How many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
We have an active database of over 350 introducers, made up of a combination of brokers, financial intermediaries and industry professionals.
How do you successfully organise and deal with business on a daily basis?
We have a mantra within BFS which is always respond the same day to an enquiry. This may sound perfectly reasonable but we are told time and again that this sets us apart in our market place.
What issues come up time and time again?
The main one is not receiving the full story on day one. In order for us to provide accurate and specific responses we need to know the salient points of the deal and applicant immediately.
What do you wish brokers understood about your job?
How hard it is to continually deliver the clarity of responses almost immediately back to them, it is really difficult to ensure a broker feels they are the only one you are dealing with but very important as that’s how our relationships are formed.
What do you think is the most important attribute of a good BDM?
Personal service, the ability to be there when you are needed and also the ability to have difficult conversations without compromising the relationship, no BDM can say yes every time.
When you’re unavailable to be contacted by telephone, what’s the second-best way for brokers to get in touch?
E-mail as I will always respond same day, failing that if the kettle’s on then I can often be at a broker’s office in the blink of an eye.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
I’d make much of the legislation easier to understand for a layman. While I fully understand the drive to ensure consumer protection, the meaning is often lost in complex wording which makes selling this to a client difficult.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I always possessed a natural flair for sales when I first entered banking 30 years ago. The ability to provide products to help people and meet their needs was far more attractive to me than the mechanics of banking.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
Be consistent, honest and diligent. Stick to these and you won’t go far wrong, brokers want certainty in every stage of engagement, from initial enquiry to completion and by delivering this you will always get that difficult second deal.
And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?
I have a sales team that follow the same work ethic as myself and adopt the same principles, meaning there is no ‘managing’ really. Our managing director Steve Barber is very keen that every individual feels they are contributing while being treated as a human being that has a life outside of work.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
My six-year-old son recently asked whether I would win a fight with a bear and a shark at the same time. I’m not entirely sure how that would manifest itself, but it made me laugh.
And finally, what did you want to be growing up?
Manchester United was the dream, more realistic was to join the police force until I saw the riots and miners strikes in the 1980’s, after which my father (a bank manager) suggested banking might be a safer option.