Andrew Robinson

Arc & Co. - Development Finance Broker of the Year

Last night in the presence of more than 700 industry professionals from leading financial institutions and trade bodies at the prestigious Royal Lancaster London hotel, the winners of the 2018 Business Moneyfacts Awards were announced.

For the second year in a row, Arc & Co. Structured Finance were presented with the Development Finance Broker of the Year award by the evening’s host, Claudia Winkleman.  Thanks to diligent research by Moneyfacts experts, companies and brokers who won, or received highly commended or commended trophies, are considered to be truly the best in class.

Each eligible organisation was scrutinised so that only those who throughout the last 12 months have consistently offered the most competitive products, the highest service levels and shown the greatest innovation in the business and commercial finance world were deemed worthy of the various trophies available.

Lee Tillcock, editor of Business Moneyfacts, said: "Another year of political uncertainty has not stopped the continuing revival in the development finance sector. The last 12 months has proven to be more profitable for many developers and as the appetite for funding grows, brokers and providers have embraced the opportunity to boost trading and growth levels.

Andrew Robinson, Chairman of Arc & Co. said: “it’s an absolute privilege to have won this award for a second year straight.  It reflects the effort, professionalism and hard work of the team over the past 12 months and we hope to be back next year with another strong submission”

Arc & Co. sponsor the first Private Client Dining event of the year

Private wealth industry professionals from London and other major financial centres are set to gather at a prestigious event hosted by the Private Client Dining (PCD) Club at The Churchill hotel in London on March 8, 2018.

 

PCD Club describes itself as the premier business networking club for international private wealth professionals around the globe, and its members include recognized industry-leading figures from the legal, banking, investment management, property and finance sectors.

Professionals in London, who advise high net worth individuals, have been invited to attend PCD Club’s dinner in the city on March 8th.  The event will be attended by professionals including lawyers, accountants, trustees, property advisors, investment managers and private bankers who advise private clients on wealth planning, trusts, retirement planning, tax, succession, investment and other key issues.

David Bell, founder of PCD Club, said: “We are delighted to be back in London next month – our London dinners are always a sell-out and we are expecting over 120 professionals at our first event in the capital this year. This event will be a great opportunity for members to make new connections and to expand their professional network and referral sources on an international basis.”

Andrew Robinson, CEO of Arc & Co, added: “Arc & Co is delighted to sponsor the first PCD Club dinner of the year. We have had a long association with the network and have derived business benefit from our membership over this period of time. Sponsorship enables us to amplify our message to a large audience of professionals in a very targeted and efficient way.”

Market Update

Up until the last recession, developers would normally structure their debt with traditional Senior banks like Natwest, and if they needed higher leverage they would add mezzanine finance to sit behind the senior loan.

Since 2008, the traditional senior lenders have either retrenched from the market or become a lot more conservative on allowing the developer to structure mezzanine behind them. This has resulted in the emergence of new lenders who have the ability to provide whole loans, or ‘stretched facilities’.

These funders, who typically have mandates from institutional funds or family offices, have now gained a sizable market share and are becoming the market norm. These lenders will lend up to 90% of total cost at a rate of around 10-12%. If you compare that to the traditional method and calculate the blended rate of the senior loan, usually at 6% and the mezzanine loan at 16%, the blended rate is in the single digits.

We can clearly see that the market is now swinging back in favour of the traditional way of structuring and as the market becomes more competitive, rate compression is likely to
happen. On top of this, the market is seeing more willingness from senior lenders to accept mezzanine to sit behind them.

The most important part of the deal is not always the price; it is about completing the deal in a timely and cost-sensitive manner. Traditional structuring does throw in other problems that you should consider. Inter-credit deeds must be negotiated and agreed between the senior and mezzanine lenders, and on top of this your professional fees, such as for lawyers and surveyors, will be a lot higher due to two lenders being involved.

A development project very rarely runs on time. If a time extension is needed, the developer will have to negotiate with two lending parties rather than having one port of call.

To summarise, it is a positive sign that the market is seeing increased growth in development lenders and it is great to see that the traditional method of structuring debt deals is returning and expanding. Stretched lending is a good way to simplify a deal and save on fees, but most of the time will not be as cheap.

For developers, any increase in financing options available is always a positive sign, but as the market expands for both stretched and traditional financing there will be more emphasis on the broker and their quality of advice. If advised correctly, the developer can maximise their financial return by using the traditional method.