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Five mins with…James Helmore

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We sit down with Senior Portfolio Manager James Helmore to discuss how he switched from law to banking, and how development finance is helping to regenerate areas of his native Devon.

What attracted you to a career in development finance?

I studied law at University but decided not to follow a legal career and instead joined the banking industry with Handelsbanken.

I had a little bit of exposure to development finance during my time with Handelsbanken but it wasn’t a market they were too heavily involved in. My role there was quite varied and covered pretty much everything across the personal and commercial banking spectrum.

After five years with Handelsbanken I decided to go travelling with my wife for a few months and on my return I was keen to specialise rather than return to a generic banking role. I was fortunate enough to join Titlestone Property Finance in 2017 alongside a very experienced development finance team and I quickly found it to be an exciting and rewarding industry to be involved in and remain grateful that the opportunity came along at the right time!

What do you enjoy most about the role?

It’s always rewarding watching a scheme progress from start to finish and it’s nice to see a tangible product at the end of a successful project. It’s a relatively fast-paced role, with average loan terms of 2-3 years and the variety of the role day-to-day also keeps it interesting. What I enjoy most however is the relationships that we get to form with our clients and professionals and the ongoing collaboration that we have through the lifecycle of the projects we are supporting.

Which development have you found the most interesting to work on?

It’s impossible to pick out one scheme as I have been fortunate enough to see a number of fantastic developments completed over the last five years. I’m from Devon originally and I think it’s nice to see the redevelopment and regeneration of areas that you know well, and we have supported some great projects in the South West recently.

What are your career ambitions?

To continue supporting our clients and their development projects across the country, hopefully grow that client base further and maintain the networks and relationships I have built up over the last five years.

What do you enjoy outside of work?

I have two girls, a 3 and a half year old and a six month old, so to be honest they seem to take up a huge amount of my spare time! I play 5-a-side football and if I get time to myself at home there will usually be sport on TV, particularly football, F1 and tennis, but I’ll watch anything.

Need to speak to someone about your development? Contact our Development Finance team

Paragon Bank PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Registered in England number 05390593. Registered office 51 Homer Road, Solihull, West Midlands B91 3QJ. Paragon Bank PLC is registered on the Financial Services Register under the firm reference number 604551