A management team whose experience of leading and growing businesses spans First Direct, Egg and Mortgageforce received a £10m investment from BGF to implement further growth plans for residential property services company SDL Group (formerly Shepherd Direct).
SDL, headquartered in Nottingham, manages more than 150,000 property valuations a year for major mortgage lenders including HSBC, First Direct, Lloyds and Santander, and provides surveying, lettings and estate agency services across the UK.
The £10m investment is being used to support organic growth and to acquire a minority stake in Stonebridge Mortgage Solutions, a network of independent mortgage brokers, to increase its footprint in the mortgage broking market.
Paul Gratton, former chief executive at Egg plc and a founding director of First Direct, set-up SDL in the late 1980s as the UK’s first provider of property valuations to mortgage lenders via independent firms of surveyors. Together with SDL’s now commercial director Rob Clifford, the pair also set-up, grew and successfully sold Mortgageforce. The management team is supported by non-executive chairman Jonathan Bloomer, the former chief executive at Prudential. Ian Downing, a BGF investor, joined the board.