A round-up of Offa’s 2023

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January 25, 2024

This past year has been extremely busy for Offa, as we continue to grow our pioneering property finance business in what has been a tough economic climate for many people.

During the past twelve months, we have completed millions of pounds worth of bridge finance deals – many in record time, hired new staff and added to our portfolio of bridging products. Our senior team of experts have been engaging key stakeholders in the industry. We’ve also undergone a major rebrand as Offa and, in keeping with our business philosophy, we continue to give back to society where we can.

So, here is a round-up of Offa’s 2023…

Bridge finance

Despite the challenging general economic conditions, we have seen good levels of activity in our target property market and, by the end of 2023, Offa had concluded over £20M of bridge financing deals.

The fastest deal of the year goes to property developer Zunikh, who completed a £1M+ bridging deal with us in just over a week. Zunikh CEO Shakil Adli thanked the Offa team for their “exceptional assistance” in securing the company the necessary funding to purchase a site in St Albans, where they will develop five new homes.

Speed of competition is vital in many bridge finance deals, and we were delighted to quickly turn around another deal for a broker on a property project in southwest England worth over £300,000, which Offa completed in 14 working days.

Our largest deal of the year was providing funding worth nearly £3M for the purchase of a large commercial office block in London.

Appointments

As a start-up emerging from the Covid period, Offa has been busy expanding its team to ensure greater depth of experience and cover in key areas of our business.

One of the key senior appointments we made in 2023 was actuary Riaz Husain. Formerly a Senior Regulatory Supervisor at the Bank of England Prudential Regulation Authority, Riaz joins our board as a non-executive director. His principal role is to supervise the board’s performance in respect of its statutory governance obligations and to chair meetings of the board’s Risk and Audit Committee.

Ben Reeves joined Offa in the spring of 2023 as part of a trio of appointments. As Head of Operations, Ben brings over 20 years of experience to Offa, which he gained in a variety of senior operational roles at NatWest Bank and its parent group, the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Our new Compliance and Risk Analyst Ginny Wong completed our trio of spring hires. In her new role, Ginny is responsible for fostering a culture of compliance across Offa, ensuring the organisation’s compliance and risk management functions adhere to the highest standards.

Between them, our new employees bring decades of experience and have created a firm springboard for greater growth in 2024.

Products

We announced the launch of Offa’s new Bridge Refurbishment product in May 2023, which is underpinned by a new credit line from Gulf Islamic Investments. It means Offa can now advance property investors finance that covers 100 percent of their costs for light and heavy refurbishment works.

Offa has also been busy securing new funding lines for a raft of innovative new products that we will launch in 2024. Watch this space!

Branding

After months of discussions and meticulous development in conjunction with our branding agency Mud Orange, in July last year Offa unveiled its new look logo and website.

Inspired by our Midlands heritage and 8th Century King Offa’s gold dinar coin, our new golden yellow typographic logo echoes the idea of climbing the property ladder, while also reflecting the solidity of property itself.

Our new motto, ‘putting faith into property’, underlines Offa’s promise to provide Sharia-compliant property finance that is ‘stress-free, interest-free, and doubt-free’.

Offa’s contemporary new look and feel is illustrated in its new website, developed by Verge Labs. The site will continue to evolve in 2024, as we continue to invest in smart technology that will strip out unnecessary paperwork and complexity from customer applications to create a faster, easier and more efficient system for all.

Industry Engagements

Offa’s board is led by one of the UK’s best known and most experienced Islamic financiers, Sultan Choudhury OBE, who is constantly sought out as a media commentator, and keynote speaker and panellist at leading industry events.

In February 2023, our Executive Chairman featured in a panel discussion at the Sustainable Finance Summit in Dubai, as part of the Path to COP28 series to raise awareness and inspire action amongst the global financial services sector ahead of the UN Climate Summit taking place in Dubai in December 2023.

In the autumn, Sultan spoke to his British peers at the prestigious Islamic Finance Forum at Mansion House in London about how to make Islamic finance more competitive and the challenges the sector faces.

Civil Society Support

As an ethical company, Offa is committed to making a positive different to society, which includes supporting charities and civil society initiatives.

At the start of 2023, our Executive Chairman Sultan Choudhury and Chief Commercial Officer Sagheer Malik participated in Mercy Mission UK’s Future Leaders 2-day programme in Birmingham. The pair shared their career stories and leadership journeys with aspiring young British Muslims, as part of an effort to mentor and develop the next generation of leaders.

The following month, Sultan and Sagheer joined a host of distinguished guests in the UK Parliament for the launch of the British Muslim Civil Society Report. This vital report details the growth and achievements of British Muslims through their dynamic civil society, as well as the obstacles they face.

Offa has also continued to encourage and give staff time to raise funds and volunteer for their preferred charities. It’s seen a wide array of good causes benefit, from ensuring good governance of local schools, to raising money for disaster relief following the devastating floods in Bangladesh in August and supporting vulnerable children in Britain.

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