Cupis (pictured), formerly managing director of mortgages at Sesame, joined Openwork in February this year at the same time as the network split out its main business streams into wealth, mortgages and protection.
Speaking to Mortgage Solutions he said the network was currently reviewing the agreement with its sole second charge master broker, Enterprise, which will be completed by the end of September. The fees currently charged to customers for Enterprise’s services, which Cupis would not disclose, were referred to as pre-MCD.
On track for November, following feedback from advisers, Openwork has developed a system which will allow advisers to produce a combined income protection, critical illness and term assurance life cover quote. This will allow advisers to show the costs and benefits of taking protection policies against the cost of the mortgage they are advising on.
Running alongside this, will be an improved process of capturing the reason why consumers do or do not want to take protection policies. This information can then be used as the basis for training advisers in cases where they have been unsuccessful in selling protection.
“We’ve already road-tested these processes so we know advisers are keen to use them,” said Cupis.
Openwork has started an internal review on how to solve the problem of giving advice to customers who have reached retirement age and considering the merits of unlocking the wealth trapped in their homes.
Cupis said the network recognised the growing importance of the later life mortgage market but having conversations about equity release or lending into retirement should be had in tandem with a pensions review.
“We want consumers at retirement age to received holistic advice about their pension and the equity in their homes which would require advisers with investment and mortgage permissions,” said Cupis. “Internally, we’re trying to look at how to bring them together.”
Cupis said that recruiting more advisers was high on his agenda. He said a ‘small but expanding’ team had been put in place to focus on attracting more members to the network.
Technology improvements remain one of Openwork’s longer-term policies, with plans to have an entirely digital CRM system ready to show advisers next year.