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Date: 10 October 2023

Author: Eleanor Collins

In the bustling world of specialist property finance, it is important to have people as experienced and dedicated as Lee Merrifield, Associate Director of Credit at MSP Capital. 

With over 30 years of banking experience under his belt, Lee’s journey from a junior role at NatWest to his current position at MSP Capital stands as a testament to his expertise and commitment to the industry.

Early beginnings at a Highstreet Bank

Lee started his career at NatWest straight after his A-levels when he was just 18.  As the years passed and he gained a wealth of experience, he transitioned into managing property based clients, a move that proved to be pivotal in shaping his future. Lee shared, “I started off in branch banking, did the various branch functions, and then I gradually grew into looking after clients on the business side. In the early 2000s, I started to specialise in property and began to manage my own portfolio of property clients, which I did for around 15 years whilst I was working in the bank.”

Coming to a cross-roads…

Lee’s journey took a significant turn when he received advanced notice of potential redundancy due to changes in his role at NatWest. Faced with this crossroads after 27 years with the bank, he was on the lookout for what his next move would be. Lee already knew several people at MSP Capital, including Chris Sheppard, who had made the transition from NatWest, and Lee also knew Joint Managing Director Paul Miracca as his Bank Manager during Paul’s time as a property developer. 

Lee embraced the challenge and moved to MSP Capital, where he initially held the position of Credit and Underwriting Manager.

Looking back on his decision to join MSP, Lee emphasised the refreshing change in mindset, stating,

I think it’s the can-do attitude. No problem is insurmountable. We always look at trying to help customers. In larger corporations this can be more difficult as there is often a lot of red tape and it can be a battle to get things agreed. With MSP it’s the complete opposite, we do our usual credit checks and our usual lending processes, but it’s always from a positive, solution-driven process. And when we find a problem, we try and find a way around it rather than giving up and walking away from the transaction.”  

Lee’s dedication and problem-solving skills have made him an invaluable asset at MSP Capital. His ability to draw upon his extensive experience enables him to navigate complex transactions and provide unparalleled support to clients.

Reflecting on his strengths, he mentioned, “Having worked in banking prior to arriving here, I think I’ve seen most types of transactions and it’s that ability to pull on that database of memory and say, oh yeah, I’ve seen this issue before – this is how we got to a solution”. Lee confirmed that this ability to see a deal from different angles enables the company to do their best for the client, but at the same time manage their risks as a business as well.

This positive and proactive atmosphere at MSP keeps Lee motivated and eager to come to work every day. The supportive team and encouraging environment empower employees to deliver their best and add value to both the business and clients.

Away from the desk…

Outside the world of finance, Lee likes to stay active finding that physical activity helps him de-stress and maintain a healthy work-life balance. He utilises MSP Capital’s gym facilities and is an avid Peloton user. He is also a keen runner, and recently ran a half marathon alongside a number of colleagues. 

Lee’s interests stretch far beyond the realms of finance and fitness. He is a devoted football enthusiast, being both a fan of the local Cherries and also holding the role of Finance Director at Wimborne Town FC. 

Furthermore, Lee has an enthusiasm for travel, it has taken him to various corners of the globe, with a special affinity for the United States. He shared, “My favourite destination is America which I’ve visited 35 times across all parts of the country. My plan is to visit every US state, and so far, I’ve ticked off 34 of the 50.”

Being part of a growing team

As MSP Capital expands, Lee eagerly anticipates welcoming new faces into their vibrant office space, an environment that encapsulates the essence of the company’s culture. His commitment to both the business and its clients shines through, making him not just an expert in property finance but a dedicated advocate for MSP Capital’s vision.

In the world of property finance, expertise, dedication, and adaptability are paramount. Lee Merrifield embodies these qualities, making him a driving force behind MSP Capital’s success.

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