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Simon Stern - What's next?

Simon Stern - What's next?

Loan Talk sat down with Simon Stern who recently announced he will be leaving Prestige Finance on the 16th of January after 30 years.

When the news hit that secured loans personality Simon Stern was leaving Prestige after three decades, the industry was left with one question on its lips: where next?

Simon, who has worked for 30 years in the lending industry, is looking forward to enjoying his much-earned time off work after telling Loan Talk that he doesn't want to work 12 hour days anymore: "I would be a complete liar if I said I ever switched off during my career - ask my wife!"

After jumping from a family business to corporate life when One Savings Bank acquired Prestige, Simon explained that timing was crucial when he handed in his notice six months ago. "The fact that I have been in corporate life for just over two years – although there were some real benefits and enjoyable times, I found it a bit restrictive and I felt I could not be myself under a corporate structure" he said.

Other reasons for leaving included a move to improve his quality and balance of life. "I believe I am leaving the company at a very good time - I am very much leaving for my own reasons. Our market share has significantly increased and I am very proud of that."

Reflecting on his career at Prestige, he noted: "Working as a family business was a huge thing, the key word there was trust.

"That type of business makes it work - you take on every little thing - it never leaves you."

When asked what he thought the firm’s biggest achievement was, he admitted that it was sometimes punching above its weight. "For many years, people thought we were a bigger lender then we actually were and being taken on by a bank is a massive and our greatest achievement collectively," he said.

Simon added that his personal greatest achievement was "gaining relationships and watching them grow, as well as seeing staff fulfil their full potential.” He added that he played a dominant part in the relationship development of the business.

When reflecting on his plans for next year, he said that he honestly has nothing planned - "I am keeping my options open”

Simon did clarify that he would still like to spend some time in the industry, however he would not be going to another lender. "I could never do that to my brother,” “I am looking into the prospect of working as a Consultant, including the possibility of working with brokers.”

Simon recently mentored a member of Freedom Finance. While collaborating with the professional over a selection of months, it was rewarding for Simon to witness the person mature in ability and gain confidence.

He exclusively informed Loan Talk that he has had a few informal calls already, but feels he is able to keep his options open. “I leave the company on the 16th of January and am on garden leave until the 31st March,” he said, emphasising that he really is looking forward to enjoying his free time.

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