Commercial mortgage broking house Omega Capital has welcomed new broker Nikki Wood to their team bringing with her more than 20 years of property finance experience.
Nikki, who lives in Hamilton, joins Omega from Westpac where her last role was as a senior property finance manager looking after a portfolio of around $500 million.
“I have a deep understanding of the property development sector from buying land through to consenting processes and the issuing of titles. I enjoy working through lending with a client and finding the best solutions for them,” says Nikki.
Nikki’s career in banking started 26 years ago when she was applying for a new mortgage with her then husband.
The bank at the time was Trust Bank, Westpac’s predecessor. Nikki was told they needed more income, so she cheekily asked them if they had any jobs going.
“I started as a casual teller and worked my way up from there. I spent time in the retail side of the branch and then in rural lending before landing in the property finance team,” says Nikki.
Before banking Nikki had a tax background and when she decided to join Westpac’s property finance team, she also upskilled completing a Post Graduate Diploma in Property Finance.
Nikki has also worked as a volunteer with Business Mentors New Zealand helping both start-up businesses and those that need help in streamlining their established businesses.
“My background, including my tax background, means I have a really broad business base. I understand business growth and I am also able to understand people’s tax obligations as well,” says Nikki.
Omega Capital General Manager, Noni Martin, says she is excited to have Nikki join the team, further strengthening their teams’ experience in property finance lending.
“I’m excited by the extensive property lending experience and commitment to finding the best solutions for our customers that Nikki will bring to the new role,” says Noni.
One of Nikki’s biggest strengths is understanding how to structure a deal to give lenders comfort whether that be through equity levels or breaking developments up into bite sized portions to deliver projects over time.
“I like working with customers and getting their transactions across the line and I know I can do that at Omega without all the noise around me that you sometimes get in the banking environment,” says Nikki.
Omega Capital is one of the largest regionally based companies in the commercial mortgage broking industry. The business has experienced significant growth over the last 12 months, as access to finance for property developers across New Zealand has tightened following changes to lending rules at the retail banks.
While interest rates are higher at Omega Capital than through bank lending Nikki says developers are increasingly seeking alternative funding options. Omega’s business has grown by 25 percent over the past 12 months.
“Unless you have a long term established relationship with a bank doing property development then lending has become really challenging. Omega Capital offers developers a very attractive alternative,” says Nikki.