In the movie, It’s a wonderful life, it’s 1946 and George Bailey, a businessman is close to jumping off a bridge on Christmas Eve when Clarence an angel is sent to help him. While not completely ready to jump off any bridges, I think at the end of the third lockdown, many of us may have felt like George and contemplated what on earth could be next in our working-from-home, pandemic led lives. Christmas 2020 was anything but cheers and mince pies this past year.
That said, by January Hilltop jump started 2021 by paddling hard through the “third lockdown” and managed to kick off Q1 with three projects in Taplow, Peterborough and Torquay funding the buildout of 129 units and completing a GP led secondary and with BGO Strategic to top up our Fund 1 with £120m of available capital.
As we close into the final legs of 2021, we are targeting ~150m of deals in our second full year of operations; funding close to 700 units; while managing building our team with a few new hires; upsizing investor commitments, and raising two more single investor funds that will allow us to cover all aspects of the residential real estate investment cycle; from pre-planning bridging, development finance and transitional and exit bridge as we enter 2022.
Hilltop climbs Ben Nevis in charity walk
Some of the braver team decided to tackle the Ben Nevis challenge in support of raising funding for Centre Point, a charity helping UK homeless youth.
After 9 hours of climbing and complaining through freezing ice rain and no visibility, we conquered and made it back all together in one piece with all of us promising to get into better shape for next year!
Site visit highlights
Some recent site visits by the team visiting our sites in South Molton, Latton, Ashford and Willesden. These are regular visits we make across our portfolio.
Hilltop appoints CIO
Brian Sullivan joined in February bringing his credit expertise from the US-based Regents Properties where he helped them grow to USD $6bn of debt and equity across multiple asset classes. Brian started his career with RBS and Deutsche Bank. Brian brings a wealth of experience and insight to Hilltop as it grows its deal sizes and loan book.
Expansion of Analytic Team
We are pleased to bring on board a new member of our underwriting team:
Archie Dickinson joined Hilltop in April as an Analyst and plays a key role in the Origination and Underwriting teams. Archie started his career as an Analyst at Proseed Capital, a specialist residential mezzanine development finance provider where he spent 6 years providing tailored facilities to residential developers across the UK, with a particular focus on the home counties. His team was responsible for the origination, underwriting, execution and monitoring of mezzanine loans, working alongside high street lenders, challenger banks, institutional funds, and HNWIs.
Expansion of Origination Team
Adam Ware Adam Ware joined as Head of Origination from Octane and has settled in quickly, rapidly growing our pipeline and lending his expertise across the wider scope of the business. Adam started his career at Close Brothers, where he originated, structured and executed bridge, development and investment loans before joining Octane as a Senior Manager. Adam brings to Hilltop his experience of funding large complex transactions.
Doug Bowley will be joining Hilltop in January 2022 as an associate in the origination team. Doug’s focus will be on business development and communicating the Hilltop brand to a wider audience. Doug joins from Octopus Real Estate where he was responsible for new business origination and key account management, specialising in development, refurbishment and bridging deals.
Also, and finally, a Happy Christmas to all of our colleagues, stakeholders and investors for making this past year a success; without everyone, none of this would have been possible.