Skipton BS promotes Hunnisett to national account lead

Skipton BS promotes Hunnisett to national account lead

 

The role is part of the mutual’s growth plans to become a top ten lender and Hunnisett will report to Skipton’s head of business development Paul Fenn. In her role, she will also oversee the lender’s new build proposition.

She will be based in Ashford, Kent.

Hunnissett has worked at Skipton since 2017 as its BDM for London and the South East. During her tenure she has helped launch Skipton’s national webinar series which has had over 6,740 registrations in both its spring and summer series.

She also won Skipton’s BDM and colleague of the year and is also a member of the lender’s diversity and inclusion sounding board.

Hunnissett has worked in the mortgage industry since 2013, starting out as a mortgage broker.

Hunnissett said: “I am passionate about the mortgage intermediary market and dedicated to the value that we bring to real people’s lives through our work and I am committed to promote inclusion and making financial services accessible and representative of the communities we serve.”

“I love that in this industry we openly embrace change, there are so many exciting things on the horizon in the mortgage sector from product innovation to technology disruptors to modern methods of construction.

“Wherever you look there is something new to see. It’s a great time be involved in the UK mortgage market, we are all so very lucky,” she added.

Know Your BDM: Chloe Bowden Davies, Pepper Money

Know Your BDM: Chloe Bowden Davies, Pepper Money

 

What locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?  

I cover the North West region, which includes all brokers from Carlisle down to Wolverhampton. 

  

How have you changed the way you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers in the pandemic?  

I pride myself on always returning calls within a timely fashion and making sure I provide the correct answer to enquiries. This hasn’t changed during the pandemic.  

I frequently do virtual visits with my brokers, especially key brokers and new registrations, to get them up to speed with the Pepper proposition and any changes that we make.  

  

What personal talent/skill is most valuable in doing your job?  

I like to think that I’m very approachable and friendly, and this helps me to build excellent rapport with brokers. 

  

What personal talent/skill would you most like to improve on?  

The ability to push back. I sometimes find I take on things that I don’t necessarily need to get involved in, so I can deliver excellent service to my brokers.  

However, other departments are just as capable of doing this, so I need to learn to let go a little more. 

  

Where would you rather be stuck, in bumper-to-bumper traffic or back-to-back Zoom calls? 

I think a bit of both.  I must admit I can’t wait to get back out meeting all my brokers and building that face-to-face interaction again.   

Zoom will still be needed though and has been a great way to meet brokers in areas of the country we may not get to visit as often as we would like. 

  

What’s the best bit of career-related advice you’ve ever been given?  

Always strive to deliver the best service you can and always push yourself to be better. Never think you know it all because the likelihood is you don’t. 

  

What is the most quirky/unique property deal you’ve been involved in?  

The ones I really enjoy getting involved with are the ones who have had a life event and had lots of issues on their credit file who think they can’t get a mortgage. When I say ‘yes’ they are over the moon and the broker is happy they can help their client.  

It makes it all worthwhile especially if it’s complicated and they think they are stuck. 

  

What has been your lockdown coping strategy?  

Going to our caravan in North Wales on the weekend. During the drive down on a Friday I can feel the stress levels fall away and then I get to relax ready for the next week. 

  

If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?   

I’m not sure I’d change much in the way of regulation, but I’d like to see more done to educate customers about the mortgage options available to them and the benefits of professional advice. 

  

What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?  

I really enjoy helping people and solving problems. I also enjoy building relationships with lots of different people. 

  

If you could do any other job in the property sector, what would it be and why?  

I would give valuations ago. I think it would be interesting seeing lots of different properties in different areas. 

  

What did you want to be growing up?  

I wanted to be a criminal solicitor and have a law degree, but once I finished university decided that it wasn’t something I wanted to pursue further. 

  

What’s your favourite face mask design/pattern to wear?  

I have lots of different ones each to match a different outfit. 

  

And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked? 

Would you lend on a house made of hay bales… Obviously, that was a no. 

 

Know Your BDM: Shami Sharma, Recognise Bank

Know Your BDM: Shami Sharma, Recognise Bank

 

What locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?   

I currently cover all of London and the South East, and at the moment this means I look after approximately 20 firms of advisers. This is likely to expand significantly in the months ahead.   

  

How have you changed the way you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers in the pandemic?  

Like most people at the start of the pandemic, and particularly lockdown one, I had to adapt to the new working environment where I wouldn’t be seeing advisers face-to-face. It meant using Teams and Zoom, but also using social media platforms to check in with advisers and follow their activities.  

  

What personal talent/skill is most valuable in doing your job?  

It sounds such an obvious point to make, but this is really all about relationship building especially when you are a relatively new bank on the block.  

It’s about ensuring those advisers are fully aware of what you can offer them both professionally in terms of support, but also in terms of the product range and the types of cases where we can help them most.  

In the case of Recognise, it’s about commercial, bridging, professional practice loans, loans for medical professionals, and more recently professional buy-to-let. 

  

What personal talent/skill would you most like to improve on?  

I’m afraid it’s my IT skills – I am certainly not a Luddite and I appreciate how important tech is to the entire process. But occasionally I wish I was an IT whizz. 

  

Where would you rather be stuck, in bumper-to-bumper traffic or back-to-back Zoom calls?  

Definitely the latter. I like getting out to meet advisers and firms, but certainly don’t miss the traffic jams.  

I’ve noticed that as we move forward the traffic gets busier – I think we’ll all make a much more reasoned consideration about the face-to-face meetings we take, whether they are worth spending hours stuck in traffic, or if it’s not simply easier for everyone to carry them out over Zoom or Teams.  

  

What’s the best bit of career-related advice you’ve ever been given?  

Just simply, be yourself. You tend to be a certain type of personality if you’re doing this type of job, and I think if you’re suited to it, then you should be yourself when doing it.  

  

What is the most quirky/unique property deal you’ve been involved in?  

One where the deal had to be delayed because archaeologists were engaged following a discovery of bones when an environmental report was being undertaken. They definitely don’t come round very often.   

  

What has been your lockdown coping strategy?   

Trying to keep as positive as I could possibly be. That’s doubly important when working with brokers and advisory firms because they want to know you’ve the energy and spirit to work their case through in the most positive way possible.  

  

If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?  

Increase the minimum size for an HMO. It sounds such a simple thing, but it would make a considerable difference in our sector and I think could help fill some of the housing gaps we currently have as well.  

  

What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?   

For me it’s always been about the relationships, making new connections, trying to understand what advisers want and how we at Recognise can be the lender that delivers it best for them. 

  

If you could do any other job in the property sector, what would it be and why?  

I would probably be a property developer, to sit on the other side of the fence as it were and to grow a portfolio. 

  

What did you want to be growing up?  

Bizarrely, it was to be a bank manager. I’ve got the working for a bank part right now that I’m older, although part of me wonders whether that job will become obsolete in the not so distant future.  

  

What’s your favourite face mask design/pattern to wear?   

Either a paisley one or the mod target. Both are classy in my opinion. 

  

And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?  

Maybe it was the one two questions before, ‘What did you want to be growing up?’ although I think my answer would probably be viewed as just as strange. 

Glenhawk hires BDM to fuel growth in Midlands, North of England and Scotland

Glenhawk hires BDM to fuel growth in Midlands, North of England and Scotland

 

Gavin will be based in Manchester and report to sales director Jamie Pritchard, who joined the business in February. He will oversee growing the company’s proposition in the above regions.

He joins from HS Credit, where he was BDM for just under two years, and before that he was BDM for Oblix Capital for just over a year.

Prior to that he was a relationship manager for Amicus Finance for around a year and previously spent more than a decade at the Bank of Ireland where he deleveraged its £5bn loan book down to £500m in order to move it from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

Glenhawk’s chief executive officer Guy Harrington (pictured) said: “Having expanded our product suite in response to unprecedented levels of borrower demand, Paul’s appointment is a central part of our growth strategy to increase our footprint and coverage across the UK.

“His experience will enable us to roll out our new regulated and unregulated products in, where we see a clear opportunity to capture a larger share of the short-term lending market with Glenhawk’s tailored solutions.”

The lender has been targeting growth outside of London, increasing its loans by 82 per cent since the start of the year. This was attributed to people wanting more space as they work from home, leading more people to pursue regional markets.

It has also made a raft of appointments this year, which include Damani Johnson as its chief operating officer and Nick Hilton as its managing director.

Christie Cook has been being hired from Bank of Ireland as its product head, with the responsibility to launch new financial solutions.

Castle Trust Bank hires regional account manager; Recognise Bank recruits trio of BDMs

Castle Trust Bank hires regional account manager; Recognise Bank recruits trio of BDMs

 

Lawrence joins from Shawbrook Bank where he was commercial relationship manager in its property division for two years. He has more than 13 years’ experience in financial services, including relationship roles at Barclays Corporate Banking and NatWest.  

He will have the responsibility of working with brokers in the central London area. 

Rob Oliver, sales director at Castle Trust Bank, said: “Matthew is a very experienced relationship manager, with a strong pedigree in the specialist market.  

“Good communication in this market is key and Matthew will be on hand to work in partnership with brokers in central London on identifying and delivering the most effective finance solutions for their landlord clients.” 

Lawrence added: “I’m looking forward to working closely with brokers in London on structuring loans, delivering terms and raising awareness of propositions like bridge to let, and I’m excited to be joining Castle Trust Bank at this stage on its upwards journey.” 

 

Recognise enhances North West presence with BDM hires  

Recognise Bank has recruited three business development managers (BDMs) for the North West region, bolstering its presence in the area.  

Chris Stevens joins Recognise from Acre Lane Capital and is a specialist in bridging finance, who has over two decades of experience with lenders including RBS and Revverbank.  

He will focus on the Manchester area, along with fellow new recruit Michael Doxford. 

Doxford worked at Aldermore Bank for eight years, most recently as commercial relationship manager.  

Jonathan Kirk is the third hire, joining from Assetz Capital where he worked as relationship director for four years. He also previously worked at Aldermore Bank and Lloyds Bank. 

Kirk is a commercial mortgage specialist and will focus on Yorkshire, supporting SMEs looking to acquire their own premises and property investors. 

Recognise Bank said it believed the North West of England would be at the forefront of the UK’s economic recovery after the pandemic, with smaller businesses leading the trend. 

Recognise Bank’s regional director for the North West and Yorkshire James Meigh said: “The North West is a thriving business community, full of ambitious businesses that just need the right advice and support to help them grow. 

“It’s a region Chris, Michael and Jonathan know well – it’s their home – so I am delighted to have them onboard, doing what they do best, which is working with great brokers and SMEs.” 

Mortgage brokers’ business models to emerge permanently changed from Covid-19 restrictions

Mortgage brokers’ business models to emerge permanently changed from Covid-19 restrictions

 

Some firms will embrace remote working more permanently while others plan to reframe how they interact with customers as they look to restrictions lifting on 19th July, and based on the experience of doing business since March 2020.

The activity of lender business development managers (BDMs) and whether they will return to a schedule of regular, in-person office visits like before the virus is among several big potential changes being looked at.

Mark Harris, chief executive, SPF Private Clients, is among those with a broking philosophy rooted in a more wholesale return to the office. 

“Things are beginning to feel a little bit more normal, and we’ve even had BDMs back in the office – cautiously. It is a relationship business and it feels natural to have that in-person interaction with partners and colleagues,” he said.

Team camaraderie and the ability to coach new starters were seen as key human touch elements that have been difficult to replicate on video calling platforms like Zoom or Teams.

Start Financial Services, a firm of 25 including 15 brokers covering the Kent region, which is part of Acorn Group, having 39 estate agency offices, has returned to a newly-built office which was in construction when the pandemic started.

Grant Nichols, financial services director at Start FS, said: “I was keen to get back in the office for the sales environment and for coaching and development.” After a degree of initial resistance – based on staff having become accustomed to working for home – “it has really helped to maintain morale,” he said.

However, face-to-face meetings with clients had now “totally disappeared,” with consultations done about 60 per cent on videocall and 40 per cent on the ‘phone.

There was no plan to return advisers to working in the agency branches, which had previously been the case. “I don’t see that going back, because there doesn’t seem to be demand, it’s more likely to be a booth in a branch for a videocall,” Nichols said.

 

Remote adviser roles

Other firms have taken the decision to embrace working from home (WfH) and hybrid arrangements on a permanent basis.

L&C Mortgages has begun recruiting for remote advisers who will not be based out of either its Bath or Newcastle offices. 

“It’s a new departure for us. We know now that it can work and it means we are not tied to regional recruitment, and applicants don’t have to relocate,” said David Hollingworth, associate director, communications, at L&C Mortgages.

There will be a gradual return for existing employees. “We will consult with colleagues and then see how it fits into business. Generally, people want a hybrid of WfH and office,” he said.

The firm’s new approach to BDMs and account managers would be based on best use of advisers’ time. This suggested a blended approach, with some online and some in-person meetings. 

“How to integrate lender interactions, particularly for newer advisers, at the moment is harder to work out. If there are fewer advisers in the office, will it become more hybrid?

“The critical bit is ensuring availability for advisers who want to talk through a case,” Hollingworth said. 

 

Customer-responsive

Similarly, digital broker Trussle has taken lessons learned during the pandemic and is applying them to reorganising how it manages interactions with customers. 

“We want to build out our customer journey with adaptations, so that at the end of the fact find, they can choose how and when they want input from a broker,” said Miles Robinson, head of mortgages at Trussle.

The firm has identified that there is a critical, decision-making moment in the customer’s process when they want input from an adviser. Rather than putting all enquiries into a pot and then allocating them to advisers, it is developing a ‘speak now’ option, which may involve an instant call-back, live chat, or the option to book an appointment later. 

“That gives the broker the chance to get the recommendation together, and then to go through the 30 to 40 minutes conversation,” Robinson said. 

“Last summer was a crazy surge of demand. No one was ready for that. It has escalated our learning and caused us to take a step back and reflect. If we know how customers want to be contacted, it’s easier to manage changes in demand levels,” he added.

Trussle will also take advantage of remote working to recruit from “a more diverse, national talent pool,” including having plans to hire in Scotland.

However, there remains a lot of uncertainty ahead. “As the year unfolds, will the rules still be lifted by August, or October? No one really knows,” said Shaun Almond, managing director, HL Partnership (HLP).

The largest independently-owned network in the UK, with 411 appointed representatives (ARs) and 854 advisors, HLP hosted its first post-pandemic, in-person networking event this week.

“Lots of firms have started to get more people back, and some do want to return. Brokers are mostly a gregarious bunch who talk for a living, and it’s not the same wearing a mask,” Almond said. 

“But there’s no right or wrong. As things open up, we will get back to some face-to-face, but perhaps not as much as before,” he added.

Skipton BS pledges to support brokers through technology and BDM expansion

Skipton BS pledges to support brokers through technology and BDM expansion

 

In a video panel debate in association with Mortgage Solutions and Skipton Building Society, regional manager, intermediary relationships at the mutual, John Scrivens, said it would not only expand its BDM function in the field and telephone but also through its webinar programmes and video systems.  

“That will continue through second half of the year,” he added. 

Jen Lloyd, mortgage product lead at the mutual, said technology was also an area of importance. 

She said: “Tech is another area that we’re really keen to continue to pursue as a real key objective strategically. So, our strategy when it comes to supporting brokers is to combine our fantastic people in the BDM team and the support functions at head office.  

“But also leverage technology to make their experience as seamless as possible.” 

Lloyd mentioned how Skipton had already begun to do that through the introduction of same-day offers, automated ID verification and the increased use of desktop valuations. 

She added: “In the longer term, we’re thinking about how we make the whole journey end-to-end from the DIP stage, right through to full mortgage application and tracking your case, how do we make that as seamless as possible for brokers.” 

Watch the debate [9:35] hosted by Victoria Hartley, editor of Mortgage Solutions, alongside John Scrivens, regional manager, intermediary relationships at Skipton for Intermediaries, Skipton for Intermediaries mortgage product lead Jen Lloyd and David Hollingworth, associate director, communications at London & Country Mortgages.

Hope Capital loan book more than doubles in Q2

Hope Capital loan book more than doubles in Q2

 

The lender’s loan book increased by 169 per cent since March, with its loan size also more than doubling to £5m.

Hope Capital’s application in principle volumes also rose during the quarter, increasing nearly threefold.

It has also reported an uptick in refurbishment, commercial and land deals, with all sectors reporting a fourfold increase.

Hope Capital said in the last three months mixed-use property cases have grown and its collection of 70 per cent LTV products rose by 50 per cent.

Hope Capital’s managing director Gary Bailey, said: “We have all worked extremely hard over the last few months to ensure we are delivering the best solutions for brokers and their clients, meeting market demand, whilst continuing to provide an outstanding customer service. All these have enabled us to achieve the records like we have.”

The lender has also expanded its team in the past few months, recently hiring Roz Cawood from Masthaven Bank as its director of sales in June.

Earlier this week the lender hired ex-SFC executive David Burford as a business development manager (BDM) focusing on the South West of England and South Wales. It has also appointed Haliwell Jones Warrington’s Debbie Range as a BDM covering North and Midlands and Scotland.

Know Your BDM: Stephen Wrigley, Precise Mortgages and InterBay Commercial

Know Your BDM: Stephen Wrigley, Precise Mortgages and InterBay Commercial

 

What locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?  

I cover the M4 Corridor then up to Leicester in the Midlands. I look after a number of key partners along with anyone else who wishes to talk about bridging or commercial finance products across Precise Mortgages and InterBay Commercial.  

 

How have you changed the way you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers in the pandemic?  

Invariably like many others, I’ve had to switch to video conferencing which at least allows for some face-to-face interaction and my phone has been glued to the side of my head for the last year. I’ve looked to stay in touch with my major accounts on a weekly basis but my broker base knows that I’m only ever a call away. 

 

What personal talent/skill is most valuable in doing your job?  

From all the different factors that makes someone a good BDM, I believe the most important is the ability to positively communicate with people at all levels. To do this effectively it means being up to speed in terms of criteria for your own lender as well as the rest of the market so an ability to retain detailed information is also important.  

 

What personal talent/skill would you most like to improve on?  

To be able to hit a golf ball. I’ve lost count of the number of golf days I’ve been invited to over the years but have had to politely decline.  But anyone in need of a buggy driver, then I’m your man. 

 

Where would you rather be stuck, in bumper-to-bumper traffic or back-to-back Zoom calls?  

Ideally, I’d rather be on the move as that’s an aspect of the job that I’ve really missed. I still think face-to-face meetings will play a huge part in our business moving forward as you lose some of the personal interaction on a video call.  

Clearly however the world has changed so I can see there being a mixture of both in the future and of course we’ll work to broker’s preferences. 

 

What’s the best bit of career-related advice you’ve ever been given?  

If you don’t feel slightly uncomfortable in your existing role then you probably aren’t being challenged enough. There’s always room for learning and improving no matter what your age or level but it’s important to keep a goal in sight. 

  

What is the most quirky/unique property deal you’ve been involved in?  

It was actually during my time as a broker when I was dealing with a first-time buyer mortgage for a property in York.  It transpired that the property, a former accountancy practice, had Roman skeletons in the basement so it was designated a national monument. 

 

What has been your lockdown coping strategy?  

I’m not sure red wine is the correct answer? I’ve set up a home gym in the garage, worked on the garden and started a new hobby “trying” to make house music – lots of fun but not as easy as it sounds. 

 

If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?  

Whilst there are a few small changes I might make, I know that those regulations are there to protect customers and have their best interest at heart which I’m fully supportive of. 

 

What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?  

I really enjoy the variety the role brings. I’m fortunate to cover a wide range of specialist lending products spanning across Precise Mortgages and InterBay Commercial so no two days are ever the same.   

 

If you could do any other job in the property sector, what would it be and why?  

I’d love to be a developer as it’s so inspiring to see some of the fantastic end results and I’ve always fancied giving it a shot.  

 

What did you want to be growing up?  

David Attenborough. Loved anything to do with wildlife although I’m not sure my Bristolian undertones would cut it.  

 

What’s your favourite face mask design/pattern to wear?  

Here’s a question I never imagined I would be asked. I guess my Precise Mortgages one is the right answer for today but tomorrow it will probably be InterBay Commercial! 

 

And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?  

Apart from the one above, I was once asked if a client should include all of his livestock on an assets and liabilities form as he was a farmer.  I’m not quite sure how the underwriters would view that one. 

 

MAOE: Hodge to ‘mobilise underwriters’ to answer case queries directly

MAOE: Hodge to ‘mobilise underwriters’ to answer case queries directly

 

Speaking at The Mortgage Administrator Online Event today, James Enos, national account manager – south at Hodge Bank (pictured), said it would adopt some of the communication practices it used during the pandemic going forward to ensure successful engagement with clients and broker partners. 

Enos said the bank had expanded its telephone-based business development management (BDM) team in preparation for field-based staff getting back to in-person meetings and becoming less accessible. 

He also said the bank was “mobilising the underwriting team to be able to pick up the phone,” and speak to brokers and administrators directly, to “make sure we that don’t sit on a question or will not get an answer back.” 

 

The client’s perspective 

Otherwise, Enos advised brokers to build relationships with underwriters and BDMs to learn what is needed for a successful application. 

He also said it was important to rely on both hard and soft facts which could answer potential underwriter questions. 

Enos said: “Understanding the client’s circumstances and the information that’s provided is so important to the lender, the underwriter and anyone who’s going to be engaging with that documentation in the application.  

“I would always suggest, to not rely on the hard facts themselves. I would always encourage you to put any information in there that you feel is relevant to help that application go smoothly.”  

He added: “If the underwriter can’t decipher the information then we’ll have additional questions, we’ll only come back and ask for further information. Providing from the outset means they are answered and it’s easier to move onto next stage.  

“Answer the questions before they get asked and tell the story from a client’s perspective.” 

 

The event’s sessions will be available on demand from 24 June on the Mortgage Solutions YouTube channel. Please subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBNpzeC0ldmJU9_ueoTtL8g