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Checkmate Mortgages secures investment for 2009 launch

Checkmate Mortgages has secured investment backing which will see the postponed lender launch in early 2009.

The majority of the capital has been provided by RIT Capital Partners and Lord Rothschild’s family interests and by executive chairman Stephen Knight himself.

The capital-raising was led by Lazard and Co Limited, acting as sole financial adviser and placing agent while Spencer House Partners acted as financial adviser to the investors.

Funding for the mortgages themselves will be via flow agreements with other financial institutions and an agreement in principle has already been reached with two flow funders.

Checkmate says that in due course, warehouse funding lines will be added when available.

Prior to the launch, the firm will be developing and testing its point of sale offer system as well as recruiting and putting the required infrastructure in place.

Confirmation of the exact launch date will be announced next year.

Knight says:  “It is testament to the reputation of our team, and to the foresight of our investors, that we have been able to raise capital for a new lender in such bad, and still-deteriorating, market conditions. 

“Of course, if you think about it, the time to be recruiting and building a computer system is when others are shedding staff and reducing their IT investment.  And the time to be launching into new lending is when the liquidity freeze starts to thaw, about 18-20 months since it started in August 2007. We believe that we have the timing right”.

A finance director is still to be recruited plus non-executive directors proposed by the investor consortium. 

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