Michael Bolton eyeing lending opportunities with new firm

Michael Bolton is eyeing lending opportunities with his new firm following his departure from due diligence firm Clayton Euro Risk.

Bolton, once the chief executive of defunct sub-prime lender Edeus, had spent the last six years working for Clayton before handing in his notice in September. He agreed to remain with the firm until December although he has been helping out as an adviser until earlier this week as the firm waited for new chief executive Tony Ward to arrive.

He now says he is looking at lending opportunities while he continues to advise banks on mergers and acquisitions. These include the peer-to-peer market and helping US private equity firms enter the UK mortgage market.

Speaking exclusively to Money Marketing sister-title Mortgage Strategy, Bolton says: “I am setting up a new business with some associates, whose names will remain anonymous for the moment. We are looking at a bunch of stuff, like peer-to-peer lending – and not just in the UK. In fact, the P2P lending we are looking at doing is in other European countries, although we will see about the UK.”

Bolton also says he is talking with a number of US private equity firms about entering the UK mortgage market.

He adds: “US private equity is looking at the UK market again for lending opportunities. I am not saying I am back into lending in the UK but I am helping and advising.

“But of course I have an interest. Am I going to be hands on? No, I am more likely to be on the board in some capacity, providing oversight or the profile an entity like this requires. But I will not be the CEO of a lender tomorrow – but stranger things have happened.”

He also says his split with Clayton was amicable and that he felt it was the best time to move on to other opportunities.

He says: “I resigned in September but they asked me to stay on until December for two reasons: one, to try and look for my successor and, secondly, there was a big project to finish.

“My contract finished at the end of December but they asked me to work on as an adviser to work on a specific project and to wait for Tony [Ward]’s arrival.”

Bolton was appointed co-chief executive of Clayton in May 2013, having joined as a consultant in 2009 and then becoming sales director in January 2010. He spent five years as HBOS head of specialist lending until he left to set up Edeus in 2006. He took redundancy in 2008 when the lender went into administration and set up equity release support services firm Charterhouse Retirement Solutions in 2009 with former Edeus director of packaging Terry Pritchard.

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