Bob Young retires after 45-year career

He leaves behind a lender with over £2bn in mortgages under management.

Bob Young retires after 45-year career

Buy-to-let and specialist lender Fleet Mortgages has announced the retirement of chief executive officer Bob Young (pictured) from April.

His retirement marks the end of a career in lending, specifically, spanning over 25 years.

Young and his team launched Fleet Mortgages in 2014. In just over seven years, the company advanced £3.325bn in mortgages across 15,141 accounts. By the end of December 2021, it had over £2bn in mortgages under management.

With Young at the helm, Fleet Mortgages grew to more than 100 employees and became the first lender to be fully acquired by Starling Bank in a £50m cash and share deal in the summer of 2021.

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

Young will be replaced by Mark Lane, who has been with Fleet Mortgages since November 2014 and is currently its chief operating officer.

Of the future of Fleet Mortgages, Young remarked: “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.... 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,” Young added. “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.”

As for his approaching retirement, Young said: “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.”

Before establishing Fleet Mortgages, Young held roles with Black Horse, Abbey National, and CHL Mortgages as their sales and marketing director in 1997.

He became managing director of CHL in 2005 and eventually turned it into a top 20 player. It was then that he set up Fleet Mortgages, establishing another major intermediary-only lender in the specialist, buy-to-let market.