The firm says the veteran chartered surveyor will provide “strategic advice to the board on construction and development matters”, and will also provide training and advice to the company’s new business, credit and servicing departments.
Frias-Robles’s new role will continue alongside his current post as managing director of chartered surveyors Whitefox, which he joined in 2006 when the business was founded.
He is also a corporate fire and building engineer and a registered expert witness, able to provide juries and judges with specialist advice.
Prior to joining Whitefox, he spent two years as a director at property development firm Hydon.
Catalyst, which began trading in 2017, provides finance for bridging, refurbishment, development exit, ground-up development, land and buy-to-let projects.
Catalyst chief executive Chris Fairfax says: “Darren has a fantastic reputation in the industry and is a go-to expert when it comes to construction.
“This appointment further strengthens our team at a time when we are fully funded and ready to increase our levels of lending. Darren’s experience and pragmatism will ensure that we are being both prudent and solution driven.”
Frias-Robles adds: “As Whitefox’s managing director, I’ve worked alongside Catalyst for just over four years. I have witnessed first-hand their growth and unique approach to lending.
“This appointment feels like a natural fit for me and comes at a particularly exciting phase, as Catalyst further expands its development finance offering. My aim is to add another level of expertise by working closely with Chris and his senior management.
“For the wider teams across the business, I’ll deliver training and advice on construction risks and how to unlock more solutions for property professionals.”