Nicola Hardy joins Specialist 1st as senior adviser

Nicola Hardy (pictured) has joined Specialist 1st as a senior adviser, following the firms launch in January of this year.

The recently formed brand will advise directly on complex buy-to-let, adverse credit, second charge lending, commercial purchases, development finance and bridging finance.

Hardy joins from Somo having held the role of head of network operations since 2022, and has worked in various roles within the financial services sector for 24 years.

Jon Stones, managing director of Mortgage 1st, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Nicola to Specialist 1st.  

“Initial discussions to launch our own specialist brand begun over two years ago, always with the intention to bring in someone to head up the brand with the experience levels that Nicola possesses. 

“In addition to a wealth of specialist lending experience, Nicola shares the same core values that we hold onto dearly at Mortgage 1st – essentially always doing the right thing by our customers. 

“The customer is always at the heart of what we do & our approach to specialist lending will be no different. 

“Nicola will help shape the brand and also provide essential support and guidance to the existing advisers.”

Hardy added: “When approached to discuss this opportunity with Specialist 1st, the timing felt right to go back in to a self-employed role that I have a true passion to do. 

“What stood out at the initial discussion was how much Mortgage 1st care about their customers and how proactive they are throughout the mortgage journey.

“I strongly feel that advisers need access to specialist finance products more than ever before, even more-so after the introduction of consumer duty, all mortgage advisers have a duty of care to be considering second charge mortgages when looking at customers overall circumstances to ensure the right advice is being given. 

“We are fully focussed on helping to bring second charge mortgages to the forefront of the market along with our fellow second charge advisers. I think it’s time for our industry to shine and truly get the recognition it deserves.”