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Meet our team

We are a privately owned lender, with a team of seasoned property professionals that have decades of property development, investment and lending experience.


James Verdin


With experience in rural and licensed property, James qualified as a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in 1987 whilst working for Carter Jones. He subsequently joined Dron & Wright working in both their City and West End offices where he headed their Investment department advising the likes of British Land, Daejan Holdings, Provident Life and Wintherthur Life. In 1995 he left to manage the family portfolio which consists of two estates and associated businesses in Herefordshire and Cheshire which have been in the family since the 1800’s. An important part of this was the diversification into property investment and development, which has increased the value of assets he is responsible for to more than £150m. James has managed and either retained or exited in excess of 50 development projects in the UK with a GDV in excess of £75million. In addition, he has conducted developments in Europe, South Africa, United States and Western Australia where the development program amounted to approximately AUD$70m. James joined Calmez in 2009 as a shareholder and director. In 2015 he was appointed Chairman and continues in those roles with Saxon Trust. James also acts as a Deputy of the Court of Protection.


Clive Standish-White

Director, Chief Investment Officer

Clive has over 25 years’ experience working in the financial services industry across multiple jurisdictions (Luxembourg, Channel Islands and Bermuda), involving senior roles, initially in the fiduciary sector (10 years), culminating in a senior position with Bermuda Trust Company Limited (a Bank of Bermuda subsidiary), and latterly within the investment management arena (18 years). During his investment management period, Clive was instrumental, as managing director (in each case), in setting up and running two separate, Guernsey-based and regulated discretionary asset management businesses: Riverdale Asset Management Ltd and Argyll Investment Services Limited. The former was successfully sold to Insinger de Beaufort in December 1999 and the latter was successfully merged with the MitonOptimal Group in November 2012. From 2014, Clive was first a consultant and then a director of Calmez Limited. Applying his wide-ranging knowledge and experience, particularly within the legal, accounting and property arena, Clive was a key contributor in enabling the five-fold growth of Calmez’s loan book. Clive is a Chartered Wealth Manager and Chartered Fellow under the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment. Upon its formation, Clive became a director and Chief Investment Officer of Saxon Trust.


Brian West

Head of Sales and Marketing

A highly experienced specialist financier, Brian has spent over 25 years in the property sector, holding senior roles at corporate blue-chip lenders such as GE Capital and serving two terms as a board director of the Association of Short-Term Lenders (ASTL) between 2015-2019. Following successful spells driving growth with smaller specialist lenders such as Swift, Funding 365 and Central Bridging, Brian spent 18 months working as a consultant for media and fintech companies including the Falbros Group and most recently for development funding specialists Pivot. Well known within media circles as a sought-after industry commentator and contributor to the short-term lending industry trade magazines, websites and to more mainstream publications including the FT. In his current role Brian is responsible for driving the Saxon Trust brand whilst building the Sales and Marketing Team to ensure the Group’s ambitious growth goals are met and surpassed. In addition, Brian has also continued to build and foster long-term relationships with brokers and developers alike. Brian works very closely with co-founder and director Andrew Gardiner to generate new business.


Eileen Standish-White

Administrative Co-Ordinator

Eileen was raised in Northern Ireland, working in customer service-related roles for both Sealink British Ferries and P&O European Ferries before moving to Guernsey in 1999, and then to the UK in 2018. Whilst living in Guernsey, Eileen was able to gain a vast amount of experience in Financial Services, spending almost 20 years in the Trust and Fiduciary industry, with a focus on Commercial & Residential Property development, refurbishment, property rental and property transactions. Eileen’s time in this industry involved dealing with a worldwide selection of clients, culminating in a Senior Managerial Role with Imperium Trust Company, Guernsey. As a result of her work in financial services, Eileen also has experience dealing with banks, various service providers and regulatory bodies. On a personal level, Eileen likes to spend time with her family & friends, enjoys most kinds of music, tries to practice piano as often as possible, to read a good book, to keep fit, to ski (when there is snow!) and to travel when possible. She also loves to totally spoil her Chocolate Brown Cockapoo, given to her as a Birthday present that just keeps on giving!


Andrew Gardiner


Andrew is a qualified solicitor having specialised in corporate finance and private equity starting his career at US firm, Squire Patton Boggs (then Squire Sanders LLP), and subsequently joining the private equity team at Travers Smith. Andrew supported a range of private equity firms and corporates, including providing legal advice on the flotation of a number of companies on the Premium Market of the London Stock Exchange and AIM, as well as a number of international exchanges including TISE and the TSX. Andrew left law in 2014 to establish a fintech group operating a number of brands and pioneering certain innovative and regulated business models which were the first of their kind. Andrew led this group through 5 rounds of venture capital funding, increasing the customer base to over 35,000 in 110 countries globally cumulating in the exit of the main trading entity. Andrew joined Calmez in 2017 to work on the re-branding and launch of Saxon Trust. Andrew is a director of Saxon Trust and works with the team to develop technology, innovation and growth strategies and to secure and manage institutional funding capacity.


Adam Baskind


Adam has built a career in assembling and leading several exceptionally talented management teams through organic growth, targeted acquisition, mergers and successful exits of a number of high-profile businesses in the Fintech, property and financial services sectors over a 25-year period. Adam has held CEO positions at companies based in the UK and Europe in property and technology investments, including key experience working with, VCs and AIFs. Adam has overseen the implementation of quality assurance requirements and quality management systems achieving ISO 9001 accreditation. Adam has been responsible for several thousand employees across his career to date and held full P&L responsibilities. Adam has personally managed and led property development projects with values in excess of £100m, across a range of sectors. During the financial crisis, Adam was appointed interim turnaround CEO of several large property developments, investment and construction businesses on behalf of shareholders and banks such as Barclays. Adam joined Calmez Ltd in 2018 as a member of the credit committee and to work with the team on operational strategies and execution. Adam is a director of Saxon Trust.


Stuart Munden

Head of Credit and Risk

Having spent over 35 years with Standard Chartered Bank in various credit and risk related roles including over 10 years as Regional Head of Country Cross Border Risk for SE Asia and Latin America before becoming Head of Strategic Investments Risk, Stuart is a highly experienced finance professional. From Standard Chartered, Stuart joined Banyantree Bank to manage and restructure their profitable portfolio of bridging loans. Within this role he was also instrumental in developing a network of new introducers, sourcing and then structuring new property lending transactions. Stuart’s current role involves working closely with the Saxon Trust board and institutional funders, managing the entire credit and risk function within the business. Stuart also works very closely with the new business team, assisting with new enquiries and prospective clients.

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Jacob West


A First-Class BSc holder and University of Surrey Graduate, Jacob is the most junior member of our team. At Saxon since graduating in 2022, Jacob has worked in several different business functions, including underwriting, risk analysis, marketing, customer relationship management, and web design. Jacob has applied his diverse skillset to a number of projects since joining Saxon Trust, assisting in the creation and execution marketing campaigns through a variety of channels, rebuilding of the company website and an update our CRM system. Through these projects, Jacob has helped maintain a consistent brand image and marketing message across several different mediums. Working as an analyst on new enquiries, Jacob supports our underwriting and risk team as they assess potential deals and monitor loans, from first enquiry to completion.


Chris Kemsley


Chris has spent his whole career in the real estate space starting out as a property agent in London and subsequently growing his asset management firm to managing over 300 properties with a total value of over £135million. Through this journey, Chris has been responsible for identifying, originating, and closing acquisition and development/investment opportunities which were then funded and managed by Chris and James as partners. Chris has worked with James as partners since 1993 and has been jointly responsible for the development of more than 50 development projects with a GDV in excess of £75million. Chris has had day-to-day responsibility for the management of the developments in the UK, as well as the joint international developments in Europe, Western Australia, South Africa and America. One of the larger projects has been an extensive acquisition, investment, planning and development projects in Montenegro. The project consists of over 1 million square meters of land for residential and commercial development and included strategic planning gains and ground-up developments. Chris was a founding shareholder and director of Calmez when it was established in 2006 and has continued to be a director of Saxon Trust.


Nick Taylor

Head of Portfolio Management

A structured finance, investment, and treasury professional with diverse asset management experience, Nick has a Bachelor of Science degree in construction management and a Master of Science degree in investment management. Most recently Nick spent nearly 10 years at Coronado Property Developments Group in London and prior to this he worked for Botswana Insurance Fund Management (a member of the Sanlam Group), Fleming Asset Management and Stanbic Investment Management Services (part of the Standard Bank Group) during a decade spent in Botswana. He began his career working for several leading companies in South Africa including Investec and the Brait Group. During his time at Coronado, Nick fulfilled a range of treasury, investment and finance functions including the management of substantial senior and mezzanine funding arrangements and a large book of equity investor’s capital. He also established strong broker relationships from whom he sourced, arranged, and negotiated a range of senior and mezzanine funding facilities for development projects. Nick sources and conducts due diligence on new development and renovation loan enquiries. He also conducts site visits and builds relationships with developers, as well as monitoring and reporting on ongoing loans. Consequently, he works closely with both Saxon Trust’s Chief Investment Officer and co-founder/director, Andrew Gardiner.


Marc Osterley

Financial Controller

A highly experienced ACMA Chartered Management Accountant, Marc has spent over 25 years in the property sector. He has worked for several high calibre companies such as Davis Langdon, Gardiner & Theobald, Ballymore, and Hammerson PLC. In over 10 years at Hammerson, he was responsible for flagship retail centres including Brent Cross and the Bullring as well as being heavily involved in the disposal of their office portfolio. From 2015 Marc was the Financial Controller for Augur Group Limited where he specialised in preparing and maintaining cashflows for existing projects and assessing the viability and potential profitability of new projects. He also produced the management and statutory accounts for the Group and managed their accounting processes. Marc has been vital in implementing new structures and processes to support Saxon Trust’s growth. As well as managing the day-to-day accounting he also works closely with both the new business team and assisting the Chief Investment Officer with the management of existing and the acquisition of new funding lines.

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