Hodge welcomes new non-executive director

We’re delighted to welcome David Gulland to Hodge as a non-executive director.

David brings many years of experience to the board and is extremely experienced in governing financial transactions and improving risk management frameworks.

He spent 26 years with Bacon & Woodrow and Deloitte, ending his time there as an associate partner.

Currently with varying governance and oversight responsibilities at the Royal London Group, PG Mutual and the Funeral Planning Authority and with more than 30 years’ experience as an insurance professional, he brings a fresh perspective to the team.

Hodge CEO, Steve Pateman, said: “David has had a long and successful career in the insurance world and brings that experience and insight to our Board; his particular strength as an actuary will be invaluable as we look to optimise the capital we have allocated to Hodge Lifetime Assurance Company.”

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Bumper May for Commercial Lending with shake-up of product range

May has been a busy month at Hodge, as Commercial Lending launched a new product and revamped an existing one. On Tuesday 7<sup>th</sup> May the Hodge Portfolio Buy-to-Let Loan was introduced, while the Hodge Development Finance Loan has been overhauled. Designed to meet the needs of professional landlords with a portfolio of four or more residential properties, the buy-to-let loan offers landlords the flexibility to manage their portfolio as one, with the security of fixed rates from an established specialist lender. Created for acquisitive landlords seeking to grow their existing buy-to-let portfolio, trade their assets, or utilise their portfolio equity to support new purchases, the move comes as part of a series of changes at Hodge to introduce more flexibility for customers. Managing director of commercial lending, Kevin Beevers, said: “The Hodge Portfolio Buy-to-Let Loan has been the result of extensive feedback from our customers, as we continue to invest in creating new products to enable them to develop and grow their established property portfolios. “We’re incredibly excited to introduce the Hodge Portfolio Buy-to-Let loan, and offer a flexible, innovative new service to landlords from a trusted commercial lender. The launch is part of a series of huge developments across Hodge to create more tailored products for our customers, innovate the market and grow our overall commercial lending proposition.” <h3><strong>Overhauling the current offering</strong></h3> One of Hodge’s most established products, the Hodge Development Loan, has been updated in line with these exciting changes. Hodge’s core development lending has traditionally been focussed on large schemes but in response to customer demand, we’ve enhanced our loan package to cater for development finance of £500,000 to £15m, something head of development finance, Paul Green, is very enthusiastic about. Paul thinks simplifying the application process and documentation pack for loans below the £2m threshold is a big plus for experienced developers, he said: “We’re looking to provide a process and documentation structure that is more aligned to developers expectations for deals of this size.  While on our larger schemes we can still utilise bespoke documentation and structures, we recognise the value of standardised documents, simple, swift, cost efficient processes which are appropriately tailored for the smaller deal space. “We also know how frustrating it can be waiting for a decision, which is why we aim to provide an agreement in principle within 48 hours of receiving a completed application form, plus arranging work-in-progress payments within five days of surveyor valuations.” <h3><strong>Lending from Hodge</strong></h3> Developers looking to take out a Hodge Development Finance Loan can do so by visiting the <a href="https://hodgebank.co.uk/commercial-finance/development-finance/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Development Finance</a> page and if you’re looking for a <a href="https://hodgebank.co.uk/commercial-finance/development-loans-for-smaller-projects/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">loan of less than £2m</a> you’ll be able to apply online. Our Portfolio Buy-to-Let Loan is available through a selection of mortgage clubs and networks and packagers, visit our <a href="https://hodgebank.co.uk/commercial-finance/buy-to-let-loans/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">buy-to-let</a> page to find out more.

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New CEO appointment at Hodge

  Steve was previously CEO of Shawbrook Bank, where he led the company for almost three years. During this time it continued to achieve strong double-digit growth in balance sheet and revenues culminating in the ‘take private’ transaction with Pollen Street Capital and BC Partners. Prior to his role at Shawbrook, Steve led the U.K. banking businesses of Santander and was responsible for building out Santander’s business and corporate banking activities. Before joining Santander, he had a number of senior management roles at Royal Bank of Scotland across its Corporate and Retail Banking Divisions. Steve recently joined Bank of Ireland as a Non-Executive Director; he is Vice President of the Chartered Banker Institute and a member of Council. He also chairs the Advisory Board of Arora Hotels. Commenting on his appointment, Steve said “I am delighted to be joining Hodge as it seeks to build on the strong foundations it has already laid in its retail and commercial banking and life assurance businesses. It has a unique ownership structure and ethos that is hugely attractive in terms of creating a sustainable business that then seeks to support those in the communities in which it operates. As a newcomer to the business, I am looking forward to learning more and to working with the team that has taken the group this far on its journey”. As previously announced, David Austin is retiring from the group after a very successful 28-year tenure, first as Finance Director and for the last 20 years as Managing Director. On his pending retirement David said “The past 28 years at Hodge have been very rewarding and I’m looking forward to my retirement. Before that, I’ll be working closely with Steve to ensure a smooth transition in the New Year.” Adrian Piper, Chairman of Hodge said “On behalf of the Board I extend our thanks and appreciation to David for his outstanding commitment and leadership over almost three decades. We wish him well in his upcoming retirement. We’re delighted to welcome Steve to Hodge and the Board is very much look forward to working with him.”

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Hodge reports record results

Hodge Bank, which specialises in commercial and later life lending recorded pre-tax profits of £22.8 million, driven primarily by excellent new business and fee levels in commercial lending. Net interest income rose by 97% to £13.2 million and net operating income from trading activities rose by 86% to £14.3 million. Hodge Life Assurance Company, which offers equity release and annuities under the Hodge Lifetime brand, made £27.4 million pre-tax, resulting from strong trading underpinned by a significant increase in pension annuity new business premiums which were 61% up on the previous year. Group total assets exceeded £1.9 billion at the end of the financial year. Keith James, Chairman of both companies said: “It has been a tremendous year. Following the business’ move to One Central Square last September, and its rebrand to trade under the Hodge name, the group’s result has been underpinned by a record performance in both of our main businesses, and we have created a very strong platform for future growth” David Austin, Group Managing Director noted: “We are very proud of our 2016 results, and I’m grateful to our staff who have played an important part in this achievement. Nevertheless, we enter 2017 with a degree of caution. The adoption of a new financial reporting regime has meant that market factors such as interest rates and house prices have a much greater influence on the reported outcome than previously, and whilst the effect has been favourable in 2016, our results will inevitably be more volatile in future. However, the fundamentals underpinning our business remain strong and I have no doubt we can deal with the vagaries of market movements as they occur.” The success of the Hodge group has enabled dividends to be paid to The Hodge Foundation, a charity supporting welfare, medical, academic and religious causes which owns 79% of the Hodge group. By helping its customers to achieve their goals and being successful in its own right, the group assists the Foundation in meeting its charitable objectives.

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