Meet the Team – Matthew Martin
In our latest meet the team article, we speak with Matthew Martin, Senior Commercial Banker, who recently joined our real estate team.
What is your banking specialism?
I have worked in real estate and as a property finance expert my entire career and really enjoy our sector. The diversity and range within the industry is what makes every day so different, from inspecting industrial warehouses in Kent one day, to being on the site of a residential development in North London the next, and everything in between. I really enjoy the people side of my job, getting to really know and understand my clients, their strategies and their journeys to where they are today. It is always so fascinating. Only once you understand your client can you truly support them to achieve their goals.
What is happening in your sector at the moment?
Where do I start? The obvious headwinds are the energy and cost of living crises; issues which are affecting the entire economy. We are now seeing significant interest rate rises for the first time in 13 years to combat growing inflation (now at a 40-year high) with the shadows of the covid pandemic and Brexit still lingering.
From a property perspective, aside from the interest rate rises increasing the general cost of funds to borrow money, there are still question marks over retail (as shopping habits evolve) and office (as the flexible working arrangements have become more embedded) and so these are two commercial sectors that are worth keeping an eye on. However, the industrial sector continues to outperform the wider commercial market.
On the residential side, purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) is an area we like, as higher education returns to something resembling its pre-pandemic norms. Also, the growing build-to-rent (BTR) and shared living markets which are showing positive trends.
Another aspect close to my heart is sustainability within ESG and its growing importance in a wider sense, not just within real estate. The key ESG component for us, however, is the increased hurdles landlords are facing with Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) from a minimum of E to C from 2025 to enable them to rent out their properties. This is something all clients should be considering now, as any remediation will require time and a cost element.
While on the subject of remediation, it would be remiss of me not to mention the ongoing cladding issues on high-rise buildings in the wake of the tragic Grenfell events and the recent demands from the Government on developers to contribute significantly to the remediation costs.
How is Arbuthnot Latham uniquely positioned to support clients?
Having worked in a high street bank for so long, I was attracted to Arbuthnot Latham’s traditional values, especially on customer service. The rich history of the organisation is also something that appeals. However, having relationship banking at the core of the proposition was the key for me. So many competitors talk about relationship banking while evolving away from direct relationship management or offshoring key roles within the organisation, and a shift towards a tick box mentality when it comes to loan underwriting.
From what I have learnt about Arbuthnot Latham in my first few months, there is a willingness and pragmatism in structuring facilities that enable us to go further for our clients and to help support them in achieving their ambitions.
What do you like to do outside of work?
When I am not spending time with my family, encouraging my two sons away from either the internet or their games consoles, I enjoy getting involved in the local community and have been a school governor for over seven years. I am a keen runner, and you will regularly see me at a local parkrun or picking up another medal to add to my collection. I have now completed four marathons, most recently improving my PB in the Brighton marathon just after joining Arbuthnot Latham and have combined this with raising tens of thousands of pounds for good causes. Football has always been a passion of mine too and I have experienced the ecstasy (occasionally) and agony (generally) of supporting Spurs for as long as I can remember.
Banking Glossary: Real Estate Finance explained
We demystify the world of real estate finance with our glossary of banking terms and jargon.
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