Bob Young announces retirement from Fleet Mortgages

Fleet Mortgages, the buy-to-let specialist lender, has today announced its Chief Executive Officer, Bob Young, is to retire in April after a career in lending spanning over 25 years.

Bob and his management team launched Fleet Mortgages in 2014 and in just over seven years have built the lender to the point where it has advanced £3.325 billion in mortgages across 15,141 accounts. At the end of December 2021, it had over £2 billion in mortgages under management.

During that time, Bob has presided over a lender which has grown to 109 employees at the end of 2021, conducted multiple securitisations, and in the summer of 2021 was the first lender to be fully-acquired by Starling Bank in a £50 million cash and share deal.

As a result of that acquisition, Starling became the sole funder of Fleet’s originations with the lender writing over £782 million of mortgage business in 2021 – up 96% annually – with a pre-tax profit of £6.97 million. It is fully on course to meet its lending targets in 2022.

In his 45-year career, Bob held roles with Black Horse, Abbey National and as a business consultant, before joining CHL Mortgages as Sales & Marketing Director in 1997, taking over as Managing Director in 2004. Having turned that lender into a top twenty player, Bob then set up and established Fleet Mortgages, establishing another major intermediary-only lender in the specialist buy-to-let market.

Bob will be replaced by Mike Lane as the new Chief Executive Officer. Mike is currently Chief Operating Officer and has also been with Fleet Mortgages since November 2014 and was also part of the senior management team at their previous lender.

Mike has over 30 years’ experience in both retail and financial companies with wide financial services experience acquired in various cross-company Operational, Change Management and IT roles.

Fleet Mortgages offers buy-to-let mortgages exclusively through the intermediary channel with products available in three core areas – for individuals, limited companies/LLPs and those seeking to finance HMO and multi-unit blocks.

Bob Young, Chief Executive Officer at Fleet Mortgages, commented: “All good things come to an end, and this seems the right time to announce my retirement and to hand over to Mike and the management team to build on what we’ve all achieved over the last seven or so years. It has been some journey.

“It will undoubtedly be business as usual at Fleet under Mike’s leadership and with, what I believe, is the best senior management team in the market. With the support of Starling behind us, the future looks incredibly bright.

“Given our acquisition by Starling last year, it feels like Fleet is embarking on its next phase. Phase one of developing Fleet was all about getting a new lender off the ground, establishing our credibility and building a business which could be trusted by our intermediary partners and their clients.

“I believe we’ve achieved that in spades, and our excellent performance in 2021 is testament to that, as is our start to this year. In my opinion, Fleet is everything we said it would be and I feel I’ve accomplished everything I set out to do when establishing Fleet back in 2014.

“This is a business and team I am incredibly proud of; the quality of our proposition, our service levels, and everything about it is something I hoped we could deliver, and to see it come to fruition and to firmly establish itself for the future, is wonderful.

“Lending has been my working life for over 25 years and with Fleet in the safest of hands, I am looking forward to enjoying a long and happy retirement knowing full well this is a business which will go on to bigger and better things.”

Anne Boden, CEO of Starling, said: “Bob founded Fleet with the aim of creating a business its employees could be ‘proud to work for’. He can be proud himself for achieving that goal and so much more. It has been a privilege to work with him and with Fleet for the last seven months and I would like to thank him for his service. Mike brings a wealth of experience and we look forward to working with him.”