Voltaire is considered to be amongst the leading real estate finance advisory firms in the UK. Dorothee and James were colleagues at CLP Structured Finance before deciding to form Voltaire Financial in 2010. The foundation for the partnership was a set of shared values: maintaining and creating new relationships with people, approaching the industry and each transaction with a long term view and forming working collaborations with other like-minded professionals where beneficial. The acquisition of the interests of W2 Financial Solutions in 2018 broadened our offering into more contentious opportunities and secured the skills and experience of an industry heavyweight in Tony Whetstone. The business continues to take an open minded and creative approach to each new challenge whilst always remaining true to an ethos of integrity and hard work.
Dorothée co-founded Voltaire in 2010 and has a particular specialism in operational real estate assets, including hotels, student accommodation and social housing.
During her 16-year career in real estate Dorothée has arranged funding of more than £1bn.
Dorothée has significant experience with mixed-use developments, prime and super-prime residential, leisure portfolios and bridge loans. She has also arranged funding for the acquisition of substantial development sites in London on behalf of private companies and listed funds.
In partnership with James, Dorothée is responsible for the daily running of the Voltaire business and managing key partner relationships with a variety of complementary industry professionals and introducers.
Dorothée began her career in real estate at CLP Structured Finance, joining in 2005.
Dorothée graduated with honours from ISC Business School in Paris.Email Dorothée
James co-founded Voltaire in 2010, specialises in arranging complex real estate finance transactions and has an active understanding of alternative asset classes, including healthcare, flexible serviced offices and land planning plays.
James has long-standing relationships with mid-market developers, offshore investors, funds and a variety of lender types as well as financial sponsors and other sources of equity capital. Ticket sizes typically range from £10m to £100m and James has arranged over £1bn of funding in the past 10 years.
In partnership with Dorothée, James is focused on the strategy of the business and leads recruitment activities.
James began his career in real estate finance in 2006 with CLP Structured Finance, where he advised on both investment and development funding.
James holds a BA (Hons) from Loughborough University in Politics with Economics and a Certificate in Commercial Mortgages.Email James
Chris is focused on originating new funding opportunities and joined the Voltaire business in November 2021.
Co-founding Maslow Capital in 2009, Chris was responsible for origination and grew the business into one of the leading providers of alternative development finance in the UK, lending in excess of £2bn to developers of build-to-sell residential, build-to-rent residential and PBSA (amongst other assets).
During his 40 year career Chris has held senior positions at RBS, AIB (where he ran the City Corporate Office) and Investec Private Bank.
A graduate of the LSE, Chris started his career in 1978 on the graduate scheme of investment bank Williams & Glyn’s.Email Chris
Barnaby recently joined Voltaire, together with Tom Brown, to generate new business and expand the transactional capabilities of the team.
With more than 20 years of real estate development and finance experience to date, Barnaby started his career as a finance lawyer with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, before moving into real estate development and construction in 2003. Since then, Barnaby has held various senior management positions, both in the UK and abroad. Prior to founding the development business Huntsmead Partners in 2018, which he continues to run with Co-Founder Tom Brown, he was CIO and main board member at F3GROUP.
From 2011 to 2017, Barnaby was the co-owner of prime residential developer Tenhurst, growing the business from start-up to projects under management worth in excess of £400m.
Prior to Tenhurst, Barnaby co-founded Echo Barrier, now a prominent international construction noise attenuation business, and also spent 6 successful years in Dubai, growing various development and construction related businesses.
Barnaby holds an MA in Law from Magdalene College, Cambridge and a postgraduate diploma from the University of Law.Email Barnaby
Also recently joining the Voltaire team, alongside Barnaby, Tom is a chartered accountant, beginning his career in 2008 with Deloitte, where he spent 5 years working predominantly with real estate clients.
Tom continues to serve as CFO at Huntsmead Partners, a business he co-founded with Barnaby in 2018, prior to which he was Investment Manager at F3GROUP, working on a range of development opportunities.
Prior to F3GROUP, Tom was UK Head of Finance for Far East Consortium, where he led the £30m development financing for the Dorsett Hotel, Aldgate.
From 2013 to 2016, Tom worked for Hammerson plc, leading the finance function for the development team. This included £250m of onsite developments. In 2015 Tom was promoted to lead the finance team on the £1.5bn redevelopment of the Whitgift Shopping Centre, Croydon, the joint venture between Westfield and Hammerson.
Tom holds a BSc (Hons) in Accounting and Finance from the University of Birmingham.Email Tom
Tony has day to day responsibility for managing the Advisory services division within Voltaire following its takeover of W2 Financial Solutions Ltd in early 2018.
Tony spent the first 30 years of his career working for leading City organisations including UK clearing and other international banks, merchant and investment houses, eventually becoming Head of Property for the National Australia Bank/Yorkshire/Clydesdale Group of Companies.
Tony left banking in 2007 to develop W2 which achieved notable success throughout its 10 year history. During this time, W2 became a market leading property debt advisory business, providing strategic guidance to a range of prestigious clients, including banks and insurance companies, offshore tax structured unit trust vehicles, quoted and unquoted UK companies and the UK Government. Engagements have included complex debt and equity restructurings, dispute resolution services, lender portfolio workouts and more general holistic financial support for well-known overseas family offices. Given his extensive knowledge of the property finance sector, Tony is regularly asked to provide expert witness and attestation services and has been involved in some of the most high profile UK legal cases in the sector.
Tony is a qualified banker with ACIB status, an early founding member of the Association of Property Lenders and an active member of the Investment Property Forum.Email Tony
“I have known Dorothee for 15 years and Voltaire has always demonstrated initiative and efficiency. Most importantly we came to be able to rely on their structured finance and negotiation skills. We find Voltaire to be professional and resourceful in their approach of finding solutions to ensure that a project is able to move forward. They always maintain full commitment to our projects and show a real understanding of the finance process.”
“I and our company have known Voltaire and previously W2 and its director Tony Whetstone for eight years. In that time, Tony and his team have helped us in a refinancing of Geneva supermarkets, the financing of a refurbishment of an office block in Cheltenham and the sale of property in London. We have always found the firm to be excellent, with a desire to complete the projects on a timely basis at the best possible price. I would recommend them to anyone requiring those types of services.”
“I have personally known both James and Dorothee for nearly 15 years having worked with them on many projects. James has arranged finance for numerous Savills Investment Management development projects with GDVs of up to £75m and his creative and professional approach, attention to detail and full service offering – taking a project from inception through to redemption – is hugely valued by both ourselves and our JV partners. I would not hesitate to recommend Voltaire’s services and look forward to continuing our trusted relationship going forward.”