Meet The Women Changing The Face of Bridging Finance

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The longstanding partnership between Bridging Finance Solutions and Bermans has seen the two professional services firms successfully complete numerous property deals for countless clients throughout the North West.

Rachel Davies, Melanie Morris and Jeanette Gwatkin
From left to right: Rachel Davies, Melaine Morris and Jeanette Gwatkin

Melanie Morris (Property Solicitor) leads the legal team at Bermans, liaising with Jeanette Gwatkin (Operations and Marketing) and Rachel Davies (Head of Underwriting) of Bridging Finance Solutions (‘BFS’).

Melanie explained: “My role at Bermans focuses on commercial property, secured lending, advising landlords and tenants, developments and acquisitions. Typically, I work with BFS in two different scenarios, the first being traditional bridging whereby an individual is buying a property, has exchanged contracts and needs funding quickly in order to complete the purchase. In these instances, bridging is an ideal solution which allows quick access to funding and ultimately enables the purchase to go ahead, before long term funding could ordinarily be obtained. The second scenario is development finance – supporting developers with funding for new builds or for conversions of existing properties.”

Melanie continued: “Both Bermans and BFS are fully in tune with the needs of the other, which is necessary as often timescales to complete transactions are very tight. Close contact and a collaborative approach is imperative if a deal is to be completed against the clock. BFS is a fantastic company to work with; they are extremely commercially-minded and have a very personal approach which is much in sync with our own.”

The commercial property sector remains a particularly male-dominated one and the appointment of key female figures in senior roles is refreshing. Melanie added: “There are undoubtedly more males in our industry and it’s great to work with other women at this level. BFS is a modern, forward thinking and dynamic business and the gender split at senior level reinforces this.”

Professional services, including law firms, are increasingly utilising short term borrowing and, in particular, bridging to unlock property deals – often when other financial options are no longer available. The reputation of the bridging industry has changed in recent years and the sector is now considered as a viable mainstream lending solution.

Melanie commented: “The bridging industry is not the same as it was a decade ago and BFS have ensured that they have stayed ahead of the curve; they are a highly credible and professional business and are very people-focused, which is not always the case with lenders. Part of their role is to support their client through the process; often education and information is key to ensuring the client makes the right decision.

“For me, working with BFS is always a straightforward and streamlined process. Bridging is playing an increasingly important role in our industry and it’s great to have solid professional partnerships, such as that with BFS, in place.”

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