agreed a rolling credit line with Royal Bank of Scotland allowing it to lend up to £50m a year. Lending was up 300% in the first quarter of 2016.

Roma provides bridging loans for property purchases, including buying unmortgageable properties, conversions, renovations and change of use.

Scott Marshall, director, said: “With our lending set to increase significantly now that we have completed the securitisation, our ambitious growth plans are quickly becoming a reality. It’s important to take a strategic look at the way forward and these two appointments mean we are well on track to succeed further in the years ahead.”

Steve Baker said: “It’s extremely exciting to be working with the ambitious and pro-active team at Roma Finance. They have built a wonderful business but it’s essential to put the right programmes in place now to handle their growth plans. More introducers are working with them than ever before and they are now experiencing the unique Roma service. It’ll be important to appoint the right new staff, have the latest systems and processes and build good, long lasting relationships within the bridging sector. I’m confident I can provide the strategic input they need to help steer them in this success. It’s tremendous to be part of it.”

Simon Micklethwaite commented: “I’m really driven to grow the Roma Finance broker network and build relationships with them in the north east. It’s vital they know how the Roma service differs from other bridging lenders and so far the reception has been tremendous with new loans being written almost immediately after a series of meetings. I’m keen to stress we are very much open for business despite the uncertain economic climate. As the business levels grow the Roma Finance service proposition to brokers will be even more exciting. Watch this space.”

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