The candidates shortlisted for business leader of the year (broker, less than 20 advisers), include:
– Hugh Wade-Jones, director, Enness Private Clients
– James Lindon Travers, mortgage practice principal, Lindon Travers Associates
– Paul Welch, managing director, Largemortgageloans.com
Each of the candidates explains how they’ve been able to make an impact in their sector over the past 12 months.
(Charles Haresnape): How do you think specialist lenders, such as Aldermore, can help your business going forward?
Hugh Wade-Jones: In a market place where the majority of the lenders are taking cover – or at best firmly occupying the middle ground – it is crucial that lenders such as Aldermore exist to take a common sense approach to underwriting.
High net-worth clients, even those that are employed, are rarely paid in a standard way what with bonuses, share options and a host of other incentives and considerations, so the ability for lenders to assess each case individually and look beyond net profit or a basic salary figure is essential.
With continual adjustments to the taxation process and the ever-growing pressures of public opinion, lenders that can adapt to the changing landscape and still provide a valuable service for their wealthier clients will be able to differentiate themselves from the pack.
As well as utilising key domestic players such as Aldermore, we are also finding that many of the most competitive lenders among the private and offshore banks we use are new entrants from overseas.
New blood coming into the lending market is crucial and never more so than at present when many of the traditional big banks are shying away from large loans or anything out of the ordinary.
(Haresnape): What are your expectations of growth for your business over the next 12 months?
James Lindon Travers: I expect our lending volumes to increase by 20% in 2012 with buy-to-let being the strongest performing product group. By continuing to embrace lenders quality requirements, it puts all brokers including Lindon-Travers Associates in a stronger position. We fully understand what the lenders want from us.
I have quality staff who know what is expected of them, who can furnish the lenders with what they need to underwrite a case quickly and effectively.
The net result of a robust process such as this is delighted clients who readily recommend us to their colleagues and friends as a mortgage business that fulfills their needs.
The mortgage broker population has declined dramatically since 2007 and we are finding that new clients are actively seeking a new broker.
All my brokers are fervent networkers, which harnesses business from a myriad of sources not just one. We have ‘stuck to our knitting’ throughout the financial crisis – we are now seeing the benefits.
Despite all the doom and gloom I remain upbeat.
(Haresnape): In this difficult environment how are you differentiating your business?
Paul Welch: We’ve been differentiating our business since 2006. We were the first mortgage broker to focus on the large mortgage market niche and this approach has paid off in the difficult environment of the last four years.
Our business strength is in focusing on the residential and commercial borrowing requirements of high net worth individuals, particularly those looking to borrow more than £500,000.
Search engine optimisation and frequent mentions in the national media have ensured that Largemortgageloans.com has built and maintained a high level of brand awareness amongst its target market; managing finance enquiries of £2bn in 2011 has given the company preferential access to lending institutions and services globally.
We also started the Partnership Programme to diversify our business channels and thus further differentiate ourselves. From its inception in 2008, the programme has given networks, mortgage clubs, brokers, IFAs, estate agents, accountants and solicitors the opportunity to grow their business, improve their client service and increase their revenue by referring their high net worth clients to Largemortgageloans.com.
With most of the major financial adviser networks now members of the Partnership Programme, private banks and specialist lenders have unparalleled access via Largemortgageloans.com to wealthy clients who require large mortgage loans to finance their purchase of UK property.
The British Mortgage Awards, hosted by Mortgage Solutions, will take place on 3rd July at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel in London.