Case Study - The Bridge Busters! Short term finance delivered in the nick of time

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Hollinger Field Investments Ltd (HFI) is a value-driven company which specialises in working in partnership with national and regional developers. Apart from being a property portfolio business itself and providing backing funds for smaller developments, HFI brokers deals with developers to purchase stock which they resell through their own contacts.

Having reserved and committed to the purchase of three four-bedroom properties on a development near Manchester, HFI found itself unexpectedly without buyers for two of the three properties, with only a week to go. Despite the challenging timeframe, reneging on the deal was not an option: with its reputation on the line, HFI was committed to financing these properties themselves unless an alternative source of finance could be found.

“Masthaven came through in an incredibly tight timeframe – they went above the call of duty and provided an extremely personal service. You didn’t feel like your criteria had to meet the demands of a computer system. They had a very individualised approach to it, which I find unique in the financial world right now.”

The Target

Barnes Wallace Way is located in Buckshaw Village, a new residential development between the towns of Chorley and Leyland in Lancashire. Situated in a sought-after location within the catchment area for excellent schools and with a variety of local amenities nearby, HFI had identified the development as an attractive investment, reserving three four-bedroom properties.

The Objective

HFI had little difficulty in lining up buyers, but with one week to go before the end of the developer’s accounting year, unexpected difficulties arose. HFI Director Christine Field explains: 

“Even as cash buyers, the clients were struggling to complete within the developer’s time frame. It therefore fell back on HFI to either let the developer down, and that would be a first out of hundreds of properties, or to complete either with our own funds or by other financial means.”

This meant that HFI had just over a week to cover the purchases themselves or risk compromising their integrity and well-earned reputation for dependability, as well as losing out on a valuable opportunity.

Masthaven join the mission

On the Thursday of that week HFI happened to be meeting  Masthaven about an unrelated business initiative. When mentioned in passing that Masthaven provided bridging finance, it gave Christine an idea.

“It just triggered something in me and I asked the question: ‘what would Masthaven be able to do in these circumstances?’ This was the Thursday and we had to complete on Friday of the following week.”

For HFI, who hadn’t sought external funding for a property since the financial crisis of 2008, putting their trust in Masthaven was a big step. However, with a large chunk of capital tied up in another development for which the returns wouldn’t come through for several months, bridging seemed like an ideal alternative to tying up further working capital.

“It was an absolute miracle we met up with Masthaven on that day,” says Christine. As it transpired it was our answer in this situation.”

Distinguished service

With such a short deadline, Masthaven immediately began to pull out all the stops to ensure the funds were in place in time for the deal to go through.

“We got home from the meeting at about 6.30pm that evening and I took a call and it was Jim Baker from Masthaven, which was totally unexpected. Banks are normally 9-5, so you don’t expect a call out-of-hours, but he got the ball rolling that very night.”

As it turned out Masthaven’s quick response saved the day.

I later realised that if Masthaven hadn’t responded the way they did, we would have missed the opportunity by a matter of hours, because literally everything came through on the wire. Jim was sending emails in the middle of the night, but his proactive approach, his going the extra mile, was a huge contributor in saving the day.”

But it wasn’t only Masthaven’s speed which impressed Christine.

“It felt like a very bespoke service – our individual requirements were taken into account and we were never given a computer-generated response. It was highly personal throughout. And when Jim Baker handed over to Emma Haughian and then to Shaun Bains, we found that that whole handover process was very slick.  There were no drops in the process or the service in between and I think that's key… People really are the company – we found every one of the Masthaven representatives to be exemplary, and it’s rare to be able to say that.”

Mission accomplished

Given her experience, Christine has no doubts HFI will continue their relationship with Masthaven in the future:

 “We try to deny feelings in business, don’t we, we make it hard and cold and clinical,” she smiles. “But when I think of Masthaven I feel very warm.”

Key lessons:

  • Speed is of the essence: Without the Masthaven team’s tireless work, HFI would have missed out on the deal.
  • Personal service counts: Understanding personal circumstances was invaluable in helping Christine and HFI achieve their goals.
  • Going the extra mile matters: Sometimes going above and beyond is exactly what a deal requires, and we’re pleased to meet that need.