Urban Exposure plc (“Urban Exposure” or the “Company”) is a newly formed company which been established to pursue two main strategies in the residential development finance market – asset management of development finance loans and direct lending (using its own balance sheet) into development finance loans.
Asset management and direct lending
The Company focuses on two main revenue streams: interest and fees generated on principal lending
from its own balance sheet; and asset management income generated from managing and servicing real
estate development loans financed by third parties (including income generated by pre-existing loans
managed by the Urban Exposure Business). Additional revenue may also be generated from syndicated
loans, facility agent and security agent fees and co-lender asset management fees. In the medium term,
the Company intends to expand and develop the Urban Exposure Business’ asset management activities
and technological platform capabilities to build revenue growth.
Given the Urban Exposure Team’s extensive experience as both lender and developer, the team is able to
oversee and monitor every stage of a development project. With each draw-down, typically on a monthly
basis, the Urban Exposure Team ensures that strict criteria are satisfied by its borrowers through external
as well as its own in-house expert assessment. With this experience and expertise, the Urban Exposure
Team are well-placed to take over from a borrower and manage the completion of a development project
should any material issues arise and do, in any case, become actively involved with the developments they
have financed. This has helped establish the team’s proven track record and, has contributed to the success
that the Urban Exposure Business has had in ensuring that none of its loans have suffered losses or arrears.
Strong developer relationships
The Urban Exposure Team has relationships with over 300 high quality residential developers throughout
the UK, consisting of SMEs and larger developers. These include relationships with Acorn, Argent, Ballymore,
Capital & Provident, Clearview Homes, Galliard Homes, MACE, Princeton Homes, Regal London, Urban
Splash and U+I Plc. As a general rule, borrowers are required to have a track record in real estate
development in the UK market of ten years or more.
These strong developer relationships generate repeat business for the Urban Exposure Team, which have
been built over time and depend on core values such as trust and certainty of execution. In many
circumstances, the team will become aware of the same deal from multiple developers, which enables it to
be in a strong position to work with the winning developer.
Strong investor relationships and asset management capability
The Urban Exposure Team has a strong institutional investor network and deep relationships from its near
16 years in the industry, initially as principal developers and then as a non-bank, specialist development
finance lender in the UK following the global financial crisis. The Urban Exposure Team believe that for a
number of institutions, they have become the preferred asset manager for investing in UK residential
The strong, risk adjusted returns that the Urban Exposure Team have delivered to its investors is helping to
increase the appetite for institutions to invest in this sector via the Urban Exposure Team’s asset management
platform, and the principal lending business is expected to enhance this further. As the brand and track
record of the Urban Exposure Business has grown, it receives increasing enquiries from new investors
looking to allocate capital in this space, but who are reliant on a partner to invest with due to the technical
barriers to entry.
Geographical and market focus
The Urban Exposure Business is focused on lending throughout the United Kingdom, predominantly in major
cities and towns within England. The nature of the development projects typically funded are core housing
and apartment projects which are generally affordable and in high demand. This helps ensure geographical
diversification and that stringent sales targets throughout the life of a development are met.