How many brokers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I deal with 24 at the moment. Relationships are key – I want to ensure that I am always contactable and there to help my brokers every step of the way.
Our team has grown significantly over the last year, so that we can work with even more brokers, but continue to offer a personal touch.
How do you successfully organise and deal with business on a daily basis?
Planning is absolutely vital, particularly for cases that have specific completion dates. It’s all about bringing people together, making sure we get the job done on time.
I also ensure that when new business is sent to me, it’s dealt with on the same day. Speed is so important in the bridging market.
What issues come up time and time again?
We don’t dictate to borrowers what legal firm to use – they are free to pick whoever they like.
But the strength of the transaction really depends on the ability of the lawyers. Ideally, they should work with their broker to ensure that they establish the firm’s ability to perform in the bridging arena, looking at things like past experience and capacity.
We can’t control their lawyers.
What do you wish brokers understood about your job?
I’ve dealt with brokers for many years now, and to be fair they generally have a really good understanding of what they can expect from BDMs.
What do you think is the most important attribute in a good BDM?
It’s crucial to understand the broker’s role, and how hard they work to bring business to us.
Brokers need to know that you will take the time to understand each individual case, and look to mitigate against anything that doesn’t quite fall within the normal criteria.
And of course, communication throughout is essential.
When you’re unavailable to contact via telephone, what’s the second-best way for brokers to get in touch?
It’s usually pretty straightforward to get hold of me whether by telephone or via email.
If I’m out of reach, the team here are always ready to step in and help move the case forward.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
The regulator has done a lot to improve its communication with lenders, and that’s been great.
But from speaking to brokers, that level of communication is not yet there with the intermediary market. This was certainly true with the Mortgage Credit Directive lead up, where it was felt there was more quality support for lenders than for brokers.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I love working with people and helping them to achieve something, so business development is perfect really. It’s very satisfying to help take a case through from inception to completion.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
Keeping up constant communication is paramount really. That goes beyond the handling of specific cases too.
It all comes down to knowing those brokers, knowing what sort of business they are interested in, and helping where I can.
And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?
Good working relationships are essential. We are part of a bigger team, so it’s in all of our interests to pull in the same direction.
A lot of that comes down to establishing a good work environment. Obviously working hard is important, but you want everyone to take satisfaction from what you do too.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
We were once asked if we would lend against a prison on the Isle of Wight.
And finally, what did you want to be growing up?
I was always a keen chess player, and I was pretty good too. Sadly, making it to grand master level was a bit beyond my ability.