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Atelier Capital Partners expands credit team as lending pace picks up

The specialist property lender Atelier Capital Partners has unveiled an expansion of its credit team as it ramps up lending and closes in on its target to deliver more than GBP300 million of development and bridge finance to Britain’s housebuilders within the next year. 

The eight-strong credit team sits at the heart of Atelier’s operations, assessing the suitability of prospective borrowers, structuring and underwriting loans that are tailored precisely to their needs, and forging long-term relationships with developers – from due diligence to drawdown and beyond. Since Atelier’s launch in January 2020, it has provided more than GBP150 million to residential developers across the UK. 

Former Head of Property Finance at Bank Leumi UK, Alasdair Houghton has been appointed Head of Credit at Atelier. He will work in tandem with Atelier’s Director of Origination Martin Gilsenan to identify and fund a strong pipeline of residential development opportunities. 

During his 12 years at Leumi, Houghton arranged development finance for a large and loyal network of UK and international investors, and earned a reputation for the speed and rigour with which he assessed the viability of highly complex investment proposals, across all property asset classes.  

Houghton comments: “I’ve watched Atelier with interest since it burst onto the market almost 18 months ago, and am delighted to be joining as it dials up its lending appetite further. 

“Atelier combines the speed and agility of a start-up with the thoroughness and institutional-grade lending capacity of a bank, and we in the credit team pride ourselves on being nimble and transparent. We’re keen to lend, and while we’re not afraid to say no if a deal is not right for us, when we choose to lend it’s the start of a lasting partnership, not a transaction.” 

Houghton will be supported in his role by Senior Investment Manager Paul Hayward, who joins Atelier from the private bank Hampden & Co, where as Banking Director he built and maintained close relationships with a number of HNW clients. 

Atelier Capital Partners Co-founder Graham Emmett adds: “These are exciting times at Atelier. We recently sealed partnerships with a trio of leading financial institutions, including the international asset manager M&G Investments and the UK-based Paragon Bank, and have also securitised a tranche of our loan assets – enabling us to deploy our capital more efficiently and flexibly. 

“Our credit team is central to the successful deployment of that financial firepower. It’s a team with a diverse range of backgrounds, from private banking to structured and short-term property finance. All of them are experts in their field, and all are committed to providing forward-thinking residential developers with a personal service and personalised solutions.” 

Atelier, which lends to professional residential developers and SME property companies, has a particular focus on urban regeneration, and the funding of schemes on brownfield sites that deliver a positive, sustainable impact to their local community. 

With Atelier’s loans typically ranging from GBP1 million to GBP15 million, its finance is used primarily by smaller, agile developers to acquire land as well as to fund construction and refurbishment. 

Recent projects include the transformation of a derelict petrol station in the centre of a Hertfordshire market town into six homes, and the construction of eight sustainable townhouses – each of which is 40 per cent more energy efficient than current Building Regulations require – on a brownfield site in Crystal Palace, southeast London. 

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