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Mortgage Talk reveals the secret to its success

by: Andy Frankish
  • 28/03/2011
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Mortgage Talk reveals the secret to its success
Following its recent acquisition of adviser firm Robert Sterling, Mortgage Talk managing director Andy Frankish discusses the strategy behind its success and its plans for the future.

Mortgage Talk is a company that has shown perseverance, dedication to customer service, and real team spirit over the past few years, and as a result is making exceptional growth and progress in an ailing market.

New acquisitions and partnerships over the past six months, including Gloucester Property Centre, Calthorpe Financial Associates and Robert Stirling, mean that Mortgage Talk is already on its way to exceeding its annual target for headcount for 2011.

In the 12 months between January 2010 and January 2011 Mortgage Talk has increased its sales force from 60 advisors to 111. Since then, we have grown further to 150, including partners, with the annual target of 160 firmly in our sights.

The reason Mortgage Talk has been successful in negotiating its recent acquisitions and partnerships is that it helps businesses to reduce their fixed cost base, inject some fresh ideas and, ultimately, drive the generation of additional profit.

Mortgage Talk believes that communication, collaboration and cooperation are essential for a mutually beneficial business relationship. As we aim to acquire partner businesses without tearing up the blueprints, forming a partnership with them is in no way a step backwards, it is a definitive step forwards.

Mortgage Talk has recently added a multi-tie proposition to the group providing a choice proposition in addition to our Legal & General tied route.

While we are happy with our existing proposition and continue to work closely with Legal & General to develop both the relationship and the product range, we believed that to reach our growth targets we needed another option to complement our existing model.

Mortgage Bureau is the result of a merger between a West Midlands-based brokerage with 14 advisors and an existing Mortgage Talk franchise.

This collaboration forms a specialist new homes firm based in Wolverhampton, servicing some of the UK’s leading new homes builders. In addition, we are developing a wealth management proposition to further develop our offering and maximise the opportunities within this market.

Mortgage Talks believes that to achieve the growth targets we have set ourselves over the next two years, we need to ensure our proposition continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of our existing partner firms and be compelling to our target audience.

We are confident we now have a solution to meet the needs of most mortgage intermediaries, estate agent principles and new homes developers.

As a business that is well capitalised, controls its costs and influences its distribution, Mortgage Talk is well placed to excel in 2011. The opportunity for us is unprecedented, as smaller firms continue to suffer from “recession fatigue” or simply seek economies of scale.

One of our most recent strategic partnerships was Gloucester Property Centre (GPC), which added 30 advisors to Mortgage Talk’s sales force at the end of 2010.

The alliance with GPC came about when the GPC team realised that they needed some fresh ideas and innovation to grow their business. The partnership has enabled GPC to reduce its cost base, add four advisors and new income streams to its business in four months.

The recent acquisition of Leicester-based brokerage Calthorpe Financial Associates resulted in the firm taking on a slightly different shape after its acquisition. All ten advisors transferred directly to Mortgage Talk providing the former owner of the business with an exit strategy whilst ensuring continuity of employment for both himself and his team.

The most recent success sees Robert Sterling begin to collaborate with Mortgage Talk. The former owners of Robert Sterling Limited, Les Beech and Mike Maddin, wanted to focus on their property businesses which provided the perfect opportunity for Mortgage Talk to scoop up the Financial Services business.

In a joint venture with Colin Bell and Nino Athanasiou (both formerly of Robert Sterling Ltd), Mortgage Talk is now taking its first foray into the London market through Robert Sterling Financial Services.

Many businesses have encountered difficulties in the last few years, but we are very fortunate to have come through this period stronger than ever.

We are investing in growing our business, helping firms like Robert Sterling, which have been phenomenally successful in the past, to get back in shape, shed some cost and plan for growth again themselves.

One of the ways we are doing this is by maximising the opportunity in the client bank, which we have been doing very successfully now for two years and have great plans to grow this evolving side of our business, both for ourselves and our partners.

Generating additional profit for our partners is number one on our agenda and we have proved that the time has come to make this happen.

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