Broker. February 2019

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February 2019




motivation edition











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06 from the chair 08 INDUSTRY NEWS

With Tony Carter

Don’t jump at shadows, look for opportunities

12 26 ONdecK


Why choice matters

Understanding what seasonal patterns in online business lending mean for brokers


Natasha Hawker 5 Strategies to build and maintain a highly productive team

30 Making the unseen seen

Marketing benefits for FBAA Brokers


Sam Makhoul


2018 National In Conference & Gala and Award of Supr

Tips to Boost Mental and Emotional Resilience

38 martin Grunstein

The great website fraud

42 59 capify

CURITIS STONE On reaching five years in business

Alternative SME finance provider secures $135 million credit facility


Peter Switzer

2019 Economic brief

Engagements at a local level


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cover story

CHelsea Pottenge The science of STRESS

EDITOR & HEAD OF CONTENT Peter White MANAGING EDITOR Krystal Camilleri STAFF WRITER Rachel Licciardello


Wrap UP

ndustry Dinner remacy


CREATIVE DESIGN & PHOTOGRAPHY Jodi Hadcroft Matthew Gianoulis Krystal Camilleri ADVERTISING Krystal Camilleri TELL US WHAT YOU THINK We appreciate hearing from readers. If you have feedback, news or have a story idea you would like us to cover, please contact us using the below details NEWS, ADVERTISING AND ADMINISTRATION e: p: 0402 064 040 w: All information and images are subject to copyright. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior permission in writing to the Finance Brokers Association of Australia Limited. The views and opinions of the authors and advertisers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information at the time of publishing, the publisher accepts no responsibility or liability for errors, omissions or subsequent consequences including loss or damage from reliance on information in this publication.

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From The Chair with Tony Carter C

an you believe it’s already February? There’s no denying 2019 is surging ahead – before you know it, Easter will be upon us. The start of the year is often an ideal time for motivation, for clarifying vision and goals, for putting in place what we need to maintain momentum long-term. Before we are too far into 2019, I pose to you a simple question: Do you have an “Action Plan” and “Goal Set” for your business? If not, it’s not too late, but it is vital you start today. Tomorrow is a day lost and the difference between “just another year as a Broker” and a “record year as a FBAA Broker”. Why is an action plan important? If you were to build a house, would you do it without a full and detailed plan? The obvious answer is no, as it would inevitably be a disaster. Successful businesses have detailed plans, strategic and operational targets and sound values for the manner in which they conduct business. Every FBAA Broker should have a sound and detailed Business Plan. Success comes from knowing what you want to do, how you will do it and what measurements you will use to track your progress. We understand the importance of FBAA Brokers being best in industry as it continues to drive our growth as an association and in turn allows us to bring you more and better education, development and support programs. During 2019, FBAA will be delivering more sessions in PD Summits designed to help you improve as business operators. There is a difference between being a capable broker and a sound business person in the Finance Broking business; and that difference shows through in the results FBAA Brokers achieve, as recognised through numerous industry awards.


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In 2018 FBAA revisited and relaunched its Purpose, Core Values and Vision Statement. I encourage you take time to read it on page 40 and even use it to inspire your own business’ core values. In 2019 we are introducing our Detailed Operational Plan. This will ensure we Do What We Say We Will Do and continue to deliver industry leading programs to our members. The expectation is you will see and experience the difference when interacting with FBAA at all levels. Ultimately, I, and the FBAA Board, want to see growth in membership and are committed to achieving this through delivery of excellence in all we do, resulting in industry leaders and our FBAA members recommending others join the leading industry body Finance Brokers Association Australia, because we care and we deliver. Your success = FBAA growth. During the coming year I will continue to attend as many FBAA events as possible, meeting members and hearing of your success. At all times I am happy to engage with members and chat about how to improve your business. Stop me, introduce yourself and let’s chat. Two heads are always better than one.

Tony Carter Chairman

What is


your finance offering


your client's needs


extra income for yourself

Mortgage brokers key to better consumer outcomes


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Royal commission update

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Royal commission update By Lyall Mercer, Managing Director of Mercer PR, FBAA’s media and public relations consultants.

Mortgage brokers key to better consumer outcomes

The national peak body representing finance and mortgage brokers has warned both the Federal Government and Opposition that they would be betraying borrowers if they change the remuneration structure for brokers. Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) managing director Peter White said if implemented, the recommendations from Commissioner Kenneth Hayne would send Australia back to the dark ages where a few banks held all the power. Mr White pointed to comments from respected finance commentator Peter Switzer today who called the royal commission’s plans for mortgage brokers “crazy”.


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“The broking sector has undergone reviews from ASIC and the Productivity Commission and each time the recommendation has been not to change the structure,” Mr White explained. “Mortgage brokers provide competition and choice, and give borrowers lending options that most people are just not aware of, and these options enable borrowers to get better outcomes.” He also said commentary that criticised broker commissions was misinformed and hypocritical. “Talk about conflicted commissions misses the point, as every business person’s remuneration is conflicted because everyone wants to do business. “The issue is transparency, and brokers already disclose commission under the National Consumer Credit Act, which was established after lobbying from our industry.

“Unlike the banks which have done business for years under a shroud of secrecy, the broking industry has pushed for openness and transparency, better business practices, and tough penalties for any broker that does the wrong thing.” He said talk that the current system incentivises brokers to write higher loans is “just rubbish”. “The average broker-written loan is $30,000 higher than the average bank-written loan for a variety of reasons which range from the income level of the borrower to high percentage of loans written by brokers, and the difference in commission is equivalent to a cup of coffee per month – hardly an incentive! “Brokers service people, and people want to deal with brokers and they are happy with the commission structure. Fiddling with this isn’t going to help borrowers, it’s going to hurt them.”

Industry update New credit card legislation in play

In September, ASIC announced new credit card legislation would take effect January 1 2019. As of this year, new credit card limits (at this stage relating just to new credit card applications) are based on what customers can afford to pay off over three years. These changes have the potential to significantly impact Australia’s retail economy, as credit card users won’t be able to have, maintain or obtain credit limits that they were able to in 2018. The credit card reforms are expected to extend to other lending from July 2019, whereas new credit card applications are caught from 1 January.

From a broker’s perspective, when it comes to assessing a borrower’s loan-repaying ability we will need to assume borrowers are making credit card repayments on their existing accounts to the effect that they would be able to repay the card’s full credit limit, with interest, within three years. I will continue discussions with Assistant Treasurer, the Hon. Stuart Robert, and ASIC regarding the true impact of this legislation on Australian consumers when it comes to accessing best outcomes for loans, and the impact of this legislation on Australia’s Retail Economy. I will, of course, update you on this legislation as we near July.

HEM discussions continue in 2019

The other key item on our industry’s agenda at present relates to HEM (household expenditure measures), and the implications of using generalised estimates versus individualised data when calculating a loan applicant’s ability to service said loan. The debate surrounding HEM’s relevance, or accuracy, will continue to play out through 2019. Please know the FBAA is following this debate closely, we’re deeply involved, we understand all the traps and the issues, and the impact HEM has on borrowing markets. I will continue to update you as this discussion takes shape.

Peter White

Managing Director


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The Royal Commission’s recommendation to switch broker remuneration to a borrow pays model is likely to give the big banks a free kick, according to Australia’s leading aggregator, Connective.


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Aggregator news

Connective rejects free kick for banks

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Connective rejects free kick for “Competition in the home lending sector has never been more at risk. We need to get behind brokers right now, or many people may never achieve the great Australian dream of owning their own home.” Mark Haron.


ollowing the release of the Royal Commission’s Final Report on February 4, Mark Haron, Connective Executive Director said changing how mortgage brokers are paid will limit access to brokers and therefore, will take away choice for millions of Australians. “Connective unequivocally rejects calls to change the way mortgage brokers are remunerated to a borrower pays model, while supporting the need to challenge the industry to strive for better outcomes for consumers” he said in a statement to the media today. “Choice matters for Australian home buyers and it has to be protected. Choice fuels competition and competition should keep all the players honest and accountable” he maintains. “Removing consumer access to choice and eliminating competition in the home lending sector is simply handing more 14

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power back to the major banks, which is exactly what Australians don’t need” Mark added with passion. “The Royal Commission was meant to be about doing the right thing by the consumer – and while it exposed plenty of misconduct by the banks, broker commission has never really been the issue.” Mark says. “The current model for how mortgage brokers are paid is not fundamentally broken. There is always room for improvement, but broker remuneration has been scrutinised in multiple reviews over recent years, with none of these studies finding systemic misconduct and none advocating substantial reform,” Mark says. Notable amongst these reviews were the ASIC Report which relied on the most comprehensive data set ever collected by any party for this purpose. Connective has been working with the Combined Industry Forum (CIF), which has actively

responded to these reviews to progress meaningful reform – including a proactive movement to develop and implement a ‘Customer First Duty’, one of the Royal Commission’s better recommendations. “We’ve always supported a ‘Customer First Duty’ and therefore fundamentally support Hayne in this respect.” Mark says. “The devil is in the detail, however, and we are particularly interested to see how Commissioner Hayne’s version will extend across all lenders, including the banks” he remarked. “Improving customer outcomes requires a level playing field. But before we make sweeping changes just for the sake of change, we believe the existing laws and CIF reforms should be given a chance to have an impact” he added. “Competition in the home loan market has never been more at risk. We need to get behind

r banks brokers right now, or many people may never get the support they need to achieve the great Australian dream of owning their own home,” emphasises Mark. “Any change that reduces choice and competition is not the answer.” The industry is rallying to reject the borrower pays remuneration structure for mortgage brokers, with a number of campaigns and petitions being circulated to give both brokers and their customers the opportunity to have their

voices heard. Connective, with the support of the FBAA, is urging people to get behind their #choicematters campaign.

visit our #choicematters website and register your pledge. We’d like to thank everyone in advance for getting behind it.”

“We want the regulators to understand that mortgage brokers really do stimulate healthy competition by offering home buyers value, service and choice.” Mark Haron says. ”We intend to demonstrate the strong support we’re getting by communicating the number of pledges to policymakers, so if you haven’t done it already, now is the time to

To find out more about Connective’s #choicematters Campaign, or to pledge your support, visit

Mark Haron Director

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10/11/2017 2:03:14 PM

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CONFERENCE WRAP UP The FBAA’s annual National Industry Conference and Gala Dinner and Awards of Supremacy again proved popular with industry, with a total attendance of more than 1200 across the two events late November. The annual conference concluded with a renewed focus on embracing evolution, promoting mental health wellbeing, inspiring brokers to greater successes and setting them up with the tools to be future-ready.


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he FBAA’s National Industry Conference was held late November at the Gold Coast, highlighting the importance of Evolution in order to survive and thrive.

ambassador Chelsea Pottenger, who reminded us that burnout is not an indicator of success. To read our interview with Chelsea for this edition’s cover story, go to page 50.

The annual event, which is has become the largest finance industry event in Australia, brought together the nation’s leading broking professionals and a top-notch guest speaker line-up.

“Chelsea talked about mental health in a very clinical sense, explaining the science of it, and it was a really engaging conversation,” comments Peter. “I have had people, even in January, weeks after the conference, writing me to say: ‘I’ve made a point to see my GP because I’m having issues with depression and am taking positive steps to sort it out, thanks so much’. And that’s the idea of the conference, to create content that helps people both personally and within their business and isn’t just a conversation on the day. It’s a conversation that continues over the coming 12 months and the future.”

A major theme for the conference was to help brokers be inspired and future-ready, by ensuring we are a) as individuals, mentally healthy, able to manage stress and operate productively, and b) as business owners and practicing brokers to be inspired for greater achievements and able to learn and adapt to a changing market, regulations and consumer needs. The FBAA was honoured to have the Assistant Treasurer and Federal Minister for Financial Services the Hon Stuart Robert open the conference, and give inspiration and positive enforcement of the road ahead post-Royal Commission. The minister clearly stated that the Government’s point of view is that this is not about industry regulatory reforms but cultural change by banks.

“That’s the idea of the conference, to create content that helps people both personally and within their business and isn’t just a conversation on the day.” – Peter White FBAA Managing Director Peter White has spent considerable time with the Federal Minister to ensure the Government fully understands the value of mortgage broking in Australia and is supportive of the industry. The event’s guest speaker program included a diverse range of experts, and Peter says the feedback received from the conference has commended the high-calibre of presentations and content discussed. Once such presentation was from corporate mindfulness practitioner and R U OK? mental health

Also imparting knowledge and strategies, was: real estate sales coach Tom Panos who told us to take life by the, uh, hand, and lead it where we want to go, using his tips and tools for establishing habits that will lead to high productivity and creating an attraction business; sales guru and former pro basketballer Niik Stewart who walked us through income-increasing sales strategies; Broker contributor Martin Grunstein who took us through his rules to a successful business; leading Australian economist Peter Switzer who shared his 2019 forecasts; and, as always, ASIC’s front-line team. Peter said the event was a reminder that there is nothing so constant as change, and while change isn’t always easy it is often necessary. “We specifically selected these speakers to inspire and motivate our industry to get up and have a crack, because it’s easy to get a bit worn down with distractions like regulatory environment, Royal Commission and just running a business in general. These sorts of things are always in the background though – we need to keep our focus on continuing to grow businesses and not get bogged down by the obstacles – because there will always be distractions in our industry.”

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The FBAA’s Gala Dinner and Awards of Supremacy once again proved to be the industry’s most talked about night of nights, with the guests taking in the colour and spectacle of 2018’s circus-themed gala. The evening’s theatre included a circus parade with clowns driving small cars, an automated elephant and the fun and festivity you would expect Under the Big Top. “The theatrics were impressive, and just the atmosphere to set the stage for an evening celebrating the successes of our members,” offers Peter. The evening’s big winner was Brisbane-based Nathan Vecchio, Director at Hunter Galloway, who was named both Broker of the Year for Northern Territory and Queensland, as well the National Finance Broker of the Year. Congratulations to all 2018 award winners.


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2018 FBAA Awards of Supremacy winners 1. VIC/TAS Finance Broker of the Year

7. NT/QLD Finance Broker of the Year Nathan Vecchio

Bernard Desmond

8. Asset & Equipment Finance Broker of the Year

2. Lender BDM of the Year

Peter Lovick

Clinton Sharpe

9. Mentee of the Year

3. Commercial Broker of the Year

Richard Khuong

George Giovas

10. WA Finance Broker of the Year

4. Aggregator BDM of the Year

Salvatore Sapienza

James Brett

11. Mentor of the Year

5. SA Finance Broker of the Year

Therese O’Neill

John Bachmayer 6. FBAA National Finance Broker of the Year

12. NSW/ACT Finance Broker of the Year Vishal Gupta

Nathan Vecchio










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Social Pictures

2018 National Idustry Conference & Gala Dinner & Awards of Supremacy

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Understanding what seasonal patterns in online business lending mean for brokers

by OnDeck Australia


ata analysis by OnDeck, has shown definite peaks and troughs in small business online lending and confirmed strong cyclical funding patterns across the sector in Australia. The evidence shows lending peaks prior to the end of the calendar year, and again for EOFY in May/June. Total applications in November, across all industries, were 145% above the monthly average. The trend was even more noticeable for service industries such as accommodation and food services, which showed a significant increase in applications of 190% for the month of November when compared to average monthly demand in 2017. The data also found some lending patterns in other small business sectors were more evenly distributed around the year. Challenging the festive season and EOFY trend, retail trade and wholesale trade lending remained more constant throughout the year, despite the obvious spike in consumer demand for retail products around festive periods. Michael Burke, Head of Sales at OnDeck Australia, said brokers could draw two key take-outs from the data. “First, the patterns are entrenched across all small businesses but there are also marked differences

“…patterns are entrenched across all small businesses but there are also marked differences between industry sectors.” – Michael Burke between industry sectors. For brokers, this means looking at their clients’ businesses and understanding the impact of seasonal lending patterns on each of those businesses,” Michael said. “Second, is to build an understanding of the data and its implications with their clients and to work with them to ensure they take advantage of lending cycles in their specific industry and maximise growth opportunities for their business.” According to the data, some borrowing patterns also extended to the day and time small businesses sought funding. Most small businesses were likely to apply for a loan in the middle of the week and during business hours.

ABOUT ONDECK OnDeck (NYSE: ONDK)is the proven leader in transparent and responsible online lending to small business. Founded in 2006, the company pioneered the use of data analytics and technology to make real-time lending decisions and deliver capital rapidly to small businesses. Today, OnDeck offers a wide range of online term loans and lines of credit customized for the needs of small business owners. OnDeck has provided over $10billion in loans to customers in 700 different industries across the United States, Canada and Australia. The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is rated 5 stars by Trustpilot.

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strategies to build and maintain a highly productive team after Christmas

(+ the formula to measure employee productivity!) Employee motivation is critical and most business owners are not aware that this is effectively the best ‘secret weapon’ in their arsenal. I believe that it should be given the same care and attention as your P&L. I know that this a radical statement to savvy financial experts, but it can be your competitive advantage, if done properly. I see that your employees are your greatest asset but, also, your greatest potential liability.

by Natasha Hawker

Employee Matters Pty Ltd

Most employers don’t even know how to measure Employee Productivity to see how they are doing. Here is the formula:

Revenue / FTEs (full time equivalents) = Productivity by employees


he festive season seems almost a distant memory, as the long summer holidays draw to a close. You may have staff still returning to work, or you may have powered through most of the festive break. Either way, a big questions looms – how can we ensure that your teams are focused and productive for the last five months of the financial year? How can you ensure that you finish strongly and have your best financial year ever?

An example being, $100,000 / 10 FTEs = $10,000 produced on average What would it mean for your business, if you could produce revenue of $500,000 using the same 10 employees? A productivity increase to $50k per employee. What could this mean for your profit margin? So what does it take to keep your employees motivated and productive after the ‘silly season’?

“If your employees don’t know where the business is going, how can they possibly help you get there?”


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Share your strategy – we use a tool called the Vision Traction Organiser which essentially details our business plan and strategy for the next quarter, 12 months, 3 years and 10 years – on two pages. I carry this with me everywhere and all our team are briefed on the contents and know what they need to do personally ‘to move the needle’. Less than 15% of Australian businesses have a business plan and even less of those businesses share the strategy with their team. If your employees don’t know where the business is going, how can they possibly help you get there?


Lead by example – if you are not enthused and excited by your business, how do you expect your team to be? As the leader, you need to lead from the front and remember – people don’t leave companies they leave leaders. Be authentic, be real and be kind.


Measure employee engagement – understanding your employees’ level of engagement (measure of discretionary effort) is important. As organisations that have employee engagement levels of 75% and above, typically get up to 21% more productivity and 20% more profitability when


compared with organisations that have results in the bottom 25% quartile. We use a great tool called 6Q to measure this.


Communicate – it’s a really good idea to create a communications strategy to determine how, when, and what you are going to communicate to your team. It’s worthwhile reviewing this over time as your team’s need for information will change. We share a lot of financial information with our team and the benefits of being transparent far outweigh the risks of sharing this data.


Reward and recognise – a massive part of keeping up your team’s motivation is to set goals for them as individuals, as a team and as a company. When the whole team is working towards the goals, rather than against each other, amazing results can be achieved. Implement a Reward and Recognition Program designed to encourage and reward positive behaviours – both qualitative and quantitative results. Make 2019 your best year ever – for you, your team and your business.

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SEEN In the second-half of 2018, the FBAA engaged an independent research company to survey just how satisfied home loan customers are with FBAA brokers. More than 2,000 borrowers were surveyed, and the results are impressive. And they’re yours to use to promote your business.


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As brokers working at the frontline, you no doubt can get a sense of whether or not your customers are happy. Many will openly tell you! However, putting measurable results on these sentiments is part of the FBAA’s efforts to shine a torch on finance brokers’ results and actions. “From the research [which was coordinated by an independent company, and issued through FBAA members to customers who had loans settled], we found FBAA brokers received a 95% satisfaction rate – which is an exceptional result,” comments FBAA Managing Director Peter White. “We know that FBAA member brokers are viewed in high regard within the industry, and to put a solid figure on that shows just how high the FBAA-broker-set standard is.” At an FBAA members’ suggestion, results from the survey have been designed as social media tiles, motion graphics and a video spruiking why your customers should choose a broker over a bank, and are available at no charge for members to use in promotional materials. “To undertake your own customer research, and engage an agency to develop marketing assets like these, you would be looking to outlay thousands of dollars. By FBAA providing these assets, they are yours to access and use, and from your customer’s perspective have the added credibility of having been obtained by the FBAA and not a single business.” The assets will be released at the end of each month, from February 2019, with the first release to include two static social graphics and two motion graphics, available to download via the FBAA website members portal.


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“We know that FBAA member brokers are viewed in high regard within the industry, and now to put a solid figure on that shows just how high the FBAA-broker-set standard is.” – Peter White

“This research communicates the professionalism of FBAA brokers, and puts a figure to the value proposition brokers bring to the market,” says Peter. “This is an important piece of research, which we have given to government, regulators and the Royal Commission. “There is truth to the adage ‘seeing is believing’. One of my key themes for the FBAA this year is to ‘make the unseen seen’.” As with any advocacy body, much of what the FBAA does, daily, is not ‘seen’. It’s through regular conversations, meetings, lobbying and networking with industry power players and government decisionmakers that most progress is achieved. “As the finance broking industry’s unified voice, our objective is to ensure that all sides of government, all people of key influence, understand the professionalism of our industry and the true implications of any regulatory changes,” explains Peter. “And that any regulatory decisions are not made based on mistruths or suspicions.

“At a time when our members are especially concerned with the potential outcomes from the Royal Commission, much of my activity is in the government lobbying space. “When it comes to Australian politics, there is no safe bet, so our strategic focus has been to ensure the finance broking industry is understood and visible to key players within both sides of government. “Government ministers are key decisionmakers when it comes to our industry, however, they are not finance and mortgage brokers and do not have the intricate knowledge of how our industry works, how it needs to work to ensure best consumer outcomes, and the flow-on effects particular changes would have to the economy. That’s where having a clear voice, and seat at both tables, is essential – and that’s our focus.” As part of the FBAA’s efforts to make the unseen seen, Peter will also record and distribute ‘on the road’ video blogs for real-time updates on his behind-the-scenes activity. Stay tuned…

Stats from the assets How do home loan customers view FBAA brokers? •

95.2% of surveyed customers found their broker easy to do business with •

88% of people surveyed said their broker exceeded their expectations

• 94% of new home owners were happy with their broker’s knowledge and competency • 93.6% of people surveyed found their broker understood their needs, objectives and financial situation •

92.1% were satisfied with the strength of the broker-client relations

Add this ammo to your own marketing arsenal, by downloading FREE social media tiles, motion graphics and a video titled Why choose a home loan broker over a bank? When you log into the FBAA website.

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to Boost Mental and Emotional Resilience for


The following tips will put you in the right head-space and heartspace to outperform:


You become who you drink coffee with. Associate only with positive, focused people who will not drain your valuable energy with complaining and uninspiring attitudes.


Start every morning with 10 mins of visualisation meditation, 10 mins of ‘minimum effective dose’ exercise and 10 mins of priming and journalling.

by Sam Makhoul


here is an endemic of dysfunction in the corporate world. Besides the hectic lifestyle of sitting too much, eating on the run, lack of quality sleep, lack of exercise, poor social life and lack of affection and intimacy, now there is the added pressure of intense competition in a diminishing market. Make no mistake, 2019 is going to be a tough year in business. This will put many people in a fear mindset. Your ability to compete will no longer be about how much you know and not even how fit and healthy you are. It will depend on your mental and emotional resilience.


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Start a ‘hero file’. Any time you receive a written compliment, a card, a great report, an award etc… file it away in an accessible location or on an App such as Evernote. Refer to this hero file whenever you experience a setback or rejection and you find yourself indulging in negative self-talk.


Use the power of negative thinking. When things are going bad, sit, close your eyes and imagine how much worse life can get. Now open your eyes and be grateful for what you do have. Most mental health issues come from focusing on what you do not have.


Have a laugh before bedtime. You will have a better-quality sleep and help you wake with a great attitude. Also make an effort to be humorous throughout the day. Not only is it good for your mental health but it diffuses tension in difficult

circumstances and creates an excellent atmosphere wherever you are. As a consequence, people will be drawn to you.


Get more sleep, more sunshine and more socialising. Those three life-hacks are scientifically proven to be more effective than any drug.


Work for Love Not Money. Stay on purpose, not on outcome. In other words, do the task because it is what you love to do or because it will help someone. Don’t do it for the money or the recognition. Those will come naturally. This is the way of the world.


Slow down. Science emphatically shows that doing things with haste damages your mental health by increasing your stress levels.


Learn to Forgive Quickly. You will never have peace of mind nor taste success and

wealth if you are hanging on to grudges and regrets.


Keep a photo on your desk or phone and look at it throughout the day. It could be a photo of your partner, your children or your next holiday destination.


Other happiness tips: smile on waking, walk tall, breathe deeper, do the things you fear, smell flowers, hug your family, call your friends, listen to music, sing in the shower, pack a picnic, walk barefoot, visit a farm, ride a bike, spend less, save more, love unconditionally. Sam Makhoul is managing director of MSA National and Founder of A Higher Branch Success Academy. For more detail on any of the above tips, download a free copy of his latest book, GUIDE TO GREATNESS at

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like IT people, really! They’re hard-working and need recognition and respect like everybody else… but most are “helicopter heads” and should not be allowed to advise on website design! Yet most websites have been created by IT people. And most are terrible!

by Martin Grunstein

Martin Grunstein’s outstanding results with over 500 Australian companies across over 100 industries has made him this country’s most in-demand speaker on customer service. He is contactable on 0414 933 249 or through his website

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“Have a long hard look at your business w

There are two pages that should be on every website. Are they on yours? The first is a WHY CHOOSE US page. The second is WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY. Most websites have a COMPANY HISTORY or an ABOUT US page which gives background information, e.g. ‘Bill used to work in a bank but left and founded Bill’s Financial Services in 1993. He is passionate about customer service and loves kittens.’ Guess what? Nobody cares! Prospective clients only want to know “what can you do for me and why should I contact you?” They want to know what differentiates you from your competition. They want to make a quick decision, in as few clicks as possible, as to whether they will contact you. Unfortunately, most COMPANY HISTORY pages and ABOUT US pages do more harm than good by sprouting clichés and rhetoric that actually turn customers off. Here’s what should be on your WHY CHOOSE US page:


Your years of experience; the volume of finance you have transacted; the range of financial services you provide; the awards you have won; your qualifications and expertise; your FBAA

membership and adherence to its code of ethics; what you give back to the community; your personal accessibility; guarantees associated with your product/ service, etc.; and anything unique about you and the services you provide.

It should be in bullet-point form and objective, to assist your customer’s decision-making process. E.g. you have 30 years’ experience, the competitor has 15 – advantage you; your product has a 10 year guarantee, your competitor’s has 20 – advantage them; you have QA accreditation, your competitor doesn’t – advantage you, etc. Subjective statements like “I care about my customers” and “our staff are friendly” are worthless because even the companies that don’t care about their customers say they do.

importance of Facebook likes – the marketplace is saying “I don’t believe the seller, I believe the buyer”. Take the travel industry, many years ago when planning a holiday you would make your decision based on hotel and destination brochures. Nowadays, you don’t even go to the hotel’s website, you go to and read reviews, because you trust hotel guests more than the hotel. Importantly though, you need to use testimonials correctly. Firstly, get the client’s permission. Secondly, include their full name

r own website. Do you communicate the benefits of doing with you succinctly and on one page?”

If you don’t regularly update your website (which you should) and the testimonials include dates, it looks like you’ve gone a long time without a happy customer. A final tip on testimonials – have lots of them. The testimonials page promotes the results of what you do, and you want to communicate that you have many happy customers. Unless you are running an online business, the purpose of your website is to get prospective customers to contact you. And in this world of short attention spans, you want people to be able to do that as quickly as possible. The ideal path for a browser should be HOME PAGE – WHY CHOOSE US – WHAT CLIENTS SAY – CONTACT US. A major change I have made to my own site is to have video excerpts from live presentations on my HOME page. When booking a speaker, people want to see what they are buying, so my video is my strongest selling tool. I also have a contact button on the home page. This enables people to book me with a minimum of clicks: HOME PAGE – WATCH VIDEO – CONTACT MARTIN. It’s my job to make it as easy as possible for them to contact me.

If your clients say you act with honesty and integrity though, I will be much more likely to believe it – which is why every website also needs the WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY page. Look at the success of websites like and the

and title if it is a corporate e.g. Martin Grunstein, CEO, Success Communications Pty Ltd; and their name and suburb if it is a consumer e.g. Mr. Martin Grunstein, Kensington. Why? Because testimonials are about credibility and verifiability. Also, never date testimonials.

Have a long hard look at your own website. Do you communicate the benefits of doing business with you succinctly and on one page? Do you have testimonial evidence to prove your claims? Can people get enough information to make the decision to contact you in two or three clicks? If not, your website is probably costing you money. The changes above are simple and inexpensive and if the IT guy tells you they aren’t, get another IT guy.

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Progressing with purpose Respond in quick time Listen, clarify to understand

Recently, the FBAA revisited its Strategic Plan, overhauling its vision, values and purpose, to best position the association to serve you – our members – and advocate for industry and consumer outcomes. We see these core values as being key for not only FBAA employees, but also being consistent with the values of many of you, our members. We welcome you to enlist or adapt these values and implement across your own businesses.

Exceed expectations – Internally & Externally Under promise & Over Deliver Truth, Transparency Follow Through Commitments Seek Feedback Measure Satisfaction Open to Improved Process Ask; “Is there more I can do?” Accuracy


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r st









ort upp S / nt rese Rep m alis n o s i rd ess f a o d Pr an st ry st u d In

pm ent

efit ber ben For mem

To assist members develop as business professionals and be skilled and successful finance brokers, by providing advocacy, education and support services.


To the FBAA Brand To Purpose, Values & Vision To Job, Role & Career To Consistency & Continuous Improvement To a “Can Do” Attitude To Going Beyond Expected Assisting Outside Own Position Description – T.E.A.M. To Learning & Growth Self-satisfaction

Demonstrate high achievement Loyalty to FBAA Members Consider the other person’s views in all interactions Present appropriately in all circumstances Respect diversity Respect Chain of Command

Thinking outside the box Be Forward Thinking Accepting new technology in delivery of services Seeking improvement in self and systems Focused on industry best practices Look for the next level

Empower others to be seen as powerful yourself Listen for Understanding Unconditional Positive Regard in all Communications – U.P.R.

VISION STATEMENT FBAA, the leading industry association of choice; protecting the integrity and ethics of the industry through innovation, education, representation and advocacy.

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ustralian chef and Hollywood favourite Curtis Stone celebrated his first five years in business at the start of February, with his swanky LA-based restaurant Maude clocking the big 5. As brokers, we know too well the pressures of running a business. We spoke to Curtis about this milestone, and the challenges of business.

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“You have to doubt yourself, because it makes you really question whether you can do it, and whether it’s possible, and it drives you to be more organised and take on the challenge head on.” ON REACHING FIVE YEARS IN BUSINESS Broker: The first five years in business are meant to be the toughest. Your first restaurant, Maude, is now five – what are your standout moments? Curtis: There are so many good moments. The opening night is pretty exciting, because you spend so much time thinking about it and visualising it. In some ways you spend your whole career, your whole lifetime, thinking about it. It was pretty cool to get to the start line. There are also many challenging moments in restaurants when things don’t go the way you imagined them to, or you get let down, or someone leaves and they’re an integral part of your business. Broker: Business is a bit of a rollercoaster, isn’t it? Curtis: It’s a marriage, and you have to walk into it understanding that, and knowing that it’s going to take a tonne of your time, and a tonne of your energy and a chunk of your life, and that’s just the truth. It sounds super dramatic, but it’s no different than any other relationship you go into. You know that at the end of a five-year period or 10-year period, you would have given up a decent sized chunk of your life to that thing, and you hope that it gives you back as much as you give it. I guess I’ve been really fortunate that I feel like it has. I’ve loved being there, we’ve achieved a lot as a team, and yeah, it’s been very cool.

ON MOMENTS OF SELF-DOUBT Broker: During your career, have you ever doubted, or maybe questioned, yourself? Curtis: Definitely. I think if you don’t, that’s really unhealthy. You have to doubt yourself, because it makes you really question whether you can do it, and whether it’s possible, and it drives you to be more organised and take on the challenge head on. I think from the first time I took a job in Marco’s restaurant [London’s highly acclaimed chef Marco Pierre White], I was like: ‘Oh, I can’t cook like these guys, I’ll never be able to do it. I don’t know if

it’s the right move for me. Maybe I should just get something a bit safer?’ Even when Marco made me the head chef in one of his restaurants, and when I decided to open my own place, I still had moments of self-doubt.

ON NOT FINISHING HIS BUSINESS DEGREE Broker: Is it true you started studying a Bachelor of Business before you moved from Melbourne to London? Curtis: Yes. I did part time, fitting it in around my job as apprentice chef. I did two or three years’ part-time study, I think, of uni before I travelled to London. But, I finished my apprenticeship, I got more opportunity to actually cook. Once I had that opportunity I was content and happy. I mean, you don’t go through an apprenticeship because you wanted to be a master potato peeler, you go through an apprenticeship because you wanted to cook, and you want to be creative, and it takes a while till you actually get that opportunity in a professional setting.

ON STRUCTURING HIS DAY Broker: You run two restaurants and an events/ catering company, are an ambassador for Coles, you host many TV shows and have a family. We’re familiar with the juggle also – how do you structure your day? Curtis: I get up at 6:00 in the morning with my kids, I make them breakfast, I drive the oldest one to school, then I go to the gym. I started boxing last year, so I do that for an hour, then I get to work by 10am. I’m in the restaurant from 10am till 10pm or 11pm most nights. But I’m not there every night. Some days I’ll just spend the day in the office or kitchen, and I’ll get home to have dinner with my family. I try to keep a pretty clean schedule when I’m home, because I do travel a lot. If I travel a lot and spend every night in the restaurant when I’m home, then I’d never be around my family, and that’s not super conducive with being a good dad or husband, so I try and balance it. I’m not saying I do a good job of it, but I try!

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Maintaining momentum through micro shifts

By Zak Wilford Specialist Recruiter working with Mortgage Brokers


or those who have read my content, you’ll know I’m usually engaged to discuss the current state of recruitment within mortgage broking. I often share my ideas and opinions and what I see in the market as an expert recruiter and sometimes discuss how brokers should take advantage of digital marketing trends too. However, the theme of this issue is indeed something I can speak to, and so I’d love to share my ideas on how I plan to maintain momentum throughout 2019. For me, this time of year is a tricky one, the surplus of spare time leads to an anxious mind reflecting on the past year. Goals, plans and ideas spin around my head as I consider whether the things I got done outweigh the things I didn’t.

I’m ambitious, highly motivated, extremely capable, and this opinion of myself is what fuels the anxiety. It leads me to set over-ambitious, unachievable goals. To see the potential in all projects and when this is combined with complete freedom, can mean difficulty focusing on one specific project. It would be fair to say; this freedom had the potential to encourage demise.

“…as we see brokers quickly rising to the top of the ranks it’s easy to question what they’ve done, what shortcuts they’ve taken and where their business comes from.” I faced a real battle with this throughout 2018, and lessons learned are certainly going to contribute to the vision and focus for the year to come. Whether a new-to-industry broker or a highly experienced one, there always seems to be the quest for a breakthrough. There seems to be a formula in which “just one more” will lead to that big shift in business, it will mean consistency and success – “The Breakthrough.” The contrasting perception of a “breakthrough” is drastic; from the outside, it can sometimes be seen as complete luck as

we see brokers quickly rising to the top of the ranks it’s easy to question what they’ve done, what shortcuts they’ve taken and where their business comes from. From the inside, it’s often a series of “micro shifts” – highly calculated habits developed over a period of time – that has led to increased competency and ultimately success. It’s these micro shifts that help me maintain momentum; they allow me to focus on progression on an extremely granular level by measuring and monitoring the small things that contribute to the bigger picture. Thinking about what these micro shifts need to be and implementing them is not only motivating but narrows my focus and increases productivity, it’s a conscious way to minimise the freedom and gives me a clear direction. Changing habits around my daily to-do list, becoming more organised with content, managing people and setting expectations more efficiently are examples of small micro shifts that contribute to a more efficient day. Taking the focus away from the big ideas, the clouds and the ‘potential in projects’ helps me to zoom in on the process of execution. These micro shifts become habits, and then I begin to work on others.

Need advice on your 2019 digital marketing strategy? Broker Magazine



Trust is the FOUNDATION

OF MY PROFESSION. – the broker – to liaise with a bank or other lender on their behalf, it’s a pretty big responsibility.

By Jodi O’Callaghan, Executive Officer, The Banking and Finance Oath


rust is the foundation of my profession.’ These are the powerful opening words of The Banking and Finance Oath (The BFO) and for finance professionals, they’re words you want to be able to say with pride. But how do those words translate when trust is top of mind for customers, given some of the abhorrent cases being revealed in the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. ASIC’s MoneySmart website defines a finance broker’s role as one that negotiates with banks, credit unions and other credit providers on behalf of a customer to arrange loans. When a customer places their trust in you 48

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Having recently refinanced our home loan, I was fortunate to experience a mortgage broker that took pride in being independent, and who wanted to find the best rate for my family’s personal circumstances. With two children under five, the slowing of the Sydney property market, and dreams of buying a bigger home in the not-too-distant future, I really valued this. I quickly trusted our broker would look after us – not for his own gain, but because he had taken the time to understand our circumstances and goals and wanted to see us kick them! Trust is an intangible concept. If you have to tell people they can trust you, you’re probably yet to demonstrate the reasons why they should trust you. Brands with an authentic voice, a clear purpose, vision and values are more likely to be considered trustworthy. At an individual level, a personal brand that speaks to integrity, honesty and acting in the customer’s best interest will go a long way towards building trust. Go to any bank or credit lending website and you’ll quickly be able to find what they stand for. Most of them will say they have a focus on the customer, some will speak to what they do

in the sustainability and social responsibility space, and some will introduce their people. These stories of people and putting a face to a (brand) name is so important for me.

“If you have to tell people they can trust you, you’re probably yet to demonstrate the reasons why they should trust you.” I’m more likely to engage with a brand that wants to tell the stories of their people. It makes me believe in the inherent good of those working in financial services, and our society needs an ethical and trustworthy banking and finance system to function well. As a broker, there is a multidimensional bond between you, the bank and the customer. The customer is choosing to put their trust in you, the intermediary, rather than directly with the bank or credit lender. This is your strength. Taking The Banking and Finance Oath is a voluntary commitment to act with integrity, speak out against wrongdoing and support others who do the same, and be responsible for their actions, particularly when things go wrong. The BFO is not making anyone do the right thing, most people want to; rather, it helps prevent unthinking practices and creates a

common language around ethical behaviour. The BFO’s vision is, simply, for “A banking and finance industry that meets the community’s needs and has its full confidence”. In a speech at an annual Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) dinner recently, the Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Phil Lowe

said “Finance is all about trust. When a deposit is placed in a bank, we trust it will be repaid. We also trust financial institutions to invest our hard-earned savings for us. And we trust them to provide us with sound advice. Without this trust, the financial system cannot operate properly and the economy cannot prosper. As the first line of the Banking and Finance Oath says: ‘Trust is

the foundation of my profession’. I encourage everybody in the finance sector to read this oath regularly and to live by it.” If you believe in the power of the individual, and the role you can play in helping to build trust in your industry, I encourage you to take the Oath. Find out more at

The Banking and Finance Oath Trust is the foundation of my profession. I will serve all interests in good faith. I will compete with honour. I will pursue my ends with ethical restraint. I will help create a sustainable future. I will help create a more just society. I will speak out against wrongdoing and support others who do the same I will accept responsibility for my actions. In these and all other matters; My word is my bond.

Find the treasure hidden within your database Start building a new trail income now

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Mental health ambassador Chelsea Pottenger knows the pressures of the corporate world, the demons of depression and the power of the human brain. She takes us through what happens to our brains when we’re stressed and how to beat stress with science.

Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour

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At FBAA’s 2018 National Industry Conference, Chelsea Pottenger delivered a keynote presentation on mental health and the science of what happens to our brains and bodies when we experience stress, anxiety and depression. Chelsea’s message left an imprint on many of you. We know this, because we received some very touching feedback. So, we asked Chelsea to dive a little deeper. You may hear words like ‘mindfulness’ and ‘visualisation’, and think those words means nothing to you, that those sorts of things should be relegated to the worlds of people who work six-hour days, practice yoga daily and sip turmeric lattes. The reality is, mindfulness, meditation and visualisation are proven tools for the cortisol-conscious to manage stress, improve focus and memory and achieve goals. And the science backs it. Sydney-sider Chelsea Pottenger knows the importance of managing mental health. The business educator, keynote speaker and workshop facilitator has established a reputation


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for delivering cognitive tools to companies and teams to recharge the human brain. She’s also a mindfulness and meditation practitioner, mental health ambassador for R U OK? and The Gidget Foundation, and is currently doing a PhD in clinical psychology and neuroscience. Before founding her company, EQ Consulting, Chelsea had achieved a high-performing sales career, including ranking as #1 global salesperson for Johnson & Johnson two years in a row. However, after having her daughter, Chelsea experienced debilitating post-natal depression and was deemed suicidal. That shift from healthy and highperforming to severely sad and hopeless, was an eye-opener and an education, and led Chelsea on a new mission to help others understand our brains better.

and the FBAA, delivering keynote presentations and workshops. EQ Consulting’s most in-demand workshops focus on 1) Avoiding burn out (“If your people are mentally well and happy, then they are highly productive”), and 2) Neuroscience for optimal peak performance (“We talk about healthy foods and ways to train the brain to give them the competitive edge”), and 3) Sleep. “My corporate background has certainly helped me,” shares Chelsea. “When I’m running workshops, the objections people give me are the exact same objections I used to have. I used to think meditation was for hippies. I used to think I couldn’t stop my mind from thinking. I questioned why I would knock off something from my already-full plate to just sit down and meditate. It seemed crazy to me.

“I thought, if depression can happen to someone like me, who was happy and optimistic, ate well, was an athlete [triathlons] and practiced yoga to decompress, but like many professionals I also worked 12-hour days loved to socialise at night, and lived a pace I now see was unsustainable – work hard, play hard, train hard – then it could happen to anybody.

“The reason my workshops have received a good response, I believe, is that I explain the issue as well as things like meditation from a clinical, scientific perspective. If the neuroscience doesn’t support something, if I can’t find research on it, I will never promote it.”

“My experience fuelled my fascination with the brain, and created this crusade I’m on to learn more, become qualified and help others avoid burn out.”

“A little bit of stress is actually quite good for us,” explains Chelsea. “It gives us drive, it makes us productive and gets things done.

Through her business EQ Consulting, Chelsea works with big brands such as Ebay, Mercedes-Benz, AON, Uber, Telstra

What happens to our brain when we stress?

“But as soon as that turns over to chronic stress, it can be detrimental to the brain.

“I questioned why I would knock off something from my already-full plate to just sit down and meditate? It seemed crazy to me.�

Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour

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“In sales, the biggest thing we can use to our advantage is our memory. Things like remembering a client’s name, their kids’ names, remembering data and products, evidence and research that you need to present in a client meeting or pitch.

“In a high-stress situation, the amygdala – the part of your brain

Chelsea says the other key thing that happens to our brain when we’re stressed, is the amygdala (fears and emotions) in the limbic system shut down the brain’s internal link to the prefrontal cortex (our executive function, which manages our complex cognitive behaviour, decision making and moderates social behaviour).

detrimental impacts on the brain when getting under seven and half hours’ sleep. We need a blend of deep REM sleep and light REM sleep, and a lot of people are only getting light REM sleep because they are on their screens before bed, they are having more than one alcoholic drink at night which hinders quality sleep, they are waking up fatigued, or they are

“Many of us walk around as though our heads and bodies are separate, but they are completely linked. If your brain is stressed, it will continually send you messages that you are stressed.”

that detects fear – activates the sympathetic nervous system, your adrenal glands release cortisol and you go into fight or flight mode. The hippocampus – the part of the brain responsible for regulating memory, and which, along with the amygdala and other important bits of your brain forms the limbic system which regulates emotion – has these cortisol receptors that sit all over it, like a chocolate freckle, which light up during high stress and switch off our memory,” explains Chelsea.

It’s part of our programming for survival. Switch off the memory to allow the emotions to take over, so when, for example, you’re walking through the CBD, a cyclist speeds past you too closely, your brain makes your body jump out of the way before you realise what’s happening.

“This is why when you’re in that client meeting, or pitch, you’re stressed, and the client asks an unexpected question, your memory is deactivated and you can’t think of a good answer until hours after the meeting and your brain is calm.”

“To be really focused, calm, rational and highly productive, we need the communication cable between the limbic system and the prefrontal cortex to be online. If it’s offline, it’s harder to control emotions; and we see that in road rage, or tears over spilled coffee, or sending an email that’s abrupt and potentially damaging to a client relationship for 24 hours.”

What are our bodies telling us?

“Many of us walk around as though our heads and bodies are separate, but they are completely linked. If your brain is stressed, it will continually send you messages that you are stressed. That could be teeth grinding, jaw clenching, tension headaches, tightness in the neck, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms, gut issues, mouth ulcers, adrenal fatigue, or even feeling fatigued after a solid seven hours sleep. “At the moment, many Australians are high-functioning, sleepdeprived and Type A, and are getting less than seven and a half hours’ sleep a night. We see

experiencing insomnia where your body can’t relax enough to keep you in a deep REM sleep. “For some people the signs could be psychological triggers, like reaching for alcohol, cigarettes or donuts for quick feel-goods.”

How can we manage stress?

“It takes a fair while for your body to regenerate if you aren’t doing consistent activity for wellbeing,” offers Chelsea. The key, she says, is making small behavioural changes. “Consistency over intensity.” If you notice stress triggers, Chelsea prescribes a few days off the grid. “It’s quite common to take no holidays all year then take four weeks over Christmas, and that’s the worst strategy for mental health. Instead, if we listened to our bodies, and took regular long weekends to manage stress before it mounts, we’d have the best longevity. “All it takes is three days to reset yourself, in terms of how you’re feeling. Scale everything back,

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“All it takes is three days to reset yourself, in terms of how you’re feeling.” remove all stress triggers like technology, cut stimulants like alcohol, eat whole foods and honour your sleep. “You can do activities that you enjoy, like kayaking or a hike, but a reset weekend is not the time to do a triathlon championship, because then you will just pump more cortisol into the body.” Important too, says Chelsea, is to meditate to regenerate the brain. Not just on these reset weekends, but regularly. “We really need to stop and check in with our bodies. That’s why meditation is so excellent, because it gets you to sit still for 10 or 20 minutes a day to check in, and your body can tell you what is actually going on.” It seems counterintuitive to slow down in order to speed up, that meditation will soften your competitive edge where in fact it will actually sharpen your focus. Meditation has been proven to actually change the structure of the brain. It relieves anxiety and depression, improves attention, concentration and overall wellbeing. It shrinks the amygdala, which governs fear, anxiety and stress, allowing you to remain calmer when experiencing stress. If you just can’t get into meditation, Chelsea says do a theta brain activity where you get into a ‘flow’ – where time stops still for you and you think of nothing but that activity. “Athletes call it being ‘in the zone’ while musicians call it being in the ‘flow’. They are reading the notes, playing the


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piano, and they can’t think about anything else. For some people it can be surfing, others it might be golf. It’s during these flow states that the brain is rejuvenating.”

your brain online all day and keep you rational, calm and focused.” •

Schedule breaks every 90 minutes – Research shows humans naturally move from full focus to physiological fatigue every 90 minutes. “Work with your biochemistry, take a 5-, 10- or 15-minute break, get up from your desk, step outside, and don’t use that break to go on social media or read news online, you’ll just fatigue your brain some more.”

Exercise at least 20 minutes each day – “Just moving is phenomenal, not just for mental health but also for your physical longevity.”

Make your goals visual – “Visualisation has always been really powerful, but we didn’t understand that from epigenetic level and how the brain will literally change its physical structure based on what you are putting in there, in terms of what you are visualising, or what you are telling yourself.”

Do some form of ‘brain training’ – “Whether you take on meditation, or you start Sodoku, take up a new hobby, go back to university or do a new course; whatever it is it keeps your brain young because whether you give attention to inside your brain will grow.”

If after a three-day reset weekend you still feel burnt out, Chelsea says it’s time for a two-week holiday, using the same simplified principles. “If two weeks off the grid doesn’t recharge you, it’s something more clinical and you need to engage your GP or psychologist.”

Chelsea’s tips for a healthier routine: •

Don’t check your phone as soon as you wake up – emails, news updates and texts can wait a few minutes. Chelsea’s research shows 90% of Australians check their phone within moments of waking each morning, and it’s not good for our health.

Practice 30 seconds of gratitude – “Practicing gratitude changes a particular part in the brain that hardwires you for happiness.”

90 seconds of deep breathing – “Doing this technique throughout the day will bring down the limbic brain, that emotional response, to keep

15 years, 4,500 brokers, 200,000 clients protected. An industry partnership with life changing customer outcomes.

“My broker has changed my life. Words cannot describe how grateful I am.” - Kara, 38, Cancer


Testimonial provided by real life ALI Group policyholder Australian Life Insurance Distribution Pty Ltd (ABN 31 103 157 811) (AFSL 226 403) Loan Protection Plan is jointly issued by Hannover Life Re of Australasia Ltd ABN 37 062 395 484 (Death, Terminal Illness, Living and Accidental Injury Benefits) and QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited ABN 78 003 191 035 AFSL 239545 (Involuntary Unemployment Benefit). It is distributed by Australian Life Insurance Distribution Pty Ltd ABN 31 103 157 811 AFSL 226403 (ALI). ALI receives commission for each policy sold. Any advice provided is of a general nature only and does not take into consideration your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the Product Disclosure Statement (available at when deciding if this product is appropriate for you.


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Alternative SME finance provider secures $135 million credit facility Sachs, one of the premiere capital providers in the world.” said David Goldin, Founder and CEO of Capify. “This new multi-year credit facility allows us to deliver on our own growth plans, whilst providing much needed access to capital for Australian SMEs to help them to grow, to boost the economy and to create jobs.”

David Goldin Capify CEO

John de Bree Capify Managing Director

finance provider Capify A has secured a $135 million

SMEs through its business loan and merchant cash advance (MCA) products.

ustralian alternative SME

credit facility from Goldman Sachs Private Capital (“Goldman Sachs”) to support its future growth plans and provide working capital to thousands of Australian SMEs over the coming years.

Capify has been active in Australia since 2008, executing over 7,500 transactions for Australian SMEs seeking business financing and most recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary.

The Sydney-based fintech company will use the new facility to accelerate the growth of its lending business to Australian

“This is a landmark achievement for Capify and we are very pleased that we have secured this financing with Goldman

Pankaj Soni, Executive Director at Goldman Sachs Private Capital, said: “Capify is one of the leading SME finance providers in Australia. We have been impressed with the management team, business model and innovative finance solutions for SMEs. We look forward to supporting their growth in the years ahead.” “We are extremely excited about our future relationship with Goldman Sachs,” added John de Bree, Managing Director – Australia at Capify. “The credit facility will enable us to continue on our growth trajectory while offering even more attractive and innovative solutions to thousands of small businesses in need of capital.”

Reach over 20,000

FBAA Members and Finance Industry Professionals Advertise in the June 19 issue of Broker

Contact Krystal 0402 064 040 or

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economic brief

plus, unemployment falls, so the really fantastic employment story of the past few years could be starting to tail off. This is how Trading Economics saw the September reading: “The Australian economy grew a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in the September quarter of 2018, slowing sharply from a 0.9% expansion in the previous period and missing market consensus of a 0.6% advance. This was the weakest pace of expansion since a contraction seen in the third quarter of 2016, mainly due to a sharp slowdown in private consumption and a pull-back in nonresidential construction.” However, you have to be careful about reading too much into one quarter’s growth. Note that two years ago in the September quarter, we actually contracted for a quarter before zooming back with annual growth coming in at 3.4% in the June quarter. The annual reading for growth was 2.8%, which is still one of the best numbers in the OECD. That said, we are seeing a few indicators that suggest the very bullish RBA call of 3.5% for this year might be too optimistic. In fact the RBA has just recently downgraded its 3.5% growth for 2019 to 3%. I will list the latest run of data separating the good news stories from the not so good. Here goes with the better readings:

by Peter Switzer Founder, Switzer Group


e asked leading Australian economist Peter Switzer to share his thoughts on 2018’s activity, and what that means for 2019. Following the release of the September quarter economic growth number, which came in worse than expected, there has been a general belief that the Reserve Bank’s optimistic expectation that we’d grow at 3.5% over 2019 has been downgraded to a figure more likely to be in the 2.5% to 2.75% range. These would still be good economic activity figures but you have to know that when we grow at 3% 60

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In real trend terms, a record $19.8 billion of work was done in building new homes in the September quarter.

In the September quarter, $75.1 billion of residential and commercial building work was yet to be done (completed), down from the record high of $76.4 billion in the June quarter but it’s still a big number.

The weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence rating rose by 1.4% to 116.8, above the longer-term average of 113 since 1990. The estimate of family finances in a year’s time was at seven-month highs.

The annual fall in petrol prices to January 13 stands at 11.9% – the biggest decline in over two years (since October 2016).

Retail trade rose by 0.4% in November – the 10th increase in sales in the past 11 months. In trend terms, spending was steady at 3.6% over the year to November – near 2.5 year highs. Annual retail sales in the ACT and Queensland were at two-year highs.

Over the year to November, seasonally adjusted growth of spending at supermarkets and grocery stores rose by 4.5% – the strongest growth rate in four years.

“…we are seeing a few indicators that suggest the very bullish RBA call of 3.5% for this year might be too optimistic.” •

International scheduled passenger traffic through Australian airports increased to 3.55 million in October 2018 from 3.37 million in October 2017 – an increase of 5.3%. Passenger traffic for the year ended October 2018 was 41.319 million, up by 5.2% over the year — record high results! The CoreLogic Home Value Index of national home prices fell by 1.1% in December to be down 4.8% in 2018 – the biggest annual decline since 2008. Over the year to December, Sydney home prices fell by 8.9% but regional Tasmania was up 9.9% and regional Victoria was up 5.9%. Prices rose most in Hobart (up 8.7%), followed by Canberra (up 3.3%), Adelaide (up 1.3%) and Brisbane (up 0.2%). But prices fell in Sydney (down 8.9%), Melbourne (down 7%), Perth (down 4.7%) and Darwin (down 1.5%). The RBA wanted to hose down price rises in Sydney and Melbourne and it has achieved its goal.

Employment rose by 37,100 in November after a revised 28,600 increase in jobs in October (previously reported as a 32,800 increase in jobs).

Unemployment rose from 5% to 5.1% in seasonally adjusted terms. The cause of the rise was a lift in the participation rate, which is a good thing.

In trend terms, the jobless rate fell from 5.2% to a 6.5-year low of 5.1%.

Job vacancies rose by 1.3% to a record 241,600 in the three months to November. Vacancies are up by 13.9% on a year ago.

ANZ job advertisements were flat in December but ads are still up by 4.1% over the year at 175,428 – just below seven-year highs of 178,879 ads.

The Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator (BSI), a measure of economy-wide spending, rose by 0.8% in trend terms in November – achieving 21 consecutive months of sales growth. Spending continues to grow at a faster rate than the 0.4% average long-term monthly pace.

The Australian Industry Group (AiG) Performance of Services Index (PSI) eased by 3 points to 52.1 points in December. The PSI has expanded for 22 consecutive months – the longest expansion since March 2008. PSI results above 50 points indicate expansion.

The ‘final’ CBA/Markit Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell by 1 point to 52.7 points in December, but was 0.5 points higher than the ‘flash’ reading of 52.2 points. Any reading over 50 indicates expansion.

The World Bank projects global growth of 2.9% in 2019, down from 3% in 2018 and 3.1% in 2017. Growth of 2.8% is forecast in 2020 and 2021 and these are still good numbers.

The trade surplus decreased from a revised $2,013 million in October (previously $2,316 million) to $1,925 million in November (consensus: +$2,175 million). It was the eleventh successive surplus in 2018.

In the 12 months to November 2018, the Budget deficit stood at $1,816 million (less than 0.2% of GDP) and down from the $2,345 million deficit in the year to October. The rolling annual deficit is the lowest for over 9.5 years. Over the same 12-month period to November, the fiscal balance was in surplus by $5.124 billion.

Broker Magazine


PETER SWITZER Here are the more worrying statistics: •

The number of dwelling starts fell by 5.7% in the September quarter, after falling 4.7% in the June quarter and rising 11.7% in the March quarter. Currently, 227,186 homes are being built.

The Performance of Construction Index (PCI) fell to 5.5-year lows of 42.6 points in December, down 1.9 points from November. Construction activity has contracted for four successive months. A reading above 50 points indicates construction activity is generally expanding; below 50, activity is seen to be declining.

The Australian Industry Group (AiGroup) Performance of Manufacturing Index fell by 1.8 points to 49.5 points in December – the first contraction (a reading below 50) in activity in over two years.

Council approvals to build new homes fell by 9.1% in November to be down by 32.8% over the year – the biggest annual decline in 9.5 years. Rolling annual dwelling approvals in the ACT and Greater Hobart are at record highs.

In December, 87,528 new vehicles were sold, down by 14.9% over the year. In the 12 months to December, sales totalled 1,153,111 units, down 3% on a year ago – the weakest annual growth rate since 2014 but a 3% drop isn’t big and this sector has been hot for a few years now.

My conclusion

“I’d like to tip growth of over 3% but that would be me giving into cockeyed optimism…” •

In seasonally adjusted terms, the apartments PCI sub-index fell 7.9 points to 21.7 points in December – the lowest level in seven years. Activity in the apartment sector has contracted for 10 successive months. House building activity is the weakest in 5.5 years.

The Westpac/Melbourne Institute survey of consumer sentiment index fell by 4.7% to a 16-month low of 99.6 in January. A reading above 100 denotes optimism.

The CommSec index of luxury marques peaked in the 2016 calendar year with sales totalling 106,658 units. In 2017, luxury vehicle sales fell by


5.7% and sales fell by a further 8.9% in calendar year 2018. There were 91,642 luxury vehicles sold in 2018 – a 3.5-year low.

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The housing sector is the most worrying challenge for the economy but it was orchestrated by the RBA to slow down a booming property sector. Thankfully, the export sector keeps doing well and because interest rates aren’t set to rise for a long time, there’s a good chance that we will grow at a good rate rather than a great rate well over 3%. It’s crucial that Donald Trump seals a tariff trade deal with China. If that happens, the stock market will pick up and the chance of a US recession over 2019 and 2020 reduces. Remember, President Trump needs a stock market crash and recession like a hole in the head, as he hopes to be re-elected next year! Meantime, our economy could be challenged by the looming election, which is never great for big consumer and investment decisions. I’d like to tip growth of over 3% but that would be me giving into cockeyed optimism and as a so-called hardnosed economist, I just can’t do that — but I hope I’m proved wrong!

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What happens when you apply business sense to the goal of ‘HAPPINESS’? A

ustralian businessman Daryl Holmes and his Texan business coach Tony Jeary have co-authored a new book that delves into how to be happy. At the end of a long work day/week/year/career, that’s the ultimate goal, right? Conventional wisdom leads us to believe that we are only ever (always) a few steps from happiness. Once you land that big client, you’ll be happy. Once you get that job promotion, you’ll be happy. Once you buy that boat, you’ll be happy. Often though, once you’ve nibbled that carrot, there’s just another dangling in front of you. (And another, and another…) And while your success grows, happiness is ever just out of reach. Turns out that’s because our formula for happiness is wrong. 64

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Success does not fuel happiness; instead, happiness is the key to success.

Living Life Smiling, with his Texan business coach and experienced author Tony Jeary.

Australian businessman Dr Daryl Holmes is familiar with the ups and downs of business, the pressure of starting out, of scaling up, of managing people, of managing stress, of juggling work demands with health and wellbeing, family and general life commitments. The dental practice Daryl founded in 1991, has since grown to an empire of 32 Practices throughout Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia, and in 2005 his company 1300SMILES became the only ASX-listed dental group in Australia.

While enjoying a family ski trip in Colorado, and fuelled by a good bottle of red and roaring fire, Daryl and Tony, shared musings over life and happiness. Those first thoughts, recorded on iPhone, and followed by many more conversations, evolved into a published paperback and e-book two years later.

“You get to a stage in life where you tend to reflect. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m still ‘go-go-go’ on the treadmill – but I certainly take a wider view of life,” says Daryl, who co-authored his first book,

Launched late last year, the book encompasses six chapters with each chapter dedicated to what Daryl and Tony identify as the six key areas critical to creating a happy life: Significance – doing what is most meaningful; Money – enjoying cash flow, financial freedom and giving back to others; Inspiration – having positive emotions and a motivated state of mind; Lifestyle – living

a life that includes intentionally good habits and actions; Engagement – being immersed in work and the people you love and enjoy; Success – living with purpose and alignment, and ensuring others win. Together, the chapters form the acronym SMILES. In their book, Daryl and Tony write: ‘When we have a good attitude and a positive mindset, our brains are more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient and productive. ‘We wrote this book in the hope that we could influence you toward living your best life. Being happy if the greatest gift you can give yourself. It is a conscious choice.’ To show readers how to make that choice easier, Daryl and Tony take a strategic approach, just

as they would towards business goals, and draw on their own experiences to discuss the many facets of our lives; from how our health, mindsets and self-talk set us up for success or failure, to why our engagement and relationships are important (resurrecting that classic proverb, that iron sharpens iron), and why the notion that money is the root of evil is absurd. “Everyone’s definition of happiness and success is personal,” emphasises Daryl, adding that by identifying what happiness is to you, and really considering what behaviour and mindset shifts you need to make to achieve happiness, the destination is closer than you think. “By structuring your life to do more of what you want to do, and less of what you don’t want to do, you are in a good position to be happy.

“Happiness is always the end goal.” Living Life Smiling includes a companion workbook, with a happiness index to benchmark your starting point, and determine your values and personal purpose. Living Life Smiling is available at all 1300SMILES practices, and online at

Daryl Holmes

Broker Magazine


FBAA ENGAGEMENT at a local level


ith much of the industry attention focused at the national level, the FBAA continues to enhance its local offering, as it hits the road for more professional development summits, roundtables and coffee meetings. The FBAA strongly believes in the value of your input which we have received over many years, and as we enter 2019 we have introduced a series of locally run events with the belief that you will benefit through participating at these and being informed and sharing those issues affecting you in your state. You will have the opportunity to discuss these issues in detail with your FBAA State Representative as well as provide feedback to the FBAA which will be actioned accordingly.

“…it is also imperative to ensure we do not lose focus and we assist where we can on local issues in the midst of Royal Commissions and the like that impact us nationally.” – PETER WHITE, FBAA Peter White, FBAA Managing Director, is adamant that having these state-run events, where there are specific challenges and issues to be addressed, will greatly benefit members as they will receive firsthand information, guidance and support from the FBAA State President as well as other members from that region. All of which will be fed back to the FBAA for further review and actioning where appropriate. “We will still continue to look at the major industry challenges and provide guidance and training opportunities at our Professional Development Summits, but it is also imperative to ensure we do not lose focus and we assist where we can on local issues


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in the midst of Royal Commissions and the like that impact us nationally,” said Peter. “The FBAA Roundtable and Coffee Meeting discussions we’ll be holding are a great way of doing this.” Roundtable and Coffee Meetings will be will occur in the morning for a duration of 2 hours and light refreshments will be provided. For an invitation to one of the Roundtable or Coffee Meetings, or to receive further information, please visit the FBAA website or contact your FBAA State President.

Queensland | Northern Territory Christine Green 0434 338 584 Western Australia Trent Carter 0448 773 310 South Australia Joff O’Shannessy 0419 820 149 New South Australia Felicity Heffernan 0417 024 300 Victoria |Tasmania Brendon Kurtz 0478 040 714

The next


FBAA Roundtable & Coffee Meetings: (February – May 2019)

top events

FBAA Professional Development Summits: (February – May 2019)


Adelaide (Coffee Meeting) Tuesday 5th February


Gold Coast Tuesday 19th February


Melbourne (Coffee Meeting) Wednesday 6th February


Adelaide Tuesday 12th March


Perth (Roundtable Meeting) Tuesday 12th February


Melbourne Tuesday 19th March

MAR Perth (Roundtable Meeting) Tuesday 12th March


Geelong Wednesday 20th March

MAR Wollongong (Coffee Meeting) Wednesday 13th March


Canberra Tuesday 26th March



Sydney Wednesday 27th March

MAY Perth (Roundtable Meeting) Tuesday 14th May


Brisbane Wednesday 3rd April


Gold Coast (Coffee Meeting) Wednesday 15th May


Perth Tuesday 9th April

MAY Melbourne (Coffee Meeting) Wednesday 15th May


Mandurah Wednesday 10th April

MAY Brisbane (Coffee Meeting) Wednesday 22nd May


Hobart Wednesday 1st May


Coffs Harbour




Darwin Thursday 30th May

Adelaide (Coffee Meeting) Wednesday 17th April

Tuesday 14th May Tuesday 28th May

* FBAA events from June – September will be published in the next edition of Broker Magazine.

For updates regarding FBAA events, and terms and conditions, please review the FBAA website.

For FBAA event enquiries, contact:

Broker Magazine





Queensland & Northern Territory - State President

New South Wales & ACT - State President

Liberty Network Services Mobile: 0434 338 584 Email:

Founder & CEO of Property Loan Advisor Mobile: 0417 024 300 Email:


Victoria & Tasmania - State President

Western Australia - State President

General & Commercial Financial Services Pty Ltd Mobile: 0478 040 714 Email:

Mobile: 0448 773 310 Email:

South Australia - State President Director Finance Opportunities Mobile: 0419 820 149 Email:

Broker Magazine


Brendon KURTZ



Christine GREEN

Would you like more information on an FBAA event or PD Day thats happening in your local area? Maybe you have some feedback or an issue you would like to discuss? Finance Brokers Association of Australia Street: Level 1, 116 Ipswich Road, Wooloongabba Qld 4120 Post: PO Box 234, Stones Corner Qld 4120 Phone: (07) 3847 8119 Email: Web:


25 YEARS AGO In 1993 the median house price in Sydney was $188,000

Celebrating 25 Years of Australian Brokers 69

Broker Magazine



Tony Carter

Peter J White

Chris Szigeti

Cert IV FS (FMB), Graduate Management Qualification (GMQ) – UWA


AFB, Cert IV FS (FMB), Dip (ML) Sec

Managing Director Special Responsibilities Government, Media and Strategy


Peter has vast experience in Banking and Finance spanning over 40 years, which includes his most recent admission onto the advisory board of the Small Business Association of Australia. Peter is highly engaged with Government and Industry Regulators ensuring beneficial outcomes for current & future reviews that are, and will be undertaken. Peter has held FBAA roles of NSW President, National Vice President, National President, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer.

Chris has been involved in the finance industry since 1975, running his own Mortgage and Finance business, Chris Szigeti & Associates t/as CSA Finance and Mortgages Can Do since He started his finance career with IAC ( Citibank ), then 10 years with AGC, where he held senior managerial roles covering all aspects of Finance. Chris was a founding member of FBAQ in 1992 which evolved into the FBAA. He was Queensland State President (2004-2009), first elected to the Board in 2009 as National Treasurer (2009-11). Chris was admitted to the status of Life Member in 2014 in appreciation of services provided to the Association and Members.

Phone: 07 3847 8119 Email:

Managing Director Chris Szigeti & Associates Pty Ltd T/as CSA Finance & Mortgages Can Do Phone: (07) 5592 2635 Email:

Director Special Responsibilities Chairman of the Board of Directors

Tony has been involved with the motor and finance industry for over 40 years, the last 20 as Dealer Principal/Director of 3 motor dealerships. He has been engaged with finance since early career days at AGC and was a Licensed Finance Broker in WA from 2004 to 2013 ending as an ACL holder when he resigned from the motor dealership position. Today Tony holds a Credit Rep role under his son’s company Echo Finance and runs his own Vehicle and Finance Brokerage in WA – Brokerage WA. Over the past 20 years Tony has been on three NFP boards – BIZLINK – Chairman, Asthma Foundation WA – Chairman and Asthma Australia – Director. Principal Broker Brokerage WA Phone: 0418 911 220 Email:

70 68

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Director, FBAA Life Member Special Responsibilities - Vice Chairman and IDR Chairman

John Mulcair

Kim Szigeti


JP (Qual), AFB, Cert IV FS (FMB), Dip

Director, FBAA Life Member Special Responsibilities – Treasurer and CFO


John Mulcair has vast experience in banking, finance and accounting spanning more than 50 years. John joined FBAA in 2002, was appointed ACT Representative in 2003, ACT State President in 2005, first appointed to the Board in 2006, National Treasurer 2006-08, Board Consultant 2009-11, then re-appointed to the Board as National Treasurer in 2011. John was admitted to the status of Life Member in 2009 in appreciation of services provided to the Association and members.

Kim Szigeti has vast experience in finance and mortgage broking spanning more than 20 years, and currently holds a Real Estate Licence. Prior to this Kim held various positions in retail and hospitality, as well as volunteer in previous and present positions with community organisations. Kim joined FBAA in 2005, was Secretary of QLD Council 2007-2009, and elected to the Board in 2015.

Director Wilde Mulcair Pty Ltd Mobile: 0416 049 423 Email:

Mortgages Can Do Phone: (07) 5592 2635 Email:

Director Special Responsibilities Company Secretary, Director Policies, State Branches

Stephen Rasmussen AFB, Cert IV FS (FMB), B.Com (Prof Acct), MAICD

Director Special Responsibilities­­ Audit & Risk Committee, Chairman- Equity Release/ Reverse Mortgage Committee Stephen has been involved in the finance and banking industry for more than 40 years, starting with the CBA in a branch environment. Stephen started his own broking business in 1995, essentially as a one-man operation. Stephen was appointed as QLD/NT State President in 2009, and then elected to the Board in 2016

Managing Director Tailored Lending Concepts Mobile: 0412 295 875 Email:

Broker Magazine



Rick Nieuwenhoven

Jan Kirstein

AFB, Cert IV FS (FMB), B.Com (Prof

Director, FBAA Life Member Special Responsibilities Board Liaison for State Presidents

Acct), MAICD

Director Special Responsibilities – Member Finance, Audit and Risk Committee

Dip Fin Serv (MBM), Cert IV, FSMP, Dip FP, Com Dec, AFB, MAICD

Gus Gilkeson Director Special Responsibilities – Governance Committee

Rick Nieuwenhoven has vast experience in accounting practice and education, finance, financial planning, property investment, and mortgage broking spanning more than 15 years, and currently is a registered agent of ASIC. Rick joined FBAA in 2012, was SA State President 2013-15, and elected to the Board in 2015.

Jan commenced his finance career in 1976 and has worked principally in senior lending and sales roles. Jan joined the broking industry in 1996 and formed his own broking company in 1998. Jan joined FBAA in 2002, was appointed North Queensland representative of the Association in 2002, and has been a Director since 2005. He has held several positions on the board such as National President, Chairman of various committees and has been Chairman of the Board for a number of years. Jan was admitted to the status of Life Member in 2013 in appreciation of services provided to the Association and members.

Gus has spent 19 years in financial business development, product development and origination – primarily responsible for loan origination and structuring. He has held successful roles building and running teams with domestic trading and investment banks, financial advisory firms, private lenders, mortgage and funds management, commercial finance broking. Gus has reviewed thousands of individual business and property finance applications in most sectors and has completed billions of dollars worth of loan settlements. Gus holds tertiary qualifications in Information Technology, Financial Advisory, Mortgage and Finance Broking

Business Owner Nieuvision Phone: (08) 8263 4009 Email:

Principal Brokir Pty Ltd Phone: (07) 3847 8119 Email:

Managing Director Grow Capital Phone: 0423 001 002 Email:


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