Interview with Executive Director Andy Whelan

Define your role within Tenn Capital?

Having recently joined Tenn Capital through the acquisition of Oaklands, my role is still fluid and evolving as the Group continues to grow. Currently, I am supporting the CEO in identifying areas of future growth and taking the lead on our syndicated lending approach, utilising our co-funder network of high-value clients. Being based in Jersey, I am also focused on loan origination from Jersey-based corporate service providers and borrowers. Lastly, being involved in the larger more complicated international lending solutions.

How long have you been operating in the short-term finance market?

Just over a decade, having co-founded an internationally based lender in 2013. I also held board positions, as an investor, in over 20 FinTech companies based on 3 continents. This gave me incredible insight into;

a) the various sectors within the lending space

b) the different jurisdictional regulatory environment

c) a huge learning curve in venture capital and private equity investments

What are Tenn’s USPs from your point of view?

Tenn Capital has a unique positioning in the international residential lending space for High Net Worth and Ultra High Net Worth clients seeking to purchase, renovate, equity release or bridge finance for real estate. Its ability to act quickly (loan completion can take place within 2 to 4 weeks of initial enquiry) provides the borrower with the confidence to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. Importantly we also won’t waste borrowers, or their advisors, time. If we cannot help we will advise them immediately.

What are the main ways Tenn Capital can help Channel Islands residents and businesses?

The local lending space has been primarily serviced through traditional banking relationships. However, private lending has provided a workable solution to borrowers that require a quick decision to enable them to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. Following the global financial crisis of ’08 private lending filled the gap created by the lax lending that took place within the banking sector, which ultimately led to the collapse of Lehman Bank and consequent changes in regulation to prevent such an occurrence from happening again. This led to a decade of historically low-interest rates. The economic environment has changed with interest rates now above or at long-term historical averages but banks are once again coming under pressure and with the recent bailouts and forced sales of Silicon Valley Bank in America and Credit Suisse in Switzerland, the opportunity for private lending is once again looming into focus.

In addition, the syndicated lending model is still attractive for private clients who wish to co-fund as the risk-adjusted return profile provides more than the yield above base rates.

What are your views on developing in Jersey? Is it still an attractive proposition?

Yes. Jersey is a unique island whose property sector has never had a significant fall. Historically when global property prices are correcting Jersey has flat-lined. The population demographics are still very supportive with more homes being required to house local families. The impact of Brexit has harmed cost-push inflation but as long as you are dealing with experienced developers who have a strong balance sheet there is demand that requires an alternative lending solution.

How can Tenn support the Channel Islands-based corporate service providers?

Jersey has a significant number of high-quality CSPs who have a diverse international client base that requires lending solutions that can be delivered promptly. Tenn has the experience and “firepower” through its credit facility with Elliot (UK) Management to meet their clients’ borrowing requirements.

What is Tenn’s co-funding model, and how does it work?

Tenn syndicate loans through its co-funder client base. Co-Funders can participate alongside Tenn in loans where Tenn is the security and facility agent. This is important as the legislation is changing shortly in Jersey where currently individuals who lend privately will no longer be able to do so without registering with the Jersey Financial Services Commission. Failure to do so will become a criminal offence.

What do you do in your spare time?

I have two chocolate Labradors that require attention! I also love participating in CrossFit and have backed a local Box CrossFit Valiant. When my boys are home, I also enjoy shooting at the local gun ranges with them.