The Five Minute Interview with Barney Drake, Joint CEO, Y3S Group

MarcBB-Y3S-146 Barney DrakeY3S has been the finance intermediary’s broker of choice for secured loans since 2001. They have nurtured key partnerships with the UK’s leading lenders over this period and enjoy director level relationships with all of their lenders

 

We speak to joint CEO Barney Drake:

 

What is the best thing about being in the secured loan business?

Variety is the spice of life or so they say and we are fortunate to have the opportunity in meeting all kinds of weird and wonderful people, where no two projects are the same. Now that the industry is bursting with great rates and service from our lending partners, the supply of bundles of funding makes the memory of credit crunch a thankfully distant memory. In short: things a great at the moment.

What keeps you focussed?

Sounds boring, but the constant growth and development of growing our introducer base whilst maintaining service levels that exceed expectations, compliance procedures and of course, the technological tools we provide our intermediaries. We love the rate of growth and the opportunities this gives us on a daily basis.

What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?

The most important thing is a great personality. Happiness sells and unless you exude happiness, passion, drive, enthusiasm and eternal optimism then you’re not for us. Normally I find you can pick this up when interviewing someone and these basic attributes are what I consider as the foundation for what we want at Y3S.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

I think what got us through the difficult times was our strength and determination to firstly survive and then to prosper. Industry colleagues will agree with me that pessimism has no place during such times and it was our eternal optimistic approach that formed the bedrock of what saw us through those years.

What did you want to be as a child?

As the youngest of four, I always felt I needed to fight harder mentally, fuelled by some bizarre need to gain some higher place in the pecking order. Weird, I know. During my teens, leading teams, organising social gatherings and various money-making-schemes was my way of trying to gain greater control. I have always wanted to have my own company, to have the control, the pride of walking into the office and be able to say to myself that I have played a significant role in shaping this company. One thing’s for sure: I will never work for anyone else!

What will be the greatest challenge facing the secured loan industry in the coming months?

Everyone’s saying it and surely it’s no surpise: regulation. I find our industry is over-complicating this, which they needn’t.   As long as we ensure best outcome is at the heart of what we do, that all our staff know what they are talking about and that we can evidence this through decent operating systems and procedures, I believe you won’t run into problems with the FCA.

Who or what makes you laugh?

Being with people with a great sense of humour. Thankfully, there are many of such people in our industry which makes our working day hugely enjoyable. I couldn’t think of anything worse than having a job where you can’t enjoy yourself and of course a large part of this is being able to laugh.

Do you dread Monday mornings?

About 15 years ago, I worked for a company in London for 11 weeks. I hated every second of it. I didn’t understand what I was doing, other than the Directors (who were great), I was the only salesperson there, based in some dire offices in Ealing. I would drive from London each Monday morning from my home in Chepstow to stay the week in London, I particularly hated that Monday morning drive. I then left, it was the greatest feeling walking out of those offices, such a release. The following week I started work with my now-business partner and we have since enjoyed every second of it, particularly Monday mornings. If you dread Monday mornings, you’re in the wrong job and you need to move on to find something you enjoy doing. Life’s too short.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

From time to time, I’m short tempered with my 2 children. This is a reflection of my weakness and of course, not theirs, and I am regularly ashamed at this. My wife tells me I am getting better, but I have a long way to go!

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

A group of my life-long friends I grew up with in Guernsey. I see them a few times a year and each time is better than the last. It’s so easy to let the pace of life be the excuse for not making regular contact, but I am happiest when I am with my family and my friends from what I call ‘back home’.

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