How many brokers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I cover 421 brokers from 140 firms.
How do you successfully organise and deal with business on a daily basis?
I book my appointments well in advance and start each day 06:30 sharp to ensure I am completely up-to-date with my emails before heading out. I give myself time in between meetings to field new business enquiries and respond to incoming to ensure that my brokers get a speedy response.
What issues come up time and time again?
It’s so important to only send documentation that we’ve asked for, as anything else we receive has to be assessed and could have an impact on the outcome of the underwriting process.
What do you wish brokers understood about your job?
I think brokers understand my role fairly well – I’m here to field new business, discuss policy and criteria and am on hand to resolve any issues should they arise.
What do you think is the most important attribute in a good BDM?
Availability. I make it a point to answer my phone whenever I am able to and if I have to make call backs, I ensure I do so on the same day – even if it is just to manage expectations. It’s so important to building successful, long-term relationships – along with ensuring that you do what you say you’ll do.
When you’re unavailable to contact via telephone, what’s the second-best way for brokers to get in touch?
Emails are the second-best way for brokers to get in touch. I tend to leave it down to broker preference in terms of how to contact me but I always say to leave me a voicemail or drop me an email and I will get back to them the same day.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
For me, it’s less about what I would change and more about what I would build on. The recently published Mission, describing the framework the FCA uses to make decisions, what they prioritise and why, is clearly worth developing over time.
For me improving the shared understanding between regulator, the regulated and consumers is essential and good communication is key to that. I also think the FCA’s proactive work to improve competition in the mortgage market through its market study is very welcome.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
It’s a role where you can really take control of your own performance and the perfect blend of working with people and numbers. It’s fast paced and not a career you can get bored with – so perfect for me.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
Being available and getting things done. I pride myself on great service and always look to go the extra mile for my brokers.
And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?
As above really – going the extra mile. Being helpful and delivering on promises goes a long way.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
I do get asked if I can arrange free access to Virgin Atlantic’s Airport Lounges on a regular basis. I can’t do that but I can arrange free access to the brilliant Virgin Money Lounges which are great spaces to hold meetings, get some work done or just relax with a free tea or coffee.
And finally, what did you want to be growing up?
I wanted to play for the mighty Spurs. However, the closest I got to a career in football was obtaining my FA coaching badges and running a team of under-7s.