Short-term property finance specialist Signature Private Finance has appointed Jon Preston as its first sales director.
Preston joins from Midlands law firm Wright Hassall, bringing with him more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience.
He said: “After more than 30 years in the legal sector, I was ready for a change. The opportunity for my work to have a direct impact on the business from the start, was too good to pass up.
“As a client of Wright Hassall, I was intimately aware of the potential Signature possesses under the guidance of chief executive Tony Gilbertson. The foundations are strong, but it’s the next steps that are critical to the transformation of the business into a real force in the sector.
“My experience of the inner workings of law firms, was undoubtedly one reason Tony asked me to join at this important time for Signature, when he recognises the business needs to build on the current momentum.
“We will be looking for greater value through efficiency from our legal service providers and valuer panels as we ramp up our deal pipeline. And I guess no one knows the hunt quite like a poacher turned gamekeeper.
“My experience at board level with overall responsibility for growth, brand positioning and sales ensured I was the perfect fit for Signature, as together we embark on an innovative new strategy that will shake up the market.
“Signature is developing a very experienced team, with a genuine and practical understanding of the property finance market, its challenges and the solutions property developers want. It’s a good time to join and be part of what I believe is a very exciting future.”
Tony Gilbertson, Signature chief executive, added: “Our recent rapid growth makes it possible for a business our size to attract individuals of Jon’s calibre and that is immensely gratifying.
“Jon will manage and expand our team of business development managers as we seek to spread our particular brand of high-quality service into more regions, including Scotland which still offers great opportunities for developers and landlords.
“The relationships we build between developers, landlords, finance brokers and our BDMs are critical to the continued success of Signature. But the support of lending managers that ensure fast turnarounds and a trouble-free process from deal to drawdown is as important.
“Jon’s history of successfully delivering transformation projects was an important factor in our decision to create a role for him. He is already working on a new approach with our lending team, to make it even easier for us to find ways to do deals, not turn them down.
“The market is challenging, but the speed and consistency of our decision making is more important for many clients than just headline rates. And with Jon on board, a growing team and a strategy to make people pay attention, I’m convinced we have a very bright future.”