ESBS bolsters team with Shane Dye and Scott Cufflin
Dye (pictured) previously worked at Coventry Building Society for around eight years and most recently managed a group of telephone BDMs and BDM support specialists.
He has also worked at Lloyds TSB for around 14 years in several roles, including a branch-based financial advisor where he advised high net-worth clients.
Cufflin started his property-related career at age 18 and has worked in mortgages and underwriting at the Hinckley and Rugby Building Society for nearly three years.
Paul Tilley, chief executive of ESBS, said: “It is fantastic that we’ve been able to grow to accommodate our customers’ ever-evolving needs, and I’m sure Scott and Shane will be great assets to the team.”
Dye continued that there was a “huge amount” he could help brokers with as ESBS was able to consider modern methods of construction and was committed to first-time, professional, self-employed and later life buyers.
He said: “It’s very exciting to have an opportunity where you can contribute directly to the future proposition of the business, and especially be part of a team which is committed to providing the broker with the best service.
Cufflin added: “I really like the personal aspect of a building society. Being a smaller society, I feel we can really make a difference to our customers.”
Know Your BDM: Shad Tarafdar, Stonebridge
What locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I cover Cumbria, North East of England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. I work with more than 75 appointed representative firms with over 150 advisers between them.
How have you changed the way you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers in the pandemic?
One of, if not the only, positives from lockdown was discovering new tech that can be used effectively in my role. Utilising Teams and Zoom allowed me to continue supporting my firms and advisers.
I have continued to use this in my day-to-day role in order to support any adviser needing any extra training. Brokers no longer need to wait for a face-to-face meeting as this can now be done remotely.
What personal talent/skill is most valuable in doing your job?
You definitely have to be a people person. Being able to build rapport with brokers and communicate effectively with different types of personalities is essential to succeeding in this role. It really is just as much about relationship management as it is about business development.
What personal talent/skill would you most like to improve on?
I’d love to be able to get through my admin a lot quicker.
Where would you rather be stuck, in bumper-to-bumper traffic or back-to-back Zoom calls?
100 per cent back-to-back Zoom calls. Traffic is high up on my list of things I hate the most. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in traffic with a full bladder.
What’s the best bit of career-related advice you’ve ever been given?
Strive for a work/life balance. If the last couple of years has taught us anything, it’s that this is valuable, especially for mental health. We only live once so you want to be able to enjoy the benefits working hard brings.
It’s – without doubt – the best bit of advice I’ve received, so much so that I’m always reminding my brokers of the importance of being able to switch off, even though it can be difficult when running a business.
What was the greatest lesson you learned during lockdown?
Embrace change and adapt quickly. Going from field-based and out on the road regularly to being at home every day and night proved to be a big challenge.
I had to change the way I worked and although it wasn’t enjoyable at first, I needed to adapt quickly so that the high standard of service that I provide to my brokers didn’t drop. I now have a routine that involves both working from home and being on the road.
What was the first social event you attended once restrictions were eased?
A family wedding, which was so nice as I was able to see a lot of family who I hadn’t seen face-to-face for a long time. It was also a small event which made it more intimate as usually in my culture weddings are attended by hundreds of people.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
Having been a broker for a long time I wanted a new challenge but wanted to remain in the industry. The Stonebridge BDM role was perfect as I’m able to use my knowledge and experience to support and develop brokers and firms, while traveling around the country, meeting new people, and building relationships.
If you could do any other job in the property sector, what would it be and why?
Property development. I have an incredible passion for properties. I would love to take a run-down property and turn it into a beautiful home.
What did you want to be growing up?
My dream job was to be a footballer for Liverpool. When it became apparent that wasn’t going to happen, I found myself drawn to accountancy and finance but wanted something with a lot of human interaction. So, the BDM role is perfect and, in my opinion, is more interesting and fun than being an accountant.
What’s your favourite face mask design/pattern to wear?
Just a plain black one as it’s my favourite colour.
And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
“If you were a sandwich, what sandwich would you be?” For those wanting to know the answer, Subway meatball marinara.
Standard Life Home Finance hires Phil Beswick as BDM
He will report to Sanjay Gadhia, national sales manager at Standard Life Home Finance. Gadhia is focused on advisers and brokers in the south as well as key relationships and strategic direction.
Beswick was a local property expert based in the North West at Strike for around two years, and before that he worked at PHMG, an audio branding specialist based in Manchester, for nearly three years.
Prior to that he was a business development manager for R&J Builders Hardware based in Blackburn for around a year.
Standard Life Home Finance has said it has seen a “significant upswing” since the start of the year, having brought new products to the market and embarked on new industry partnerships.
Beswick said: “I am delighted to join Standard Life Home Finance, it comes at a time when the business has gained some real momentum in the later life lending sector. I am looking forward to building strong relationships with adviser networks and brokers as well as our internal teams.”
Gadhia said: “Phil’s appointment comes as business continues to grow within Standard Life Home Finance. We have been operating for less than 12 months and have been able to achieve a lot in a relatively short space of time.
“With Phil on board, we will be able to continue to provide high quality service to brokers and advisers, I am looking forward to working with Phil as we continue to progress in the second half of the year.”
Skipton promotes Jonathan Evans to national account manager
Evans has been with Skipton for more than seven years, initially joining as business development manager (BDM) for Scotland.
Prior to that he was a BDM for Santander based in Glasgow for around two years, and before that he spent nearly nine years with Lloyds Banking Group in various business and relationship manager roles.
Evans said that he was excited about the new role and was “looking forward to working closely with key stakeholders within networks and mortgage clubs”.
He continued: “I will provide a high level of support for them and their members and aim to deliver mutually beneficial projects for both Skipton and our key accounts.”
Evans added that he would be working closely with key accounts to promote the mutual’s proposition and was looking to “form strong, meaningful relationships”.
“I’ll bring to life Skipton’s mission, strategy and goals with our key accounts. We have invested heavily in technology, service and our people and are well positioned to achieve our goal of becoming a top 10 lender. We can help brokers and customers by making things easier for them by lending with a human touch, powered by brilliant people, tech and data,” he said.
The Nottingham hires Samantha Watts to BDM team
She previously was a mortgage and protection adviser at Mortgage Advice Bureau for just under a year, and prior to that worked as a BDM at Coventry Building Society for around three years.
Before that she spent four years at TSB in various roles, including BDM.
Founded in 1849, The Nottingham is a mutual building society with over 40 branches in nine UK counties. The society offers additional services through expert partners including mortgage advice provided by Mortgage Advice Bureau, estate agency and lettings provided by Belvoir Group as well as funeral planning, financial advice, and home insurance.
Watts’ appointment comes just over a month after the building society appointed ex-Coventry Building Society BDM Richard Goodman to support brokers in the East Midlands region.
The mutual also hired John Eastgate as chief lending officer.
Watts said she was attracted to work for The Nottingham because of “its history of, and desire to, make home ownership achievable for all”.
She added: “What’s also great about the building society is the ability for BDMs and brokers to be able to work closely with underwriters, taking a bespoke look at cases and always trying to get a successful outcome where we can.
“I’m dedicated to utilising my skills and experience to help brokers get the best results for their customers, something which I’m sure will be helped by our wide range of products and positive lending criteria.”
Deborah Reeves, national sales manager at the Nottingham, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Samantha to The Nottingham and are excited about the positive impact with brokers we believe she will make.”
Investec hires trio to mortgage intermediary team
The firm said the appointments were part of its plans to grow the team to meet continued demand for its services and reach growth strategy targets.
Watts will take on the role of business development manager (BDM) and joins from Cynergy Bank, where he was relationship director.
Prior to that he worked at Butterfield Mortgages for around four years, and before that he was at Harrods Bank for around six years.
Emmanuel has been appointed associate BDM and has worked with Investec’s private client lending operations team since 2019 when he graduated university.
Islam will be apprentice BDM, the first one for around 18 months. He previously went to Nottingham Trent University and before joining Investec, worked as a sales specialist at Apple.
Peter Izard, head of intermediary business development at Investec, said: “This is an exciting time to be working for Investec Bank. The mortgage intermediary business development team, in particular, is seeing high demand for our services, and we needed to bolster the team to continue to meet our growth plans.
“We are pleased that Chris and Zulfi are joining the business and to announce our promotion of Kieran within the team. We are committed to focusing on developing our people and helping them to progress their careers which we believe demonstrates the career progression opportunities within the business.”
Stuart Benge appointed as senior BDM at Hodge
Benge, has worked in the financial services industry for over 25 years. His previous roles have included sales roles at N&P Commercial and Assetz Capital.
Hodge said Benge would be able to draw on his background in commercial sales and extensive experience working as a national sales manager and relationship director to help it further its national presence in the investment property sector.
Benge said: “The focus at Hodge is very much on the customer, it’s a part of everything it does. I’m a proactive person and delighted Hodge operates, both internally and externally, in a collaborative manner.
“It’s important for property professionals to have a relationship with a lender who not only understands the market, but also appreciates what’s affecting them on a day-to-day basis while providing them with a mutually beneficial long-term relationship.”
He added: “The focus of my role with Hodge involves me meeting both intermediaries and customers throughout the UK drawing on my experience of working in a variety of trusted roles – to ensure all parties achieve their goals in the most efficient and cost effective way, while never losing focus of building a relationship that will stand the test of time.”
Andy Button, head of investment lending at Hodge added: “We’re really excited to be welcoming Stuart to Hodge. His experience in nurturing new and existing customer relations on a national scale is set to be of huge benefit to our commercial lending operation.
“His arrival represents opportunities for further growth in a multitude of areas, and we’re really delighted to have him on board.”
Managing expectations – and admin – could ease remortgage logjam – poll results
Mortgage Solutions’ poll asked brokers if they felt remortgaging was becoming a more labour intensive process than purchase applications.
The majority, 66.2 per cent, agreed that remortgaging was becoming a longer, more drawn out process.
As Mortgage Solutions has reported, the average time for completion – without complications – stands at 22 weeks, according to TwentyCi. This is a lengthy time that brokers claim makes moving house the third greatest life event stressor, second only to death of a family member or spouse, and divorce.
Research also appears to suggest that many borrowers believe the remortgage process is not fit for purpose with as many as one in five abandoning remortgaging due to delays or other frustrations.
There are many reasons why remortgaging has become more labour intensive, according to brokers. A perfect storm of rising interest rates which are encouraging more borrowers to switch, a lack of property supply which is driving an increase in borrowing for home improvements, and not least of all expectations of the remortgage process itself.
Brokers may need to dispel the taken for granted assumption that a remortgage involves a quicker, less complex process than taking out a purchase mortgage.
Jane King, a mortgage and equity release adviser at Ash-Ridge Private Finance, said advisers needed to be upfront with clients.
She said: “We still have to provide and advise and carry out the same extensive research and administration whether they are doing a straightforward product transfer with their existing lender or switching to a new one.
“Therefore, I would say yes, it does take the same amount of time as a purchase. We still have to justify the reason for the remortgage and take into account future objectives and circumstances.”
The rush to remortgage has also highlighted ongoing admin issues, with brokers believing more can be done to streamline the mortgage application process.
Robert Payne director at Langley House Mortgages said repetition of information was “probably the most unnecessary delay in the process of remortgaging”.
He said: “A large part of this is the information required by the solicitor to be able to switch from one lender to another. On the mortgage application side I can understand that up to date information such as income proof is necessary but if there was a way in which circumstantial evidence could be shared from previous applications that would save a lot of time.”
Making remortgaging easier – centralised platform
Payne believes one solution could be in having the process on a single platform. “This may sound farfetched but it would be great if there was a centralised system for each individual which contained necessary information to be able to underwrite them rather than the client having to produce the information themselves.”
Sabrina Hall, a mortgage and protection adviser at Kind Financial Services, blamed a combination of lenders’ service levels, solicitors’ service levels and valuation delays. She said: “I’ve been contacting all my clients well in advance of their deals ending to try and counter these delays but it’s still frustrating for clients and adds to advisers workloads due to additional chasing.”
Samantha Bickford, mortgage and equity release specialist at Clarity Wealth Management Remortgaging believed the volatility of the property market itself has exacerbated logjams with the remortgage application process.
She said: “The property market is still chaotic so with moving unaffordable, or proving difficult to find the right property with the sheer demand of buyers, home owners look to remortgage to unlock some of the equity in their property to get their existing property to fit their dream home requirements.”
“The demand on lenders and valuations is making remortgaging more labour intensive. There is around a three week wait for valuations currently so ‘quick remortgages’ are currently a thing of the past until the general demand on the market slows.
Her solution is for lenders to embrace remote valuations. “That would help with this delay,” she added
Lewis Shaw, founder and mortgage adviser at Shaw Financial Services, said time spent on surveys and valuations were also placing a burden on the process.
“On top of that, you have the constant and age-old problem of getting the documents required in the correct format from a customer upfront all at once.
“People forget that remortgaging is the same as buying a new home; you’re taking out a brand new mortgage; the only difference is that the legal aspect is much shorter and less involved. For mortgage purposes, you have to treat it as when you took your first mortgage, becuase the requirements and due diligence are precisely the same.”
Nick Mendes, mortgage technical manager at John Charcol has sympathy for lenders.
“They are trying to balance new rates and where to position themselves in the market, as well as managing new and existing cases, keep on top of current economic and global factors, manage expectation and communication between solicitors and valuers.
“This is no easy task at the best of times,” he said.
Mendes believed brokers are not entirely blameless and they can ‘do their bit’ to ease the process.
He said: “How brokers package their cases is vital in ensuring how the case progresses without issues, whether this be understanding the lenders criteria in respects to the application or when submitting ensuring you have all the documents to provide straight away. Several lenders have cited the time wasted in chasing to request the basis information.”
Mendes agreed that desktop valuations could ease the pressure off surveyors and reduce their timescales. “And an automated valuation model (AVM) will also allow a fully packaged case to progress to offer a shorter period of time.”
He also advised brokers to follow up wherever possible. “Some lenders are happy to go through an application on a phone call, or , discuss packaging requirements, and any tips on common errors or issues they are facing.”
Mendes also singled out Halifax business development manager Terry Cade, as “being great in setting time aside on a weekly basis to go through cases, questions on future cases and sometimes having an underwriter to go through application to help speed them along”.
Other shortcuts include trying to speed up the AVM process if the client already banks with the lender. “This is not always an option but if the client has a bank account with the lender and is also taking out a mortgage with them then the lender can auto verify the income on the decision in principle (DIP) and application to then save time in uploading.”
Brokers should also consider how they use support staff. He added: “Most brokers will have client relationship managers to help support the broker and client with the application.
“Time is wasted on their part calling waiting on hold, to get updates on cases or multiple cases, so having a clear line of communication to provide update on several cases at once would be a game changer.”
Lesley Terry joins Saffron for Intermediaries as BDM
Terry (pictured), who has 17 years of experience in the mortgage industry, will work with brokers across the central belt of the UK.
She joins Saffron for Intermediaries’ team following 17 years with New Homes Mortgage Services, where she was head of specialist lending. Her role at Saffron follows the launch of a new initiative, Intermediar-ease this year.
The initiative aims to address brokers concerns and issues around service across the mortgage sector. Part of the strategy includes continuing to grow the expert team to ensure a broker will never have to wait too long to speak to a representative when dealing with the society and can rely on a local BDM to support them.
Saffron Building Society, currently has branches in the East of England and provides a consumer brokerage service, Saffron Mortgage Finders.
Supporting mortgage brokers
Tony Hall, head of mortgage sales at Saffron, said “We welcome yet another highly experienced BDM to our growing team of experts. With our range of specialist products, Lesley was the perfect choice to help to bolster our credentials and add support to the central area of the country, supported by field-based colleagues in the North and South of the country.
“Her experience is also enhanced by her relationships, infectious personality and professionalism. I have no doubt she will be a great addition to the team.”
Hall added: “The Intermediar-ease initiative is all about brokers, and their experience in working with us. With much concern being directed at call waiting times, application times and the desire to see BDMs in person, the introduction of Lesley reduces the area each of the regional BDMs are required to cover, which means we can dedicate more time to the brokers when they need it.”
Terry, said: “I am so excited to be joining the Saffron team as a BDM. After 17 years in my previous role, I felt it was time for a change. Saffron’s specialist product range fits so well with my skillset, and to have a region to focus on is a very exciting prospect too. I can’t wait to get stuck in and meet the wider team.”
Bluestone promotes Downey to head of business development
Niamh Downey has worked with Bluestone Mortgages since 2019 and was previously a business development team manager.
Since joining the specialist lender she helped grow and develop its London based telephony BDM team and also helped establish a second team in Sheffield.
In her new role, she manages both BDM teams, in addition to the the broker support team, heading up all telephony activity.
Downey will be responsible for delivering sales targets, coaching and training the business development team and broker support team. Bluestone said her role will include enhancing the broker experience, as well as identifying and developing new business opportunities.
Secured and unsecured loans
Bluestone Mortgages, is the residential lending arm of Bluestone Group, a European specialist lending and fintech business which has its headquarters in Cambridge and offices in London, Sheffield and Dublin.
The group employs 225 employees and specialises in secured and unsecured loan origination, portfolio servicing and cloud-based technology development.
Downey said: “I’m excited to get stuck into my new role and continue to help Bluestone better serve our intermediaries and their customers. I’m looking forward to leveraging my experience in the BDM team to build and develop relationships with our broker partners which in turn will allow us to further strengthen our proposition and support a growing number of disenfranchised customers.”
Reece Beddall, sales and marketing director at Bluestone Mortgages, said: “Niamh’s promotion is a testament to her hard work and determination. Over the last few years, Niamh has been critical in helping Bluestone provide support to our brokers and expand our proposition and I’m certain her experience will help us to continue to expand our offerings and provide greater financial assistance to a growing number of ‘non-vanilla’ customers.”