John Yerou is the owner and founder of Self Employed Mortgages, a trading style & brand of the award winning Mortgage Quest Ltd.
They’re one of the most instantly-recognisable brand names in mortgage and protection insurance products for contractors and freelancers across the UK.
John George Yerou was born on June 23, 1964 in London to Cypriot parents Androulla and George Yerou. He grew up in North West London and attended William Gladstone High School and then Willesden College of Technology.
After completing college, John got a sponsorship by Standard Telephones and Cables Ltd (later STC plc and then Nortel) to study at Salford University for BSc (Hons) Degree in Electrical Electronic Engineering.
He also worked during the holidays in various departments of the company to get a broad experience of the telecommunications industry.
John Yerou remains “proud” of his Greek Cypriot heritage and regularly visits family and relatives who live in Cyprus.
John and wife Samantha (Hayward) married on 14 May 1994; they have two sons. John and his wife live in Chalfont St. Giles, South Bucks.
After completing his degree in 1988 John joined STC to commence a career in Sales & Marketing.
John joined Data & Control Equipment Ltd in 1991 to expand their international markets. When he left the company in September 1995 he was the Sales & Marketing Manager.
He was then headhunted by Motorola to run their subsidiary Telular Corporation in Singapore. Telular Corporation was a Nasdaq listed company focused on wireless technology. John was the Vice President of Telular for 4 years responsible for the Asia/Pacific region.
John then took a one year contract with Amper S.A. to restructure their operations in South East Asia. Amper was a Spanish multinational technology company that traded in the Madrid Stock Exchange.
In 2000 John returned to the UK with his family to live in Chalfont St. Giles, South Bucks. Technology advancement was quickly shifting from Telecoms to Information Technology so John saw this as an opportunity to move in to the IT sector.
He then went on to run the sales operation for Argus Systems (UK) for two years followed by International Presence Group.
After holding senior management positions in five companies, he decided it was time to set-up his own company Mortgage Quest Ltd in 2004.
Mortgage Quest Ltd
The company began as a general mortgage brokerage firm, but soon specialised in providing mortgage and financial advice to contractors, freelancers and independent self-employed professionals. The following brands were established to promote these specialist mortgage services:
- Self-Employed Mortgages;
- Freelancer Financials;
- Contractor Mortgages®;
- C&F Mortgages.
Following the credit crunch in 2008 and subsequent banning of self-cert mortgages by the FCA, many independent self-employed professionals struggled to get a mortgage.
John saw yet another opportunity to assist workers who operate as Sole Traders or through a Limited company. The broker market and high street branch network lacked sufficient expertise, so John set-up SelfEmployedMortgages.com to help bridge that gap.
Whilst running Mortgage Quest Ltd., John gained first-hand experience of how extremely difficult it was to secure mortgages for contractors and freelancers. Freelancer Financials was set up in 2008 after identifying a gap in the mortgage industry for independent financial advice tailored to the growing contractor and freelancer market.
John subsequently set out to change Lenders’ biased attitudes towards independent professionals. He negotiating the underwriting criteria by which lenders assess contractors’ relevant earnings for lending purposes. The resultant “contract-based underwriting” helped change many lenders’ perceptions.
The resultant mortgage loans are now commonly referred to as contractor mortgages, enabling contractors to borrow based on a multiple of their contract rate alone. The lengths John went to for the contracting community has seen Freelancer Financials become one of the largest Contractor Mortgage Specialists in the UK today.
Their client-first reputation has made them the natural choice for contractors seeking assurance from a recognised authority who can help arrange their mortgage and necessary protection requirements.
Today, Freelancer Financials remains family owned and has grown to a 30-person company. The team has helped over 10,000 contractors secure a mortgage in the UK.
After the successful launch of Freelancer Financials and its instrumental role in negotiating bespoke underwriting for contractors, John launched Contractor Mortgages® in 2009. This website was launched specifically to help contractors secure a mortgage based on their contract rate instead of the accounts and/or salary & dividends many lenders insist upon.
As a company, Mortgage Quest has always strived to do our best to educate lenders of the real risk of lending to the contractor & freelancer community. It was an uphill battle but their hard work and endurance paid off.
Persistence and expertise managed to influenced many lenders to re-think their lending criteria towards contractors, freelancers and zero-hour contract workers. This facilitated the launch of C&F Mortgages in 2010 to help an even wider community of independent professionals.
In 2016, John relaunched Contractor Guides, a website offering contractors a plethora of guides and articles to help navigate their business from the outset. The site covers all areas of contracting for UK contractors.
For five years in succession, John and his team have won top-performing broker in the Mortgage Intelligence Awards.