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Bob Hunt: Paradigm is “exceptionally ambitious” with potential for acquisitions – exclusive

  • 15/08/2019
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Mortgage adviser club Paradigm Mortgage Services has significant growth ambitions which include potentially purchasing other firms.


CEO Bob Hunt told Mortgage Solutions the firm was “exceptionally ambitious” and looking to build on its recent growth, with some major moves already in the works.

Paradigm had 1,392 member firms at end of March and has added 172 new firms in the last year.

“The next phase is to continue our organic growth and focus on strategic partnerships with bigger adviser firms,” Hunt said.

“We’re picking-up firms from other directly authorised (DA) propositions but also those who are transitioning from being appointed representatives (AR).

“We add a lot of AR firms who want to leave their networks and have a number of very large strategic partners coming.”


Potential purchases

Hunt would not name those firms moving yet, but said alongside this focus on strategic partnerships, there was also the potential to add firms through purchase.

“There’s a number of businesses we are interested in buying and if the opportunity arrives we would take an interest in that but it’s the strategic partnerships that will form that will be the big drivers of growth,” Hunt continued.

He also believes the role of networks will evolve, noting they are good places to learn, but that their future “will be hand-holding smaller firms and teaching people”.

“I’d like to see more of an attempt to attract people to our industry by the networks who can then grow them as advisers and as people,” he added.


Smaller firms work together

With a largely older population in the mortgage advice industry, the theme of exit and retirement strategies is common and important.

Whereas it has previously been difficult to ascertain the value in a broker firm, Hunt believes this is now much easier to do and should be a focus for advisers.

“We have seen some selling of brokerages already and in the mortgage market we have got read across from IFA wrap technology.

“Firms need to have skills and it may mean smaller one-person firms see strength together.

“I do see quite a change in that good advisers are often solid business people, but they need to stick to their business strengths to take advantage of newer resources such as Open Banking and application programming interfaces (APIs).”


Technology pay off will be fantastic

Hunt’s emphasis on new technology is clear as he urges brokers to consider how they use it to create recognition in their brand and then build that.

“Brokers have got to invest in the future but the pay off will be fantastic.

“Now is a great time to be a mortgage broker and it’s a market where there aren’t enough advisers to support the customers that want help,” he concluded.


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