Earlier this week, Tenn Capital turned a year old. To be honest, I sometimes forget that until now, Tenn has only been a few months old. We’ve already got such a great team in place, and this year we saw £1 billion of transactions…it feels like Tenn has been around for a lot longer than a year.
I’ve been involved in setting up businesses before, but I’ve not experienced the demand we saw for Tenn so early on. We launched on May 4th, 2021, and I didn’t catch a breather for the next three months, which was brilliant. I hosted more than 200 video calls. When I wasn’t on Zoom, I was on the phone, and my inbox exploded: everyone wanted to hear about Tenn and what we were doing.
We’ve been clear that Tenn isn’t about volume from the start. We have flexible capital and lend £1 million-plus to sophisticated and non-standard borrowers. We don’t have fixed lending criteria, and we look at the bigger picture when making lending decisions. We also lend in multi-currencies and around the world against residential assets. There’s been massive interest in Tenn for those reasons alone.
We set up Tenn because we wanted to lend to what we felt was an underserved part of the market. We want to do international loans, structure loan capital through entities, use complex property as security, lend to foreign and globally mobile borrowers, etc. We have the mindset that nothing is too difficult to deliver for the right borrower and the right asset.
Our funding line and joint venture with funds advised by Elliott Advisors (UK) Limited was a massive high for us. Less brilliant was getting trapped outside in the middle of winter in Jersey because I didn’t read the COVID testing rules closely enough. I had to wander around Jersey on my own for 10 hours, not able to go near anyone whilst I waited for a PCR test I knew would come back negative. I haven’t been back to Jersey since.
The most important piece of advice I could give anyone in the early days of a new business is to spend time with people who have already done what you are trying to do. Nigel, Hugh and Islay have been so valuable as they have travelled the road we are on, and their experience has been so important to me personally.
There are big things up next for Tenn. We’re working on some exceptional deals at the moment, and we’re getting busier with more international deals. I can’t wait to see what the next year holds for Tenn – hopefully, I’ll see another (few?) billion in transactions! Thank you to everyone for following us on our journey!