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In the Spotlight with Simon Stern of Prestige Finance

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In the Spotlight with Simon Stern of Prestige Finance

Simon Stern gives us an insight into what the future looks like for the secured lending industry, why he used to want to be a footballer and his secret love for both the Godfather and Toy Story...
1. How long have you been at Prestige Finance and what did you do previously?

It will be 27 years in October.

2. What are the best and worst things about your job?

There are two things I would have to say are the best. Firstly, seeing a member of staff develop into a person they never imagined they could be – fortunately that applies to several members of our team, and secondly, working with a broker, developing the relationship at all levels and then seeing the reward in increasing volumes with them.
The worst has to be listening to some of the proposals from the regulators who, at times, are about as far removed from reality as anybody could possibly be.   
3. If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
Not an animal but an insect, because I have often said “I would love to be a fly on the wall”.

4. What would you be doing if you weren’t working in this industry?
I would probably still be at Marks and Spencer where I spent 6 years before I joined my present company.   

5. What do you see happening in the secured lending industry in the next 12 months?

More of the same! What has been important is the industry has survived these past four years. However, unless there is more consumer confidence, banks start lending to well-run companies, property values remain fairly stable and the regulator eases back a little allowing us to do what we need to do, it is difficult to see any significant changes in the secured lending industry in the next 12 months.     

6. Where is your favourite destination in the world and why?
It’s close between Florida, where I have been fortunate to spend a lot of time, and the Caribbean where the people and the scenery never cease to amaze me.

7. What is your favourite movie and why?

Probably the Godfather parts one and two although I have a real soft spot for each of the Toy Story movies. In both Godfather and Toy Story the central characters stand out for so many reasons and each of the films has been both enjoyable from an entertainment point of view as well as being visually superb.

8. What did you want to be when you were a kid?
In my early years all I ever wanted to be was a professional footballer. When reality dawned on me that I was never going to be good enough it was more a case of finding something that I could be good at and enjoy doing at the same time. Retail was that profession and gave me a fantastic grounding for what I currently do. 

9. What attracted you to the job with Prestige Finance?
My partner Howard Sheldon coming to me one night and telling me what was going on in a family business that I knew nothing about. His passion and vision convinced me to leave M&S and never once have I regretted doing so.

10. What do you like to do on your weekends off?
Is there such a thing as a weekend off when you have children and a dog? Most weekends are spent with my family, eating out with close friends, watching (or some people would say suffering) Arsenal and playing in a five a side football game which I have been involved with for over 25 years.    


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