First Graduate of Rotation Scheme, Theo Athienitis

Being BLG’s first graduate to be placed within a rotation scheme, I have been incredibly lucky to witness first-hand how proactive and engaging all my co-workers are. They are always happy to help me whenever I need it, both within department and out of department – readily answering questions when I required clarity on the functions of our development finance process. It has been an amazing experience to see how willingly everyone works together to help each other out.

Having completed my first rotation with BLG’s in-house valuations team, I have learnt, the ins and outs of market appraisal. Visiting dozens of sites and speaking with some of our developers, I came to better understand what adds value to a potential development and what could negatively impact its GDV.

I have met some of our wonderful developers and I believe that BLG’s nuanced approach to borrower selection – accounting for both the financial fundamentals and the right personalities – is what sets us apart from other lenders. I’m excited to continue learning and contributing to our team’s success in the months ahead.


I learnt a lot from Zahra, as I grappled with the difficulty of finding the balance between comparable property sales and agent pricing opinions. Teaching me to prioritize finding the right comparable rather than overcompensating with every comparable. I feel I was able to foster some brilliant relationships with agents over the period and would like to thank them for giving their time so generously. Throughout this period I was able to gain hands on experience, undertaking many valuations independently (subject to MRICS approval). Throughout this early stage due diligence process, Zahra’s guidance was extremely helpful in keeping me on track while also providing confidence building encouragement. Over this 4-month period I underwrote values for roughly £30 million of GDVs.

Whilst monitoring some of our loans I got to put faces to names and start building relationships with some emerging, forward thinking developers who’re producing quality projects. One such visit was in eastern Essex, where after attending a late-stage development of three luxury properties I was able to go and get fish and chips by the seaside on my lunch break.

Alongside my day-to-day role valuing prospective developments I was tasked with a research project, looking at the market share of SME developers. I read research produced by the HBF and the NHBC, and studies from the major advisory firms – specifically, I found Savills’ research very insightful. Thanks to BLG I was able to attend the HBF Policy conference, hearing the opinions and findings of some of the leading names in the industry.

Through all this research, guided by senior management, my findings have been that this section of the market is still in decline (market share of SMEs circa 10%), with the biggest obstacles to small developers being: inefficiencies in planning, labour and supply chains, funding characteristics, lack of available/viable development  land and Majors ‘dipping down’.

I have now moved into my next rotation, sitting in the first of BLG’s two Credit Operations departments. In this role I will be tasked with taking deals from credit approval to completion. The processes required have been mind boggling. But, I have been wonderfully, rotating through the business, guided by my new team Lexie and Laura. I am grateful and excited for this opportunity and feel lucky to be learning new things every day for the next 4 months.

This experience, rotating through the business, has already taught me a great deal about the finance and property development industries, and I am looking forward to continuing to learn new things and grow in this role. A great way to cap off my first full week with the Credit Operations team was an evening visit for dinner and drinks with one of our valued legal representatives – Fieldfisher. I must say the view was almost as good as the company in attendance!

Theo Athienitis, Graduate Analyst, BLG Development Finance


“We have used BLG for development finance for over 8 years. During that time we have found their knowledge and expertise in the property development industry to be second to none. Their loan process, pragmatic and flexible approach to lending and flexibility when required has supported our business needs throughout the period and provided us with support to deliver new homes in Bristol and the surrounding areas.”

“As property developers you never know the curve balls that you may get and a project that is great on paper may prove a bit more tricky.  This happened to us on a project that BLG have funded and throughout they have supported us.  Our business likes to be collaborative and when we hit those tough moments it really felt like we were working as a team with BLG.  If you have a decent project you can get it funded, but what you really need is a business that is there to support and advise you as well.  For us on this project it was BLG.”

“I approached BLG Development finance with an opportunity I had in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, to build 5 new build houses in 2021. My main contact was Anil Bains who is a Director covering Asset Management. Within very quick timescales, BLG provided me with indicative quotes in regards the finance levels they could offer me. Having considered those levels, I requested a valuation to be carried out which again was dealt with swiftly. We proceeded to completion. The build went very smoothly with monthly monitoring being carried out by BLG and monthly drawdown requests dealt with in a very timely manner. Due to a difficult time generally in the market in regards selling, I was in need of a six-month extension to the loan which again was appraised very quickly and granted. Having dealt with numerous funders over the last 20 years, I can only speak highly of my personal experience with BLG and would very confidently work with them again on any future projects. “

"From our side it has also been a pleasure working with BLG and the team there. We have found you easy to deal with, proactive in resolving any minor issues that have arisen through the project and shown great flexibility in working with us as a partner. We will certainly like to work with you on future partners."

“I really appreciate your hard work. We really like the way you communicate & I must say I haven't seen many people who are that approachable.”

“A very efficient processing team, dealing with the DD once deal credit approved, through to completion”

“Many thanks for your efforts on this one and getting it approved and sorted so swiftly, very much appreciated. I am sure I will be speaking to your over the coming months.”

“We had other funding options, but chose to use BLG again, as we work well with the team, who always provide very clear information and advice with a friendly approach throughout the funding process. Very efficient and always very helpful.”

“Many thanks Anil, it’s been a real pleasure working with BLG so far.  We’re lining up the next project too”

“We would recommend all staff we have dealt with at BLG, as we are very satisfied with the team and the initial offer/terms presented, then you and the funding team, through to the draw down team at valuation stage.”

“All documents are clear and the way you keep clients informed, all the way along the funding process, is refreshing for us”

“With regard to what should be improved at BLG, we work with many lenders in our business and we do not get the help and response we have had on the two projects with all at BLG on our funding for our developments.”

“We would particularly mention Dave Edwards and Tom Pitts as being central to having a smooth working relationship and being positive and helpful at all times. Their guidance in helping us navigate the project from inception to completion was invaluable. As was their patience, particularly at the beginning. We look forward to many future projects with the BLG team.”

“We would like to express our appreciation for your support on our development in Bristol. We were very pleased that, from the outset, you shared our vision of the project to convert a dated but classical building, that had outlived its usefulness as a school, into unique luxury apartments with views overlooking the city. We found our dealings practical and streamlined. Monthly payments were processed in an efficient and timely manner.”

“BLG are very good at communicating with clients and all documents are very clear and all at BLG are always happy to help.”

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