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Alternative Market Briefing

Omni Secured Lending powers through Brexit

Friday, March 31, 2017

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

With Article 50 officially triggered, market observers are keeping a close eye on how the Anglo economies will weather their divorce from the European Union. After the Brexit vote, there were some initial questions about whether banks in Britain would pull back or decamp entirely to nearby EU member states. While some staffing changes are in the cards, one alternative lender in London - Omni Secured Lending - the private debt arm of Omni Partners, says banks haven't stopped lending. They expect local activity will stay strong barring some big Brexit surprise.

"Just after the vote we were concerned that banks would retrench and smaller loans would be the first to go," says Elissa Kluever, Partner, Credit and Lending Funds at Omni Partners. In addition to its event driven hedge fund, Omni has approximately $500 million in two vintages of direct lending funds. The firm's strategy focuses on making smaller market UK real estate loans. Loans typically fund refurbishment projects or the acquisition of buy-to-let, or other investment properties.

Because of the nature of these loans, they tend to be short-term and borrowers typically repay within several months after refinancing through a traditional bank. In the UK's overheated real estate market, these short term loans enable landlords and single-property developers to update apartments or transform unused office space into living spaces quickly. However, local banks and b......................

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