Bolton, famed for turning BM Solutions into a major UK sub-prime force in the early 00’s, is being backed by major US hedge fund Floral Opi – an entity with billions of dollars (US) of funds under management.
Bolton told Mortgage Introducer: “The timing is right. The products are right. The investment is right. And hopefully, come May 7th, the UK will be right.
“I’ve been in talks with Floral Opi from day one. They are a former client of mine. Now, however, the reins are off. I’ve been out of the UK market for some time now – although never far removed. I’ve advised on and been involved with the due diligence process for several major transactions – the Virgin acquisition of Northern Rock for example, the sale of the Victoria Mortgages book.”
Bolton’s lender – due to launch one year from today – takes the unusual name of Rapiflolo, thought to reference the low rates that it plans to target the prime-sub-prime UK market with and the rapid time deals can be dealt with.
Bolton believes the UK prime-sub-prime market is ripe for the taking and has already secured initial distribution through Martin Wilson’s new national network – The Right Mortgage Network – and for the more bespoke high net worth clients he has secured distribution agreements with Mike Fitzgerald’s Brent Chase Financial Services and EMBA, the Essex Mortgage Brokers’ Association. Both agreements are exclusive and will run for 12 months.
Despite being out of the fray for six years Bolton has kept his hand in the market – notably through Rapiflolo’s new appointments.
Mortgage Introducer can today reveal that industry guru Frank Eve has been appointed as senior technical consultant and mortgage veteran David Shortt has been appointed as interim national head of sales.
Eve, former CEO of Flexi-Mortgage and now a consultant at iState Systems, said: “Michael is an interesting character and wouldn’t suffer fools gladly. Rapiflolo is going to set the bench mark – a rapid flow of information for a quick informed decision. Good for the broker – good for their business, and good for the client.”
Shortt, a founding director of The Mortgage Operation, added: “This is a fantastic opportunity. Brokers have just a year to register with us. They’d be a fool not to. I’ll be touring the country for the next 12 months to register interests. In fact, you can come and see me on stand 1 at the Leeds Mortgage Business Expo where I shall be sharing a stand with Mortgage Introducer.”
Mike Fitzgerald, managing director of Brent Chase Financial Services, said: “I’ve known Michael for years now – since I was at Royal London – and it’s a pleasure to be working with the old codger again. I’m glad he’s still got his eyes on the market.”
And Martin Wilson of The Right Mortgage Network added: “We did heaps of business with Michael when he was at BM Solutions and only hope we can replicate the model we had then. I’m chuffed to bits to have been selected as a key distribution partner – I’d have been a fool not to accept.”
Terry Pritchard, managing director of Channel Equity Finance, is believed to be in high level talks to join the board of Rapiflolo where he is expected to take on the position of executive PA. He was unavailable for comment.
Bolton is also thought to have engaged the services of top City public relations firms Lansons as he tries to curry favour with both investors, brokers and the public.
One Lansons source said: "Michael is indeed a character but we'd be fools not to give this a shot. We'll give it a year and see how it goes."
The Rapiflolo deal was advised on by Kleenwart Benson and Hedges and Canter Foitzgerald and brokered through TPG.
The FCA were unavailable to comment.