Originally from Trinidad and Tobago and also a former pro-sportsman, Jonathan works as a Director in the Capital Markets team. He’s come on board to help establish and maintain relations with institutional investors, which will lead to LendInvest taking on more capital to rapidly expand our lending capacity and introduce new investor products for institutions and retail investors. Jonathan has had a strong career in finance in the US and also represented Trinidad & Tobago in the Davis Cup while he was on a scholarship at Rollins College in Florida. We hear he still mixes with a few current top tennis players!
Hi Jonathan, welcome to the interview! Let’s start by hearing about your experience prior to joining the LendInvest team?
I studied Economics in Florida at university, worked in Warehouse Lending (mortgages) in California, did my MBA in London, and was a financial services consultant for the past two years here in London. I’ve done short internships /stints at Lehman Borthers and PricewaterhouseCoopers as well.
Tell us a little bit about your job role, what do you do all day?
Right now, I’m getting up to speed on how LendInvest operates. I will be answering to some of our institutional investors and they won’t want to lend us money without knowing all about our business, from how we hire, to how we underwrite loans, to our loan performance, etc.
My first tasks are answering enquiries from Financial Institutions who want to do business with us. I’ll be the one liaising with these big Financial Institutions, getting them comfortable with our operation.
What’s your favourite thing about working at LendInvest?
Right away, I knew the culture would be great. Even interviewing with Rod, Ian, David and Christian, I felt it would be a great place to work. Being copied in on emails prior to joining also gave me a great sense of the culture, with talk of team meetings and social activities. On my first Friday at LendInvest there was a big rebranding party- it was a great way to end my first week.
Any challenges you’re looking forward to tackling?
Getting our credit facilities to be more affordable and advanced at higher rates. Our ability to obtain cheaper costs of funding will enable us to offer cheaper money in the marketplace. In short, getting more credit lines at the best rates possible!
You have quite a unique accent! Tell us where you’ve lived and how you ended up in London?
Yeah, I’m a bit of a gypsy. I was born in Scotland to two Trinidadian parents. My Dad worked in oil so they moved to Aberdeen for his job. They had my sister, my brother and I there, and we stayed until I was 8. We then moved back to Trinidad and I was there until I attended university at the age of 20. After that I went off to Orlando, Florida for Uni, then I spent 4 years working for Bank of America in Los Angeles. After that I moved to sunny England to do my MBA and I’ve been here ever since (going on 4 years soon).
Roger Federer, hands down. And he should be everyone’s favourite. I’m more than happy to explain why if someone doesn’t agree.
My bold/ contentious statement – “If Rafael Nadal was right handed, he would never have beaten Federer so many times.”
I’m up at 5:45. I ride my exercise bike and play FIFA at the same time. That’s the best way to get the day going. Play three games of FIFA and before you know it, you’ve been riding for 45 minutes. I eat breakfast as late as possible, watching ‘Good Morning Sports Fans’, then head into work.
Top 3 desktop items you can’t live without?
- Chewing gum – I’m addicted. When I left my last job they gave me stacks and stacks of it as a leaving present.
- Does a laptop count? If not, then a notepad/scratch paper
- Printer – I hate reading on the screen. I’d rather print it out and mark it up.
What tabs do you have open on your browser right now?
Gmail, Calendar, Google drive (and various docs), bbc.co.uk, usopen.org, yahoo/finance.
What will the next big thing on the internet be?
In the next week some ridiculous viral video, which I won’t be annoyed about. I love a hilarious video. In the next year or two years? If I knew I would be the one trying to do it. Fingers crossed it’s LendInvest 🙂
…and the next big thing in finance?
Doing away with retail bank locations. Everything will be via an app.
And again, hopefully LendInvest.
Uber, black cab, cycle or walk?
If it’s sunny outside, and the walk is less than 10 minutes, walk. If it’s longer than a 10 minute walk, then some mode of transport…tube, taxi, whatever. When people say “Oh you can walk there” my response is typically “I am aware I CAN walk there, but would I? I doubt it…tube it is.” Even if it’s two stops, it’s quicker.
What’s your favourite drink of choice from our Friday Happy Hour drinks fridge?
I’m a rum guy (I’m from Trinidad, so yes, a bit stereotypical), but I typically reach for a beer first.
Favourite place in the world?
Cape Town, South Africa, or Barcelona, Spain. I can’t decide- Cape Town has the slight edge.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Not necessarily something told to me, but a statement that really resonates with me:
[quote]You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.[/quote]
Thanks Jonathan! If you like the sound of our company, we’re hiring! Check out our careers page for openings.