Know Your BDM: Jack Gerasimov, Foundation

Know Your BDM: Jack Gerasimov, Foundation

 

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

I have recently been promoted to join our field sales team and am currently looking after 1,138 brokers in the south region.

 

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

The methods of building trusted relationships have not changed that much apart from the obvious inability to meet face-to-face. As before, for me it’s all about being there for the brokers – being transparent and accountable is the key.

 

What personal skill is most valuable in doing your job?

Time management – I always keep a good time balance to make sure I am contacting as many brokers as I can in a day, while keeping up with the incoming phone calls, Teams meetings and e-mail enquiries. And last but not least, to make sure I’m finished in time for dinner with my growing family.

 

What personal talent would you most like to improve on?

I’m pretty famous for growing increasingly impressive moustaches for Movember, and my dad-dancing could use some work, but I believe you can continue to improve on any level of talent or skill, and I treat every day as an opportunity to do so.

 

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

That’s a tough one. Working from home since March I do miss field work, even if it does mean being stuck in the traffic. I’m looking forward to the time when we’re able to do both.

 

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

Where one door closes, another opens.

 

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

I have quite a few. I enjoy dealing with large portfolio cases, they come with a variety of different properties and variety of different challenges.

 

What has been your lockdown coping strategy?

Exercise: run, walk, cycle…move as much as possible.

 

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

I wouldn’t, at least not without consultation from a range of other parties. As far as I am concerned, things are working well so why change it?

 

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

I was always good at it and enjoyed communicating with people, while my main drive is helping to solve issues and challenges. So, it was a no-brainer.

 

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

CEO of Foundation Home Loans, to truly understand what it is like to run a large, successful and rapidly growing company.

 

What did you want to be growing up?

An astronaut, just like every other little boy in Russia back then.

 

What’s your favourite face mask design to wear?

Well, the one with Foundation Home Loans logo of course. Always ready to represent.

 

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

Once or twice I was asked if it’s true that bears walk on the streets of Russia.

 

 

Redwood Bank appoints BDM from Together

Redwood Bank appoints BDM from Together

 

Mann (pictured) has more than 23 years’ experience in the industry and was most recently corporate relationship director at Together, where she been since April 2019.

She has previously worked for Santander and was a manager of client relations at the Royal Bank of Scotland during her 18 years working for high street banks.

Gary Wilkinson, CEO and co-founder of Redwood Bank, said: “Sonia’s track record with previous banks is impressive. She has proven she’s more than capable of delivering fantastic customer service.

“In order to meet increased demand, we are keen to recruit new BDMs who have experience in building, and then managing strong relationships with, a portfolio of commercial clients. When we met Sonia, she fitted the bill perfectly.

“Sonia’s appointment also further demonstrates our commitment to the Women in Finance Charter, which encourages financial services to provide a balanced workforce across gender.

“We’re very passionate about accelerating gender equality and we feel we’re certainly moving in the right direction when it comes to further diversifying the make-up of our staff workforce,” he added.

 

Know Your BDM: Emma Evenett, Leeds Building Society

Know Your BDM: Emma Evenett, Leeds Building Society

 

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

I’m based on the south coast and look after around 1,000 brokers in the Salisbury, West Sussex, Hampshire, Dorset and Isle of Wight areas.

 

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

As a team we’ve focused on being creative and finding the best solutions that work well for brokers. I’ve found phone calls really help to maintain those relationships and I’ve also been making use of Zoom for meetings. It’s about being flexible and adapting to individual needs because what works for one person, doesn’t work for everyone.

 

What personal skill is most valuable in doing your job?

I think I am quite empathetic. I really like to listen and understand somebody’s problem and how I can help a broker’s client. For me, it’s really about helping people.

 

What personal skill would you most like to improve on?

I only started this role in lockdown, so I’m really looking forward to being able to get out and about to meet more people when it’s safe for us all to do so.

 

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

Zoom calls, because it’s comfier and warmer.

 

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

Do the jobs you don’t want to do first. Simple advice, but I find it really works.

 

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

A three-storey property next to a stream. It was seen as a flood risk but I managed to find a solution which allowed the broker to help his client.

 

What has been your lockdown coping strategy?

Going outside for walks. I’ve found getting outdoors and setting aside time for a break really beneficial.

 

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

I would cut back on jargon to help ensure vulnerable customers get the best service and support on offer.

 

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

Being able to offer brokers the support they need to help their clients have the home they want. Working together to find solutions and being able to show how different products can help different people’s needs is what motivates me.

 

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

I’d be an estate agent. I just really love property and helping people find homes.

 

What did you want to be growing up?

I wanted to be a singer, but that was perhaps a bit ambitious.

 

What’s your favourite face mask design to wear?

Can I have two? I’ve got a black one that goes with everything and a white and grey polka dot one.

 

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

I don’t think there’s a strange question, to be honest. I’m happy to answer any questions.

 

Know Your BDM: Victoria Shepherd, Metro Bank

Know Your BDM: Victoria Shepherd, Metro Bank

 

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

I cover parts of Yorkshire and the North West, supporting around 500 advisers in numerous firms.

 

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

Although we have had to adapt to interacting with brokers remotely, our focus has always remained on being available by phone and email to help with enquiries and deliver support to our intermediary partners, along with bite-size webinars and top tips to ensure applications are turned around quickly.

 

What personal skill is most valuable in doing your job?

My communication skills give me the ability to talk to anyone about anything – and being nosey helps. I tend to always have a smile on my face and try to build a trusting and warm relationship with brokers.

 

What personal talent would you most like to improve on?

My chocolate intake… I must remember that chocolate is not a food group.

 

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

Definitely back-to-back Zoom calls; it’s the new way of life for many BDMs and the virtual world allows us to interact with more brokers than we would have done while on the road – the more the merrier.

 

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

My grandad always used to say that the most important thing to remember in life is ‘if you fall off the horse, get up and get back on’. Growing up with horses, this was definitely meant in more ways than one, but I have always used this to remain perseverant in every aspect of my career.

 

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

A zoo. I was lucky enough to be a special guest keeper for a day (to assess the business) and I was given the chance to feed a whole array of amazing animals from lions through to penguins and rhinos – safe to say that was the best day in work ever. I will admit that I did consider all ways possible to fit a baby rhino into the back of my car.

 

What has been your lockdown coping strategy?

Nothing beats fresh air up a fell in the Lake District or a peak in the Yorkshire Dales. I am fortunate to have these wonderful places on my doorstep and have spent as much time as possible in the great outdoors since March, whether out walking the dog, on a tractor or finding a good view to watch the world go by.

 

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

I would aim to deliver a structured training programme for advisers who are new to the industry, which would enable clear recognition and reward for hard work and determination.

 

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

My school report always said ‘Victoria talks too much’ so what better choice of career than as a BDM, where I get to speak to lovely brokers for a living. Every day is a school day for me and I believe I learn from every person I speak to. I love the fact that no two days are the same as a BDM and it’s always satisfying when I am able to find a solution for brokers who have a tricky case to place.

 

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

I would be a new build site manager; I have been fortunate to see first-hand the joy on a customer’s face when collecting keys to their brand new home. To be able to play such a crucial part in every step of the build, ensuring quality workmanship, organisation of labour and safety standards would be fantastic – the fun and banter the teams have on site would also be a bonus.

 

What did you want to be growing up?

Most young girls dream of being a princess… I wanted to be an archaeologist like Indiana Jones.

 

What’s your favourite face mask design to wear?

My favourite is grey with white stars but I am very tempted to get something silly to make people smile.

 

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

A broker once asked me if I liked eggs – he then proceeded to throw an egg at his wife while on the phone to me. Turns out his wife had thrown one at him earlier and he was waiting for the prime opportunity to strike back when she least expected it. Safe to say the three of us were in hysterics.

 

 

 

Mint Bridging poaches pair from Together in team expansion

Mint Bridging poaches pair from Together in team expansion

 

Karen Shepherd (pictured) has been made the lender’s operations manager. She has over 30 years’ experience in the sector, with previous roles including operations manager at Precise Mortgages and strategy manager at the Co-op Bank. 

Danielle Comer has taken up the role of pre-completions manager, with a responsibility to liaise with brokers, solicitors and borrowers.  

Her last was role completions manager at Together where she worked for five years.  

Mint Bridging has also added to its business development manager team with the recruitment of Anthony Gorman. He also previously worked at Together as a commercial sales executive for over three years.  

Lastly, Laurence Perkins has joined the lender’s underwriting division. 

Andrew Lazare, founder and managing director of Mint Bridging, said: “Like most businesses, the past year has been a rollercoaster. From Brexit looming over our heads to the height of the current global pandemic, we’ve had to adapt to new ways of working and reflect on how we can continue to grow as a business.  

“We’ve managed to take this time to consolidate our learning and plan for the future, setting out a clear roadmap of how we take Mint to the next level. 

He added: “We’re delighted to be growing our team as we look to make the business the best it can be. What’s more, we have some very exciting things ahead of us in the new year so watch this space.” 

 

Know your BDM – Michael Brown, Skipton Building Society

Know your BDM – Michael Brown, Skipton Building Society

 

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

I cover the London region, which includes the illustrious EC post code and I support roughly 1,300 brokers across my patch. 

 

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

As a business development manager (BDM) team, I think we have been creative during this pandemic and focused on providing clear communication throughout. My colleagues and I have run several, successful webinarsI have also focused on the topics which are the most common themes brokers are looking for answers about.  

  

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

I consider myself a people person and I believe understanding and building relationships is the most valuable element of this job. 

  

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

I am keen on self-development, which is why I always take the time to review my weeks performance and behaviours and then look to improve on that the following week. 

  

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

To be fair, I haven’t yet got Zoom fatigue, perhaps it’s because there is variety in the types of meetings that I attend. So, I say backtoback Zoom calls. 

  

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

Treat others like how you would like to be treated. Pretty simple really, but how many people adhere to that? 

  

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

I got one where the security property was with another lender. It was down as a house, but the applicant had knocked it down and turned it to a couple of flats. Suffice to say, it was not one that we accepted. 

  

What has been your lockdown coping strategy? 

Breaking up the day is key, which helps keep the focus. I try and go to the gym at lunch times, which then keeps me motivated and focused for the rest of the day.  

  

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

would try and find more ways to support the most vulnerable customers and put this as my number one priority.  

  

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

It suits my skill set, I enjoy helping and supporting brokers grow their business, through relationships. I have also always had that solutiondriven mindset. I am passionate about getting more people into homeownership. 

  

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

I would say property developer, although it can be very stressful. Equally it can be very rewarding and being able to create more homes for people to live in can only be a good thing.  

  

What did you want to be growing up? 

When I was young, I wanted to be a pilot as I was fortunate enough to travel from a young age. So got the bug early and really enjoyed the whole experience, from the airport to the onboarding and flight experience.  

  

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

Plain old black, although I have seen some in traditional African tribal colours and they look cool. 

  

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

Personally, I don’t believe in strange questions, I think we must first seek to understand, then to be understood. 

Advisers will shape the evolving role of BDMs

Advisers will shape the evolving role of BDMs

 

Lenders could move towards having dedicated online BDMs as the lockdown and social distancing restrictions become longer term, Mortgage Solutions Television in association with Skipton Building Society heard.

Speaking in the discussion, Legal and General Mortgage Club director Kevin Roberts noted BDMs will need to raise their game and show how they stand out from the crowd as interactions have increasingly moved online.

“I think the challenge for our BDM community is how do you raise your game, how do you make yourself unique?” he said.

“How are you going to reach everybody in the advice firm and how are you going to stand out?

“So I don’t envy the task of our lender BDMs, I think it’s going to be really tough, but speaking to advisers, they absolutely need it at the moment.”

Discussing how the role will change, Roberts emphasised that brokers “absolutely valued” BDMs, but that there would be an evolution of how they operated, and lenders were already talking about dedicated “Teams BDMs”.

“It needs to be tailored. Some firms may not want lenders coming into their office, they will have their secure bubbles,” he said.

“So BDMs need to take a very tailored approach to each firm and think of what they want. They need to take a creative approach and tailor messages.”

 

 

 

‘Determined by the market’

This was echoed by Skipton Building Society director of business development Paul Fenn who agreed: “It will absolutely be determined by the market.

“Brokers and introducers out there will determine to what degree we move back to face-to-face or we move back to a virtual environment.

“I think it’ll be a mixture, some virtual, some field. Whether you have a complete virtual team, well let’s see where the next few months goes.”

And Skipton Building Society BDM Rachel Hunnisett added: “The BDM position has always been about building relationships and that hasn’t changed. What has changed is the way we do it.

“How much of that do we carry forward – that will be driven by brokers, driven by demand and what the market needs from us.”

 

Fleet and Nucleus make senior appointments

Fleet and Nucleus make senior appointments

 

Fleet Mortgages has appointed Louisa Ritchie (pictured) as key account manager. She will be responsible for managing the lender’s partnerships with existing accounts and identifying opportunities with new network and distribution partners. 

Ritchie has more than 25 years’ experience in the financial services industry working for lenders, advisers and distributors.  

Her most recent lender roles include her position as national account manager at lenders Together and TSB. She worked for Together for one year and was at TSB for three years. 

Fleet has also added two telephone business development managers (TBDMs) to its team this month. 

John Gorard will be TBDM for the South East after a two year stint for Castle Trust as its business development executive. Sarah Bowen has been made TBDM for the South West, having previously held both BDM and advisory roles. 

Steve Cox, distribution director of Fleet Mortgages, said: “Our aim at Fleet is always to ensure we have quality individuals working directly with advisory firms and strategic partners, so we are very pleased to announce Louisa’s appointment as she arrives with vast mortgage market experience and a great reputation. 

“This is a highly important part of the market and we want to ensure that as many advisers as possible have access to our buy-to-let products and services. 

 

 

Nucleus Commercial Finance 

Nucleus Commercial Finance has hired Andy Bird as business development director of property finance. 

He has 30 years’ industry experience and will be tasked with developing a new property proposition for the lender 

Bird joins from Santander where he was relationship director for real estate for six years 

In this role with Santander, he was responsible for a portfolio of 140 real estate clients across the Midlands and South West.

Prior to this, he worked at Barclays as head of the corporate team for Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and HSBC as senior relationship manager.  

Bird said: “I’m looking forward to being able to use my extensive industry experience to shape a new proposition and further develop Nucleus’ property product suite.  

At a time when many businesses are looking for alternative sources of funding, I’m excited to work with Nucleus to help it expand its offering to its network of brokers, introducers and ultimately their clients.” 

Chirag Shah, CEO of Nucleus Commercial Finance, added: “With the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) soon coming to an end, many businesses will be looking for secured longer-term lending, and Andy’s appointment is testament to our commitment to this part of the market.  

Andy brings many years of industry experience, having worked at several of the biggest players and he will be central in supporting the growth of our property finance product.” 

 

Accord and Coventry Building Society expand broker support teams

Accord and Coventry Building Society expand broker support teams

 

Coventry for Intermediaries has appointed Paul Purewal (pictured) as corporate account manager.

He will be responsible for managing key intermediary relationships at a national level with the society’s corporate accounts and their strategic business partners.

Purewal has worked for the lender since 2001 and undertaken a variety of intermediary-facing roles since 2013.

He became regional sales manager in 2018, leading a team of field-based business development managers (BDMs) in the North of the UK, and takes over the role from Jonathan Stinton who was promoted to head of intermediary relationships earlier this year.

Purewal said: “I’m looking forward to working closely with our corporate accounts and their intermediary partners.

“Service is an important factor for advisers and their clients and we strive to deliver the best service possible.”

Stinton added: “Paul’s strategic vision and experience working with intermediaries up and down the country makes him an ideal fit for this role.

“He has a thorough knowledge of the market and understands what the priorities are for mortgage businesses.”

 

Accord

Meanwhile Accord has appointed two new business development advisers to its sales team to help provide more support to brokers.

The team of 12 advisers handles all inbound queries from brokers and is also operating the webchat service for the Yorkshire Building Society’s adviser arm.

The team will now be joined by Lauren Tavernier, who has five years’ experience as a customer services representative for Yorkshire Building Society direct mortgages, and Alexandra Bodrozic, who has worked within the mortgage litigation team since November 2018.

Nick Piper, strategic business performance and operations manager, said: “Since our webchat capability was increased back in March, we’ve seen how just how invaluable the support from the BDAs is to brokers trying to get the latest information to help them with new applications.”

He added: “We’re delighted to have Lauren and Alexandra join the team. They are already having a significant impact, ensuring we can continue to respond to brokers as quickly and effectively as possible.”

‘We have fewer issues where BDMs are still in contact’ – Star Letter 25/09/2020

‘We have fewer issues where BDMs are still in contact’ – Star Letter 25/09/2020

 

The first this week was under the article: Correctly packaged cases will complete quicker – iVent2020.

Terry Arch said: “It’s okay asking to ensure the case is packaged correctly, but a lot of the problem is if there is a query and the broker responds to it, some lenders take 11 to 18 working days to get back.  

“Then, if there is another query, a further period of the same length can result in an excess of 22 to 36 days before it goes to valuation. The issue at present is Covid-19 is causing lenders to be extra cautious.” 

 

BDMs necessary in reducing underwriting hold-up

The second comment was in response to the article: Mortgage brokers disputing more underwriter decisions than before pandemic – analysis.

Arron Bardoe said: “I suspect these issues will continue until the business development managers (BDMs) are allowed to engage with brokers again, as we are experiencing fewer issues where the BDMs have been able to maintain contact. 

For some lenders, the BDMs are helping with the backlogs of admin and most seem to be dealing with herculean levels of enquiries. 

He added: “However, one might argue that a BDM’s role is to educate brokers, so it is only the right business is submitted and that it is packaged correctly.