Banks & Funders
we are experienced development monitors
The key aims for Banks/Funders when lending money for construction projects is to see a return on their investment and grow their lending book. Lending markets are very competitive with all Funders looking for the elusive “vanilla” deals. It would be unwise for Lenders to enter into a contract with a Borrower on such deals without the proper due diligence.
This task can be made easier by appointing an experienced Development Monitor to advise on the risks of acquiring an interest in a development, and then closely monitoring the development and approving drawdown claims.
Our Bank and Funder clients are often managing relationships with the Borrower and their internal risk and credit teams. This can be a challenging task particularly in situations where problems arise on projects. Appointing an experienced Development Monitor will mitigate these problems by providing prompt, technically accurate and pragmatic advice, and supporting the Lender throughout the process.
There are a number of consistent elements across our work with these Clients:
Understanding the Risk
Based on our extensive monitoring experience the key risks apparent on developments include:
- Lack of developer and/or design team construction and sector experience.
- Inappropriate fragmented procurement methods which are often rushed to get on site.
- Inappropriate contractor selection.
- Lack of focus in obtaining statutory consents and discharging ongoing conditions.
- Optimistic budgeting by Developers with insufficient contingency to make “deal models” stack up with funders.
- Optimistic cashflow forecasting – causing delays in funding as the Borrower has not injected the adequate equity into the project.
Greig and Donald both have varied and bespoke experience across all sectors of the industry with recent market focus being on Hotels, Offices, Student Residential and Care Homes.
Most, if not all of the risks highlighted above can usually be realised and mitigated at an early stage (i.e. Initial Appraisal Stage or before) and importantly prior to the Bank/Funder being legally committed to lending the money.
Being involved at the very earliest stages of a project is where real value can really be added by offering our advice and input on procurement strategy, the form of contract, contractor selection and negotiation of security documents. The aims of the Borrowers and Funders are generally aligned so the advice we are providing the Funder can inevitably be passed onto the Borrower and their team and considered in more detail.
Our combined experience has helped us formulate a detailed database of benchmark costs for these developments, whether that be a timber framed or traditionally constructed Care Home, a 250 key Hotel or a Grade A office development. Often, alarm bells will start ringing on a development appraisal where contingency levels are being squeezed and the percentage of Provisional sums allocations within the Contract Sum exceed the recognised industry benchmarks.
Underpinning our service offer are the core skills and services expected of a leading Consultancy. Our typical services include:
- Monthly Monitoring / drawdown reports
- Initial Appraisal Report
- Final report (optional)
Greig and Donald have monitored projects ranging from £500K to £65M for a variety of Banks and funders.
Whilst we are based in Scotland, our Monitoring projects are based all over the UK allowing us to experience local market issues/trends.
Donald and Greig’s experience includes working with the following Clients (the Clients listed are either live Clients, or Clients worked with personally in previous roles prior to establishing Reid Mitchell):
Allied Irish Bank
TH Real Estate