How many brokers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
My role involves working closely with around 50 master broker firms across the country, as well as covering our direct-to-broker proposition.
How do you successfully organise and deal with business on a daily basis?
The nature of the role is fast paced, and at Prestige our philosophy recognises the importance of face-to-face contact. The majority of my time is spent with accounts in their offices, and experience has proved that strict diary management and allowing enough time in between meetings is key.
My role involves a lot of traveling so I’ll often find myself planning my diary in the evening whilst watching I’m a Celebrity with my wife.
When you’re unavailable to contact via telephone, what’s the second-best way for brokers to get in touch?
I’m lucky in that Prestige has a really supportive underwriting team, all of whom are eager to help with new business enquiries. Generally, the only time that I’m not available on the phone is when I’m with a partner firm. In those instances, I’ll always respond to emails as soon as I can or our automated phone system will put brokers through to a mandated decision maker.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
I think it’s fair to say that the FCA have done a great job in the second charge space. The Mortgage Credit Directive had huge implications for our industry and collectively the market rose to the challenge. As more and more mortgage brokers continue to recognise where and when Seconds should fit into their offering, the more the second charge world will continue to grow and develop.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
My father-in-law was a successful BDM for a protection provider, and so from my early twenties I was immersed in his stories about his role which eventually had a huge influence in my choice of career – although I had the distinct impression that there was a lot more time on the golf course than there actually is.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
I was a broker in the past and so that has really helped me to see situations from both sides. The best BDMs I’ve come across genuinely care. They could put themselves in my shoes and are able to add value and share best practices.
Relationships are paramount to the work that BDMs do and being a man (or woman) of your word is key. Never lie, always be honest if you cannot provide something and manage expectations. If I can do all of that for someone else then I know I’m doing a good job.
And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?
The fundamentals of establishing a strong relationship are always the same, whether it’s internally or with brokers; care, compassion and honesty.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
It’s hard to pick just one, but if I could pick two, the first would be “Daddy, can I have a pet Dolphin?” followed closely behind by a request on whether it is possible to do a second charge on a canal boat.
And finally, what did you want to be growing up?
My dad was a mechanical engineer so I spent a lot of time around engines and Land Rovers in his garage when I was growing up. His passion must have rubbed off on me as I now find it hard to go a weekend without picking up some sort of power tool.