Enness is widely regarded as an industry-leading organisation; as a result, we are often approached by journalists looking for an insight into changes in the market. Enness MD Hugh Wade-Jones recently spoke in the Financial Times, which is how a client came to hear about us and approach me for advice.
My client was looking to purchase a property in Courchevel, a ski resort in the French Alps. A successful consultant, he intended to develop this property into a luxury chalet. This was a fantastic opportunity, but he required a large loan. In total, he wanted to borrow €7.5million for the initial acquisition, and a further €6million to finance the renovation.
However, he wanted to finance 100% of the purchase price and development costs, to mitigate wealth tax. I knew finding a bank who would finance 100% of the purchase and development costs of this luxury chalet would be a tall order—and there was a further complication.
My client had been Dubai based for several years. Accordingly, he did not have tax returns to back up his accountant’s letter and the money entering his bank. It was therefore more challenging to prove his income for lenders to assess affordability.
I knew I would need to explore options throughout my extensive industry network to find a creative solution for this request. I, therefore, approached a bank who essentially functions as a hybrid of retail and private banking. On one hand, they take a private bank’s view towards compliance and credit. They are happy to accept accountant’s letters corroborated with bank account statements as proof as income.
However, they take a view more traditionally held by retail banks towards using assets under management (AUM). For this sort of loan, a private bank would generally require a client to bring 30-50% AUM. This lender was prepared to accept just 18.5%, meaning my client would place just €3.5million in AUM.
I was, therefore, able to secure my client the entirety of the €13.5million loan he required, fixed at a rate of 1.88% for the life of the loan. He was delighted with this result, and I look forward to assisting him again in the future.