What locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I manage a team of seven internal BDMs (IBDM) who between them cover all of England & Wales. I also manage the sales support team who make sure we can register new brokers who want to place business with us, and who support the wider sales team in their day-to-day role.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
My team deals with inbound calls from brokers who want to discuss their new cases, and determine if the case fits our criteria. The IBDMs also make outbound calls to brokers within their region to keep them up to date on our proposition and products as we launch new products.
What personal skill is most valuable in doing your job?
For me it’s all about having strong communication skills. Being able to communicate with my team, brokers and our colleagues is crucial.
What personal skill would you most like to improve on?
As someone who is currently learning to drive at a rather late age, it’s definitely my driving. I’ve improved a lot over the last few weeks so watch out for me on the roads soon.
What’s the best bit of career-related advice you’ve ever been given?
Take care of your people and they will take care of the work. This has served me well in my career to date.
What is the most memorable property deal you’ve been involved in?
One of my team recently had a broker submit a large portfolio of properties with total loans valued at £5m. Although I wasn’t directly involved, seeing the hard work that he put in, and the sense of pride and satisfaction he got from it, it was extremely rewarding as a manager.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
In the world of residential, I would remove the requirement to cap Loan to Income ratios (LTIs). The replacement of income multiples with a more detailed review of actual income and expenditure was a positive development, however the regulator still requires the lender to cap LTIs on residential loans to 15 per cent. If the new approach of affordability confirms the loans including rate increases are affordable, then is this cap necessary?
If I stretch the question a bit and could also be Chancellor of the Exchequer for a day, I would change both the stamp duty on second and subsequent properties, and the taxation of buy to lets.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I’ve worked in financial services for a number of years and I suppose I fell into sales as my career progressed. I’ve always enjoyed working in a fast-paced and targeted environment, and the buzz of a busy and successful team is what gets me out of bed in the morning.
If you could do any other job in the property sector, what would it be and why?
I think I would like to spend more time outdoors in the summer so maybe a gardener on a large estate – even though I have definitely not got green fingers.
What did you want to be growing up?
My mother tells me when I was really young I used to say I wanted to be a doctor – my wooziness at the sight of blood quickly put an end to that. My dad was a fireman for many years so that was another early childhood dream.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I would love to be able to fly – this would save me a fortune on flights when I go home to Ireland to visit family and friends.
And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
I continually get asked what part of Scotland I’m from. Coming from Northern Ireland and having a strong Belfast accent, this always baffles me here in England.