Five Minute Focus On: John Fitzgerald, Castlehaven Finance
Tell us about yourself
I’m a former Irish Rugby International with over 30 years experience in the financial services sector. I enjoy life and serving my clients. I recently joined Castlehaven Finance as a Business Development Manager with responsibility for the Munster Region.
Outside of work, I enjoy rugby and playing golf. I am a licensed commercial helicopter pilot and love to fly whenever I get the chance.
Tell us about Castlehaven Finance
Castlehaven Finance is an industry-leading alternative lender funding property development in Ireland. We offer the highest level of industry knowledge and decisive, reliable loan opportunities. CH provides development and bridging loans between €1 and €25 million on private and social projects.
What is your role in Castleahaven Finance?
My role in Castlehaven is to manage all aspects of the Munster business. I look after our existing customer base and explore every opportunity to expand in a sustainable fashion. Expansion will involve driving awareness of the Castlehaven brand in the region, which will ultimately support local developers in solving the housing crisis in the area.
Tell us something about Castlehaven Finance that we may not know?
Since 2014, we have provided €538 million in facilities. These funds have enabled the development of 4,000 residential properties, including more than 700 social housing units.
What’s next for Castlehaven Finance in Cork?
Our long-term objective is to establish ourselves as the leading alternative funder in the Cork and Greater Munster Region markets. In order to achieve this, my immediate priorities for the business are to continue good quality growth of our loan book, while also educating the local market on the Castlehaven Finance offering. My key message for developers or those representing investors is to give us a call. I’d love to chat through how Castlehaven might be of service.
What’s your favourite thing about working in Cork?
The community spirit in Cork is infectious—whether it’s sport or business or normal day-to-day life, everyone supports one another. There is a great air of excitement around Cork right now, due to the endless possibilities for growth and expansion in the region.
What do you like about being a Glandore Member?
This is not the first time I have used serviced offices and wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I must say I’m delighted with it so far! The location is perfect, as 90% of my meetings are conducted within a short walk from Glandore’s front door. The community activities in the building are also a big positive. I’m a one-man operation at the moment, as our head office is located in Dublin, but the constant flow of people through the Glandore building means I don’t go too long without talking to someone. Additionally, the facilities here at Glandore will allow Castlehaven Finance to expand when we are ready.
Friday night in or Friday night out?
If I have had a stressful week at work, it’s Friday night on the couch watching Emmerdale Farm and enjoying dinner. Otherwise, it’s Friday night down at the local boozer with my former rugby teammates talking rubbish about how great we were back in the day and critising the young professionals of today. Friday night can be a great prelude to the weekend, particularly if there is rugby on Saturday…“after the gardening”, of course!