meet Marylen Edwards, Head of Lending, BTL
It’s been a busy few months here at MT Finance. With our new buy-to-let proposition now live to a select number of intermediaries before a full market launch, the team, headed up by Marylen Edwards, have been working hard to deliver the award-winning service we’re known for. A recent addition to MT Finance, Marylen brings nearly 30 years’ experience to the table, having worked for a variety of financial institutions including Lloyds, Metro Bank and Axis Bank. We caught up with her to talk about starting out, breaking barriers and one thing you really will be surprised to discover.
Welcome to MT Finance! What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
“Successfully launching the proposition and growing the buy-to-let business to be as successful as the bridging arm of MT Finance!”
What inspired you to start a career in finance and how did you get your first job?
“Basically, I fell into it. The hours were 9 to 5 so it suited me, and it worked around my girls and childcare. While they were little I studied for a business and finance diploma and then the job in Lloyds came up. However, I didn’t initially plan to work in finance, I had always wanted to be a teacher.”
How has the industry changed since then?
“Massively. The industry didn’t have specialist lending arms when I first started, now it’s much more diverse and flexible in how it lends. There are also now more women in management positions, it was very male dominated when I started in the bank.”
You have worked for both specialist finance firms and high street lenders, how do these differ from each other?
“They are so different. Complex buy-to-let was never a separate product when I worked in the bank, those products fell under commercial. The specialist lending market grew where the banks could never assist. The specialist market has created the niche that was there to develop, and it has been massively successful in supporting landlords to transact.”
What are the biggest barriers you have faced in your career?
“When I first started in Lloyds, I was a commercial manager; being a female in the role was a bit of a barrier with some of the businesses that I looked after. I also looked after development finance transactions and that wasn’t something that females ‘did’ as a manager at that time. I think the initial impression in the ‘90s was still very much ‘your bank manager should be a certain age and type’.”
How did you overcome these?
“It’s just being yourself with the clients. When they’re happy that you’re knowledgeable and you build up a rapport, it takes the barrier down; thankfully that initial meeting when you would turn up at a development site and the reaction would be ‘oh, you’re female’ no longer exists.
“Other than that, I’ve enjoyed all the changes I have seen in the industry over the years. I think the adaptability has made it the successful market it is today.”
What would you tell your 18-year-old self?
“Life’s too short; live in the moment.”
What would people be surprised to know about you?
“I used to be a FA / FIFA-qualified licensed football agent. Not many people know that as I never engaged in it as a career path.”