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 is a founding partner of Voltaire and has a particular specialism in operational real estate asset classes including hotels, student accommodation and social housing. During her 14 year career in real estate Dorothee has arranged loans for projects with GDVs up to £1bn.
Dorothée also has significant experience with mixed-use developments, prime and super-prime residential, leisure portfolios and bridge loans. She also arranged funding for the acquisition of substantial development sites in London on behalf of private companies and listed funds.
In partnership with James, Dorothee is responsible for the daily running of the Voltaire business and managing key partner relationships with a variety of complimentary industry professionals and introducers.
Dorothee began her career in real estate at CLP Structured Finance, joining in 2005.
Dorothee graduated with honours from ISC business school in Paris.
James is a founding partner of Voltaire with a background in arranging complex real estate transactions. For a number of years James specialised in structured investment facilities across all asset classes.
During the last few years James has increased his focus on facilitating equity injections or growth capital into both development and investment transactions or business models. The majority of his clients are mid-market developers, investors and funds in London and the South East, for whom he leverages his long-standing relationships with senior and whole loan providers as well as sources of equity capital. James began his career in real estate finance with CLP Structured Finance where he placed both investment and development requirements. Immediately prior to the formation of Voltaire James was valued for achieving significant success for clients throughout the downturn.
James received a BA degree in Politics with Economics from Loughborough University and has a Certificate in Commercial Mortgages.Email James
Director – Head of Advisory Services
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, Tony was instrumental in driving the business to become 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 to more general holistic financial support for well-known overseas family offices. Given his extensive knowledge of the property finance sector, he is regularly asked to provide expert witness and attestation services and has been involved in some of the most high profile UK legal cases.
Tony is a qualified banker at ACIB status, an early founding member of the Association of Property Lenders and an active member of the Investment Property Forum.Email Tony
Brian retired from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in April 2011 having spent over 25 years advising HNW and UHNW individuals on taxation matters. Before joining PwC he spent 10 years at HMRC where he worked on the administration of Inheritance tax at the Capital Taxes Office and subsequently at Head Office where his responsibilities included advising Government ministers in relation to capital gains tax policy matters.
Brian regularly features in the Citywealth Top 10 Leading Accountants awards. His particular areas of expertise include:
• General capital tax planning (CGT and IHT)
• Planning for non UK domiciled residents
• Offshore trust planning
• Planning for tax efficient private company sales
• Use of financial instruments and structured products for individuals
Brian has an in depth knowledge of the various ways in which efficient tax structures can be applied to, and benefit, real estate transactions and ownership structures.Email Brian
Colin is a career banker with 30 years’ experience of providing property finance loans, including investment and development facilities.
Colin commenced his career in 1979 with HSBC where he spent 7 years in various clerical positions gaining general banking experience. In 1986 he left to join the specialist property funder, First National, where he spent 11 years providing investment and development loans.
He has subsequently held various senior property finance positions including: Head of Property Finance at Israel Discount Bank, Head of Development Finance at Bradford & Bingley and New Business Director at specialist development finance lender Business Lending Group.
Colin has a wealth of experience in the sector, including structuring mezzanine and equity facilities for residential developments. His clients include developers, investors and family property companies.Email Colin
“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.”