Team in focus series: Q&A with Rachael Gordon
As part of our ‘Team in focus’ series, we have been holding Q&A sessions with people across our organisation to share the many skills and personalities that we are fortunate enough to have here at Maslow Capital. This week, we talk to Rachael Gordon, who is a Senior Associate and member of our Deal Team.
Rachael is a highly talented Development Finance Specialist with extensive experience in her field. As a Senior Associate, Rachael is well known for her enthusiasm, dedication and attention to detail when structuring deals for Maslow’s clients.
How many years have you been working at Maslow and what has been your favourite memory at the company?
“I’ve been at Maslow since May 2018, it’s been a great two and a half years with some super memories. Work wise, it was completing one of our clients largest ever loans, which was for a £102m GDV student accommodation scheme in Guildford, this was the professional highlight of my time here. Of course, Maslow’s 10th anniversary trip to Marrakech was also absolutely incredible.”
How did you get into the real estate finance industry?
“I started my career on the corporate banking graduate programme at Bank of Ireland where we rotated into three different departments over the two years. My second rotation was in to their Property Finance Group, I really enjoyed it and at the end of the programme I asked to be placed in that department full time, they asked to have me back and the rest is history.”
As a Senior Associate in the deals team at Maslow Capital, what do your day to day tasks involve?
“My day to day role is as an Associate working with Sky Mapson, from the Origination team. Together we work on new deals and our existing portfolio. I model any new transactions we think would be of interest to Maslow, draft Heads of Terms, write the credit paper and take the deal through the Valuation, QS and Legal DD to completion. On the portfolio deals, I manage the monthly build drawdowns and any ad hoc customer requests.
As Senior Associate, I act as a representative of all the Maslow associates internally, ensure that the quality of work is strong across the board and make sure the processes we have in place work for the Associates. I also train newer members of the team and give advice and help to associates as they need it.”
What do you think differentiates Maslow from other Lenders?
“I think the people and their knowledge and skills is what makes Maslow special. The deal teams are hard-working and will go the extra mile, if a deal isn’t straightforward, they’ll spend the time to come up with creative solutions to make it work for us and the borrower. As we’re a relatively small team, we also all have a close working relationship with our experienced risk team who are always on hand to discuss new deals and problems or queries we may have on the existing portfolio.”
What key challenges do you think the development industry will have to navigate this year and how have today’s challenges changed when compared to what you were seeing 6 months ago?
“Programme is the primary concern in my view this year, being caused by a mix of a temporary closure of sites during the lockdown period and managing ongoing availability of materials and labour. This is a particularly pressing issue for our PBSA developers who have set deadlines they need to hit to meet the start of a new academic year.”
If you weren’t in real estate finance, what other profession would you like to have been in?
“I think I would have liked to have been a lawyer. I find the legal DD stages of completing on our facilities very interesting.”
What kept you sane when the country moved into lockdown and the team moved to remote working?
“I left London just before lockdown which I think made the difference! Having access to a garden and being out of the city definitely helped. Not having to deal with the commute on the morning has also given me time to take up running again which helps with keeping sane while you work at home for such a long period.”
How have you adapted to today’s work from home shift?
“Pretty well, I’ve tried to keep to my usual workday routine. I make sure I’m ready and at my desk as normal which I think helps shift my mind in to work mode for the day.”
Is there someone in the industry you particularly look up to?
“There’s no specific person I would say I look up to but I’ve been fortunate to learn quite a lot from the experienced members of the Maslow team and hope to continue to gain further knowledge from working with them. I’m also an advocate of encouraging women in the real estate industry and I’ve been lucky enough to work with some incredible females in this role, both inside and outside of Maslow, which has been amazing.”
Maslow recently ran a LinkedIn poll where we asked our audience which direction property prices may change in the next 3-6 months, to which a decrease of 1-5% received the highest vote with a 33% share of votes. What are you currently seeing in the industry with respect to your correspondence with valuers?
“We’re still seeing sales exchange and complete on units in our portfolio at or above valuation, which is positive, though the pace of these is definitely slower than we had experienced pre-Covid. Having spoken with a number of our professionals, the theme seems to be that whilst there may be a drop in house prices this year (of between 1% and 10% depending on the valuer), that will bounce back relatively quickly with a rise in house prices next year. With that in mind, I’d have to agree with the poll voters that a fall of 1-5% over the next 3-6 months seems likely.”