Property finance specialist appoints new board member
A property finance specialist has appointed a founder of Shawbrook Bank to its board as the latest strategic move to drive growth.
Finance industry expert Philip George has joined MSP Capital as a non-executive director having been a consultant for the Poole-based, fixed-rate lender for the past year.
The appointment follows a recent expansion of two director roles, four new associate director promotions and securing of a £100m development funding facility with Pollen Street Capital.
A co-founder of Shawbrook Bank in 2011, Philip was Managing Director there until 2019, playing a central role in its success as a specialist bank for real estate customers, small and medium-sized companies and private individuals.
He said: “As the best specialist property lender in the market, MSP Capital is a great business with a superb management team and a very exciting future. I am really looking forward to the next leg of MSP Capital’s impressive journey.”
Martin Higgins, MSP Capital’s managing director, added: “We welcome Philip to our board as the latest development in what has been a massive period for us strategically.
“We’ve been working non-stop over the last few years to really catapult MSP Capital into the forefront of the property finance sector.
“To be able to attract someone with Philip’s extensive experience and knowledge is brilliant for us and evidence that our efforts to strengthen our presence are working.
“His background, skills and insight into specialist lending will be of particular value to our future strategy.
“I have every faith that he will be an invaluable addition to the MSP Capital board.”
Philip has gained five decades of finance industry experience since starting his career at First National Bank in 1973.
Working his way up to Chief Executive by 1999, he led First National’s growth to become the largest finance house in the UK.
In 2002, he oversaw the successful acquisition of its consumer and property divisions by GE Capital.
In the following year he became both a joint founder of LinkLoans Money Partners and Managing Director of Commercial First Mortgages.
During his eight years at Shawbrook, Philip’s responsibilities included secured lending, asset and wholesale finance and consumer lending.
After the successful flotation of the bank in 2015, he took on the role of Managing Director for Business Development, securing and delivering major growth opportunities through acquisitions and commercial relationships. Shawbrook now has more than 425,000 customers and a £10.5bn loan book.
Eight years on from co-founding Shawbrook, he left the bank in 2019 to pursue roles on the boards of other finance businesses.
These included second charge mortgage lender Equifinance where he became a non-executive director and asset finance specialist Arkle Finance where he was appointed chairman.
On the MSP Capital board, Philip will join fellow finance industry expert Richard Rowney who has been a non-executive director of the firm since 2020.
Richard has more than 30 years’ experience in retail and commercial banking, including at Barclays Bank, and was on the board of insurer LV= for 13 years.
In May 2023, MSP Capital agreed a £100 million senior-secured development funding facility with private equity firm and single investment partner Pollen Street Capital.
Earlier in the year, two long-serving MSP Capital directors saw their roles widen. Becky Harris was promoted from Finance Director to Director of Strategic Finance and Operations while Adam Tovey moved from Valuation Director to Director of Risk and Underwriting.
Four senior colleagues – Nicky Hollamby, Lee Merrifield, Chris Sheppard and Chris Wright – have also taken up newly created associate director roles this year to help reinforce the firm’s expansion.
Development and bridging finance from MSP Capital typically ranges from £75,000 to £20m.