20 FBAA BROKERS
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FBAA National Industry Conference and Awards of Supremacy
The Future Of Mortgage Broking
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FROM THE CHAIR
The future of mortgage broking
FBAA National Industry Conference Wrap Up
With Tony Carter
INDUSTRY UPDATE Getting down to business
EDITOR & HEAD OF CONTENT Peter White AM
MANAGING EDITOR Krystal Camilleri
How tackling change with confidence can create opportunity
STAFF WRITER Rachel Licciardello CREATIVE DESIGN & PHOTOGRAPHY Jessica Camilleri Matthew Gianoulis Krystal Camilleri
Suncorp improves small business & commercial offering in 2020
ADVERTISING Krystal Camilleri
Cover story featuring Senator Jane Hume
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
Fbaa Gala dinner & Awards of supremacy WRAP UP We revisit our industry’s night of nights
The review site Revolution
Get broker fit
NEWS, ADVERTISING AND ADMINISTRATION e: firstname.lastname@example.org p: 07 4721 1174 w: www.fbaa.com.au
Customer feedback or a marketing opportunity?
We look back at the first ever Get Broker FIT events
HomeStart helps Australians into home ownership
FBAA BROKERS TO WATCH IN 2020
Board of directors
20 Brokers we have our eyes on in 2020
Meet the FBAA’s Board of Directors
2019 Broker of the Year
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From The Chair Tony Carter Welcome to 2020, and hopefully for you a year of “perfect vision” in your business. Sorry, it had to be said. It only seems like yesterday we were nervously waiting on the outcome of the Royal Commission with many declaring “the end” for the industry. Today, that seems like a world away. Yes, there has been change and change will continue to evolve, however, through the advent of Best Interest Duty (BID) the Royal Commission has done the industry of finance brokers a big favour. In fact, it is akin to a free kick in front of goals with 30 seconds to play. Best Interest is what brokers – or at least FBAA Brokers – have brought to clients as their point of difference for years. Finance brokers will continue to adapt to BID regulations, and continue to follow existing protocol of dealing with clients. Banks have no such requirement or intent. The objective of a bank is to make money for its shareholders and introducing BID protocols can only impact that profit, negatively. They will continue to maximise each opportunity – and that is the point of difference you bring to every interaction with prospective and existing clients. Thank you Commissioner Hayne. The figures in the last six months of 2019 showed a significant uptick with brokers reporting “best in three years” for the period. I suggest these are the brokers who did not falter and maintained their ongoing client contact, marketing and prospecting.
The 2019 FBAA Conference has produced the biggest ever event in terms of participants, including highest number of non-member attendees. This is now truly an industry conference of note. Thank you to our many generous sponsors and supporters. We could not run such an event without your support. Having said how good it is, we are looking into all the comments received to identify where we can do even better for 2020. Block out your diary to come to the Gold Coast early November 2020. The FBAA last year amended its constitution to ensure we have a Board of Directors where the majority are brokers with capacity to engage external professionals where necessary. We limited to nine years the time any Director can remain as a voted Director of FBAA, with the need to re-nominate every three years. This ensures we have ongoing renewal and keeps the thinking at board level current and fresh. We are committed to diversity, however elected not to introduce gender targets, preferring to focus on the best possible candidates. Having said that, I want to encourage female members with current finance broker experience to apply for positions as they arise, to ensure we fully represent all sectors of the finance broker industry. To be considered for a voted position on the Board, there is criteria to be met relating to engagement with FBAA and industry experience, as well as knowledge, experience and being a fit and proper person. Any member interested in pursuing a role on the FBAA Board should seek me out for a discussion.
Their view of 2020 is clear. They have a plan and will execute it as planned. Both clients and brokers are the winners when this occurs. Tony Carter Chairman 6
Itâ€™s the start of a new year, a new decade, and 2020 is a big one for the mortgage and finance broking industry. Kicking off the year with the proposed Best Interests Duty bill, continuing to grow our international networks, and working to deliver more to the commercial asset and motor finance brokers, the FBAA is getting down to business.
getting down to business
getting down to business - CONT. 2019 was a big year, and while the broking industry fought some tough battles (and came out on top), the FBAA’s goal for 2020 is to continue that momentum, to protect the longevity and integrity of the mortgage and finance industry. BEST INTERESTS DUTY BILL PROGRESSES In recent months, the FBAA has been involved in lengthy conversations in regards to how the Best Interests Duty should take shape. The government wants to implement changes for July 1, 2020, however, we do have issues with some elements of the proposed bill, namely around what the proposed changes would mean for credit cards, unsecured personal loans, and anything that’s connected to a residential house, including small business lending. We also have concerns with the bill’s stance on clawbacks, and the recommended penalty. Currently, the bill stipulates the penalty for breaking best interest duty (for both credit representatives and licensees) as 5,000 penalty units. The intent of this legislation is not to send brokers bankrupt, however, as it stands, there are probably a dozen different areas you can inadvertently trip over and breach, with the fine sitting at $1,050,000 per breach. (Yes, $1.05m.) Our focus is to ensure that the bill is balanced and appropriately measures what’s trying to be achieved. We continue working through these issues, with Treasury and the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. In late November 2019, the Best Interests Duty bill was put before the House of Representatives and underwent a second reading. Should the House of Representatives make amendments to the bill, it will undergo a third and final reading before it goes to the Senate, then given assent by the Governor-General. I expect the Best Interests Duty bill will be settled before the end of March, and I will of course keep you updated 10
as we progress. Once we know the details of the final bill, the FBAA will commence a series of educational webinars and summits around Australia to bring members up to speed on your obligations.
INTERNATIONAL MORTGAGE BROKERS FEDERATION GAINS MUSCLE Since last edition, we have formally welcomed Ireland into the IMBF. Netherlands has also joined the IMBF, however as an associate. This brings the federation involvement to five members (Australia, Canada, USA, UK, Ireland) and one associate, to total six participating countries. Currently, we are working on cementing the IMBF’s core values and purpose, as well as a general international code of practice, and we are in the early stages of planning the first Global Digital IMBF Conference in 2020. The FBAA’s involvement in the IMBF means that you, as FBAA members, are very much leading the conversation for our industry.
CAM COMMITTEE IN THE WORKS
The intent of this [Best Interest Duty] legislation is not to send brokers bankrupt, however, as it stands, there are probably a dozen different areas you can inadvertently tripover and breach…
Angelo will be a great asset to our CAM committee. Other new appointments are Bernard Desmond who has taken the role of State President for Victoria and Tasmania, and Nick Wormald as State President for New South Wales and ACT. Many of you would already know Bernard and Nick from past roadshows, seminars or our annual conference.
All of our State Presidents – Nick, Bernard, Christine Green (Qld), Joff O’Shannessy (SA & NT) and Trent Carter (WA) – are passionate brokers, approachable and available, so I encourage you to introduce yourself at your next state or local FBAA event.
Peter White AM Managing Director
As a means to strengthen our focus on commercial assets motor (CAM) finance areas, the FBAA has constituted a new committee. This committee will assist us to deliver more summits and educational series specifically for CAM, and help us build strategic alliances in the CAM space. We understand that many brokers either work solely in this area and require more association support, or have already (or are looking to) diversify your businesses to include CAM. I will deliver updates on our new CAM committee as we progress.
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With the development of a CAM committee, we have welcomed a new appointment to the FBAA Board of Directors. Angelo Lauro has taken a position as Director, to head the FBAA’s CAM portfolio of Commercial Equipment, Asset Finance and Motor Dealers. Angelo has held various executive and development roles over the past 20 years, with more than 10 years working in finance, specialising in asset finance.
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An evolving regulatory landscape and shifting client expectations are creating opportunities for brokers ready to face change with confidence. Choice Aggregation Services CEO Stephen Moore outlines what brokers should focus on in uncertain times and how they can build resilience within their business â€“ and within themselves.
How tackling change with confidence can create opportunity
How tackling change with confidence can create opportunity If there’s one thing all brokers would agree on, it is that change has become the only constant. From ASIC’s Review of Mortgage Broker Remuneration, to the Financial Services Royal Commission and the upcoming introduction of a Best Interests Duty, regulatory change looks set to remain a regular agenda item for our industry. At the same time, technological innovation, market competition and shifts in customer expectations are driving business transformation at an ever-increasing pace. While it’s only fair to acknowledge that all this change brings challenges for brokers, it’s important to identify the opportunities the changing industry landscape presents.
RAISING THE BAR The changing operating environment marks an opportunity for our industry to strive further. Successful brokers of the future will be those who are constantly striving to meet and exceed clients’ high expectations. Now is the time for brokers to focus on building and implementing high quality business processes – to ensure their businesses are as resilient as possible. Governance and oversight are critical in this age of heightened scrutiny. Improving business efficiencies should also be a high priority. This is something the Choice team is working closely with brokers on. In an environment where more is expected from brokers, productivity becomes even more critical - yet brokers’ rarest commodity is time. Any way that we can streamline processes and capture data and reuse it, for example, will help drive more productive broker businesses.
overcoming obstacles are now part of our professional development program.
BUILDING A THRIVING BUSINESS DEPENDS ON MORE THAN JUST BUSINESS OUTPUTS AND STRATEGY. IT TAKES THE RIGHT MINDSET AND THE RIGHT SUPPORT. from being an add-on to an essential part of broker business plans. Technology not only arms brokers to be more efficient, it is transforming the delivery of customer service. The best customer service harnesses quality personal interactions and client data optimisation; and having the right tech support from your aggregator is essential to this. The introduction of open banking, which will enable consumers to securely share their selected banking data with accredited third parties, represents additional opportunity. We’re making substantial investments into our technology at Choice to support brokers to combine digital and traditional customer service techniques, in order to generate a deeper understanding of clients’ personal circumstances and financial goals.
At Choice we’re encouraging brokers to incorporate a mental health check into their business planning processes and to ensure they look after themselves, their staff and their colleagues. We’ve also implemented initiatives to support brokers’ mental health, including a Broker Hotline for brokers, their staff and their families, and sessions on mindfulness, resilience and
The road forward for our industry isn’t a straightforward one, but the future is bright. With the right support, both professionally and personally, brokers can face uncertainty with confidence.
Stephen Moore CEO Choice Aggregation Services
GROWING NEED FOR QUALITY ADVICE In times of uncertainty, customers need quality advice more than ever, and this elevates the importance of the broker channel as a source of reliable and valuable information. Since the global financial crisis, broker market share has grown from 30% to close to 60%, indicative of the positive impact brokers have for customers. It is our belief at Choice that broker market share will continue to grow, reaching in excess of 70% over the next three years.
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BUILDING RESILIENCE Of course, building a thriving business depends on more than just business outputs and strategy. It takes the right mindset and the right support. Complex change, at a speed of knots, puts pressure on all of us.
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It’s not always easy to recognise if our mental health is suffering. Choice recently teamed up with R U OK?, a non-profit suicide prevention organisation, which advocates for people to connect and have regular, meaningful conversations. Some of the ways they suggest brokers can support each other include looking out for behaviour changes and taking the initiative to ask peers, ‘R U OK?’.
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As a result of Suncorp pledging $3 billion of new credit for small business, Suncorp has increased its appetite for lending with less reliance on security and a greater focus on cash flow transactions, including unsecured lending or lending secured only by guarantees to provide greater access to credit for small and medium sized businesses.
Small business & commercial lending in 2020
Small business & commercial lending in 2020 As a result of Suncorp pledging $3 billion of new credit for small business, Suncorp has increased its appetite for lending with less reliance on security and a greater focus on cash flow transactions, including unsecured lending or lending secured only by guarantees to provide greater access to credit for small and medium sized businesses. Suncorp’s new product policy applies to unregulated term loans and overdrafts written for Suncorp’s small business customers with total business-related exposure with the bank <$1m. Suncorp will now consider lending under the follow security positions: • • •
Fully secured – term up to 25 years. Partially secured with real property provided – term up to 10 years. Partially secured without real property noting the requirement for director/ shareholder guarantees and a General Security Agreement (where applicable) – term up to 5 years. Unsecured, whereby no collateral is provided – term up to 3 years.
Suncorp’s National Small Business & Commercial Manager, Robynne Frost, believes that these changes should assist brokers to seriously consider Suncorp for their customers’ small business lending needs. “We’ve listened to broker feedback and are excited about our recent product enhancements which should allow for more flexible structuring of loans, empowering small businesses to access credit in the manner that suits them,” says Robynne. Robynne also agrees that supporting small business across Australia is one of the most important things the bank can do to support local businesses, communities and, of course, brokers. 20
“As small business lending leaders, we [Suncorp] understand the crucial role that small business plays in the Australian economy and have invested heavily to understand the unique needs of this segment to then assist brokers to better service their small business customers, while also building their own income,” Robynne says.
Suncorp is passionate about assisting Australians, and this also translates to helping brokers to build their business. We believe that better educated brokers ultimately deliver better outcomes for customers.
A phenomenal opportunity also exists for less experienced brokers looking to grow their business in 2020 by engaging in a diversified business model. The Suncorp SunEducation Small Business Program offers brokers with a range of learning pathways for every stage of their diversification journey.
“Suncorp is passionate about assisting Australians, and this also translates to helping brokers to build their business. We believe that better educated brokers ultimately deliver better outcomes for customers. That’s why our CPD accredited education program provides a range of modules including an introduction to small business fundamentals such as financials, growth cycles and common challenges.
“It also provides valuable information on Suncorp’s credit policy and processes, while also providing brokers with an opportunity to workshop case studies to enable them to confidently write actual transactions themselves,” Robynne says.
For more information on Suncorp’s broker offering for small business lending, please go to businesspartners.suncorp.com.au.
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New year. New opportunity. By Nathan Wright CEO & Co-Founder of Funda
It’s a brand new year and with that comes a new set of goals and fresh enthusiasm for many brokers. Providing a holistic service offering to your customer base has never been more key to growth than in the current landscape. I recently sat down with award-winning finance broker, Founder of Classic Finance and Classic Mentoring and Coaching, Nancy Youssef, to get her take on what brokers need to do to achieve even greater success in 2020. Nancy Youssef, Broker Coach: diversify to succeed. During my chat with Nancy one thing that became very apparent was her expertise in assisting brokers to succeed, having coached close to 150 brokers. Nancy said diversification into new services was key for providing solutions, generating revenue and retaining customers.
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Expanding broker services is necessary for multiple reasons, the most formidable is the need to keep up with market demands. “The broker of tomorrow needs to be a broker that provides financial solutions… I believe brokers are at risk if they receive enquires for a particular finance product that they are not offering, they are at risk of losing that client to a broker that does offer a holistic approach,” said Youssef. Keeping up with market demand is not the only reason Nancy is urging Mortgage Brokers to service SME owners and their self employed client base Multiple income streams, safe guarding your business, and looking at opportunities for growth are all key to success in 2020. Seize your opportunity. Funda are always looking to partner with likeminded commercial and mortgage brokers who are looking for better options for their clients. They offer competitive commissions and individual client managers. If you think your clients could benefit from their business finance products you can find out more at funda.com.au/ partnerships
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or at Sen JANE HUME The Future Of Mortgage Broking
As Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology, Senator Jane Hume is a key decision-maker when it comes to legislating for the mortgage broking industry. One year on from the sucker-punch that was the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services final report, we caught up with Jane to talk political priorities, how she views mortgage brokers, and what makes her tick.
With a professional background in banking and superannuation, Senator Jane Hume is wellsuited to the ministerial portfolio appointed to her in late May 2019.
Growing up in inner-city Melbourne, Jane Hume studied Commerce at the University of Melbourne before starting out in banking as Sales and Marketing Research Manager at NAB in ’95. During her time at NAB, she studied a Graduate Diploma in Finance and Investment at the Securities Institute of Australia, and rose through the ranks at NAB, as an Investment Manager, a Private Banker, and then various senior executive roles with Rothschild Australia Asset Management, Deutsche Bank and Australian Super until 2016 when she became an elected Member, before moving to the front bench in 2019. While she admits she has “no political pedigree whatsoever” Jane says she was destined for politics. “My parents were young adults in the Whitlam era, which made them strident liberal supporters, and I finished university at the end of the Keating era, when we were in the middle of the recession that we had to have. I think these sorts of seminal moments in politics do affect your outlook, and they certainly did for me.” 26
A member of the Liberal Party since 2003, Jane has held various party roles as Secretary and President of her local Armadale branch, and has been appointed to various committees including as Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Economics. “While I found my financial services career and working in superannuation really, really fulfilling, politics for me was an interest, which turned into a hobby, which turned into an obsession, which turned into a profession. So, it ran parallel to my financial services career and, eventually, when an opportunity presented itself to run for the Senate, I grabbed it with both hands. I'm so glad I did because now I get to live both my passions at the same time, financial services and politics. “There's nothing more exciting than negotiating legislation through the crossbench that has been difficult to push through before,” confesses Jane. “Finding the right solutions, negotiating the outcomes, negotiating the amendments, and then getting that legislation through and realising you've actually changed the landscape of the system with which you're working, changed the retirement outcomes for thousands and thousands of Australians, that's really exciting.
While I found my financial services career and working in superannuation really, really fulfilling, politics for me was an interest, which turned into a hobby, which turned into an obsession, which turned into a profession.
“If you’d have asked me a year ago, ‘What would you most like to do in a Morrison government?’ I would have picked financial services and superannuation,” says Jane. “It's kind of my dream portfolio.”
COVER STORY Regarding the other areas of her portfolio – superannuation and fintech – Jane says change is a little more complicated. It is also the space where Jane feels there is great opportunity for her as a politician to truly make a difference for Australians.
“From my experience, the FBAA is an organisation that speaks with one voice for the industry. Rather than being strident, they're very persuasive and they don't come to government with problems, they come to government with solutions.”
“I think also, having had a career before politics gives me a level of credibility and respect among my colleagues and among the industry participants that is invaluable,” offers Jane. “Because of that, I can be quite assertive and speak with authority about the issues that I feel are the most important.” Since taking on the portfolio of Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology, Senator Jane Hume’s priority has been to implement Hayne’s Royal Commission recommendations, which were delivered in February 2019. “We’ve fast-tracked the Hayne Royal Commission’s 76 recommendations, and we should have every one of them either legislated or on the way by the end of 2020,” says Jane. “We’re doing that because we want to restore trust in the financial system.” Some of the changes actioned so far include introducing new civil penalties for superannuation misconduct, passing legislation to end grandfathered commissions to financial advisers from 1st 28
January 2021, and committing to a review of mortgage broker remunerations in early 2022. “Mortgage brokers enhance competition in the financial system,” offers Jane, who secured her own home loan through a mortgage broker. “In a banking system where we have the big four banks, and the next tier of banks down find it much harder to access consumers in the same way, mortgage brokers serve a really important function and we wanted to make sure that the opportunity for them to give consumers access to better deals was enhanced as opposed to stymied by the recommendations of the Royal Commission. “The broking industry had already self-regulated quite well,” says Jane, of the reason why the government decided to review broker remunerations after three years. “This was an industry that was speaking largely with one voice, which is always compelling, and they had demonstrated that they served a really valuable purpose. They already made a lot of changes to the way that they do business, and those changes need time to be bedded down and to manifest, which is why we have
committed to a review in 2022. Since accepting her portfolio in May 2019, Jane has met with the FBAA on numerous occasions, and welcomed the perspective and experience of those working at the front line of the mortgage broking industry.
“For superannuation, there’s lots more going on,” explains Jane. “The productivity commission came up with a report completed in February this year, which said that, ‘While our superannuation system, nearly $3 trillion, has served us well in the past, and its 27 years since it’s been a compulsory system, it isn’t perfect. It’s still inefficient. The proliferation of multiple accounts, high fees, insurances that people might not want or need and potentially can’t claim on. And at the tail, and a long tail, of persistently underperforming funds are making the superannuation system inefficient.’ So, we are chipping away at each one of those problems, one by one, in the hope that we can build a superannuation system that is not something that we’re just proud of its origins and its legacies, but the potential for the future as well. “If you’re going to compulsorily require Australians to give up nearly $1 in $10 of everything that they earn, we do have a moral
obligation to get the system as efficient and as effective as possible, and to make sure that everybody has the best chance possible to have the best retirement outcomes,” says Jane. “If I left politics and I left a superannuation system that was running efficiently, where the vast majority of people were getting optimal retirement outcomes, and where a significantly greater number of people were engaged in their financial wellbeing, and understood their own finances. Well, then, I think that that would be an important legacy to leave behind.” Meanwhile, the fintech space is virgin territory when it comes to legislation. “It’s really exciting to be working in something that I feel I can contribute straight away. I understand superannuation and financial services industry and the fintech space is full of opportunity.” With a portfolio she’s passionate about, what is that makes Jane tick? “Well, what drives me to get out of bed in the morning is the most fulfilling job that I’ve ever had, a great team of people around me, and three children that are demanding breakfast,” she laughs.
“I’ve seen Peter White many times, many, many times,” says Jane, “and from my experience, the FBAA is an organisation that speaks with one voice for the industry. Rather than being strident, they’re very persuasive and they don’t come to government with problems, they come to government with solutions, which always makes it much easier to deal with an industry body.” With two years left until the 2022 review, what should brokers be doing to protect the integrity and longevity of the industry? “The best thing brokers can do to demonstrate the value of the services they provide is focus on the best interests duty, by putting the customer at the centre of their decision making,” directs Jane.
COVER STORY A self-confessed St Kilda tragic, and lover of “uncool music” (according to her children, and her Twitter profile), when Jane isn’t negotiating policy, barracking for her beloved Saints, or belting out Air Supply and Spandau Ballet from inside her car in rush hour traffic, she’s being Mum to her three teenage children, Harry (18), Charlie (16) and Imogen (14).
“Unique perspectives bring something new to the table, and they also embolden people around that table that might otherwise be susceptible to uncritical groupthink. In politics, that’s so important. Better decisions make for better policy, better policy makes for better politics, and better politics makes for a better country.”
“I’d love to say I get out and exercise every day or I meditate or I have regular wellbeing strategies,” says Jane of achieving a sense of balance in life, “but in fact, the most important thing for me is spending time with my kids. They make me laugh, they remind me of who I am, they keep me very grounded, they tease me mercilessly, and when they see this article and all of those photos, I will not hear the end of it.
Better decisions. Better policy. That’s the same thinking Jane applies in her approach to reviewing broker remunerations in 2022, and the FBAA is committed to helping the government understand the realities of the mortgage broking industry.
“There is a photograph that went up as my Facebook profile and people commented on it saying things like ‘what a lovely photo, Jane’ and ‘good one Jane’. My middle son, Charlie, commented with ‘Mum, either that’s not you or it’s photoshopped’. I nearly had to block him from my own social media; he’s way too honest!”
“The work mortgage brokers do is so important,” offers Jane. “Not just because they increase competition for competition’s sake, but because they deliver a better outcome for consumers. And, in that regard mortgage brokers are a little bit like politicians, we want the best for our constituents.”
With International Women’s Day only weeks away, and many commentators and women’s groups highlighting female underrepresentation in her field, does Jane feel any pressure to represent women in politics? “I think it’s important to have more female voices around the table,” offers Jane. “Not because female politicians better prosecute the case for women’s issues, although they do. And not necessarily because it’s a good look electorally, although it is, to be wmore representative of the people who elected you. But because of something that’s commonly known as the ‘wisdom of crowds’. “Diverse groups make better decisions, but it has to be diversity of thought and diversity of perspective; the skirt is less important than the perspective,” emphasises Jane.
My children make me laugh, they remind me of who I am, they keep me very grounded, they tease me mercilessly, and when they see this article and all of these photos I will not hear the end of it. 30
Wrap Up On November 8, more than 900 guests landed at Sea World Resort on the Gold Coast for the 2019 FBAA National Industry Conference. After a turbulent year, a little motivation, industry insight, business guidance and a whole lot of celebration was exactly what we needed.
Conference Wrap Up The day began with the highlyanticipated FBAA National Industry Conference, which delivers an exceptional line-up of speakers every year. The 2019 conference was no different, with marketing guru Carolyn Miller, economist Stephen Koukoulas, futurist Steve Tighe, mental health speaker Anthony Hart, and a representative from ASIC, each delivering informative, engaging and inspiring talks. Navigating the day was motivational speaker and success coach Niik Stewart in the role of event MC. “The FBAA National Industry Conference is the largest and most renowned industry
association event in the country,” says FBAA Managing Director Peter White. “The annual conference is not designed to generate income for the FBAA, but instead generate value for our members. “Each speaker is selected to deliver expert, relevant talks, and the day’s attendance totals 8 CPD points, so there is mega value to all conference-goers. This is why we prioritise the conference being free to FBAA members, over profit.” The day’s combined attendance across the conference (almost 900 people) and gala/ awards evening (almost 430 people) was the overall highest on record.
The wigs were big, the spandex was animal print, the jackets were sequined and the fake moustaches were impressive.
At the evening’s Awards of Supremacy and Gala Dinner, the theme of Back to the ‘80s was a flashdance down memory lane, with acid-wash denim, neon fingerless gloves and loud clothes. The wigs were big, the spandex was animal print, the jackets were sequined and the fake moustaches were impressive. Even some of our favourite ‘80s movie characters, like Maverick (Top Gun) and Princess Leia (Star Wars) made an appearance. “It was wonderful to see everyone get into the spirit of things,” reflects Peter. “Our industry had a pretty turbulent 2019 and to end it with an uplifting, motivating conference and then a big party with crazy costumes, good laughs, dancing, drinks and dinner was the best medicine. “We celebrated our industry’s top performers, including our 2019 Broker of The Year Nathan Vecchio who claimed the award for the second year running, and we inducted Steve Weston into the prestigious FBAA Hall of Fame. A few years back, in 2016, we invited Steve to join an FBAA roadshow around Australia, where we spoke to industry members about the impact of regulatory changes, the review of broker remunerations and what the future might look like. At the time we received some feedback that Steve’s talk was a bit doom and gloom, but much of what Steve told us turned out to be true. He gave us a glimpse into what was ahead and that helped us prepare and strategise. Steve’s induction into the FBAA Hall of Fame acknowledges our appreciation of his contribution to At the evening’s Awards of Supremacy & Gala Dinner, the our industry.”
theme of Back to the ‘80s took us on a flashdance down memory lane, with acid-wash denim, neon fingerless gloves and loud clothing. The wigs were big, the spandex was animal print, the jackets were sequined and the fake moustaches were impressive. Even some of our favourite ‘80s movie characters, like Maverick (Top Gun) and Princess Leia (Star Wars) made an appearance.
“It was wonderful to see everyone get into the spirit of things,” reflects FBAA Managing Director Peter White. “Our industry had a pretty turbulent 2019 and to end it with an uplifting, motivating conference and then a big party with crazy costumes, good laughs, dancing, drinks and dinner was the best medicine. “We celebrated our industry’s top performers, including our 2019 Broker of The Year Nathan Vecchio who claimed the award for the second year running, and we inducted Steve Weston into the prestigious FBAA Hall of Fame. “A few years back, in 2016, we invited Steve to join an FBAA roadshow around Australia, where
we spoke to industry members about the impact of regulatory changes, the review of broker remunerations and what the future might look like. At the time we received some feedback that Steve’s talk was a bit doom and gloom, but much of what Steve told us turned out to be true. “He gave us a glimpse into what was ahead and that helped us prepare and strategise. Steve’s induction into the FBAA Hall of Fame acknowledges our appreciation of his contribution to our industry.” The 2020 National Industry Conference and Gala Dinner & Awards of Supremacy will be held in November with the date yet to be announced.
Awards of Supremacy Congratulations to all award winners. FBAA Awards of Supremacy winners are selected by an independent judging panel, not by FBAA employees. Thank you also to our 2019 judging panel. 1. Aggregator BDM of the Year
8. QLD/NT Finance Broker of the Year
James Brett, Connective
Nathan Vecchio, Hunter Galloway
2. Asset and Equipment Finance Broker of the Year
9. SA Finance Broker of the Year Kevin Ayres, Catalyst Leasing
Anusha Haran, Onestoploans
10. VIC/TAS Finance Broker of the Year
3. Commercial Property Finance Broker of the Year
Stephen McClatchie, Loans Australia Pty Ltd
George Giovas, Axius Partners
11. WA Finance Broker of the Year
4. Industry Provider of the Year Trail Book Loans
5. Lender BDM of the Year Simon Winters, Prospa
6. Mentee of the Year
Sarcha Sagisaka, Success Finance Solutions
12. NSW/ACT Finance Broker of the Year Max Phelps, Golden Eggs Homeloans
13. FBAA 2019 Finance Broker of the Year Nathan Vecchio, Hunter Galloway
Imaan Toor, Loan Market
7. Mentor of the Year Anthony Zveglic, Finsure
14. Hall of Fame inductee Steve Weston
to the 2019 FBAA Awards of Supremacy award sponsors.
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Claiming the broking industry’s top accolade two years running is no small feat. We asked Nathan Vecchio what actions have helped him achieve success – and just might put him in the running for a Broker of the Year hat-trick in 2020.
With a decade working in finance under his belt, a Bachelor of Business in his pocket, and a high-performance track record, Nathan Vecchio is a gun broker. He was named both 2018 and 2019 FBAA Broker of the Year, as well as QLD/NT Broker of the Year for 2017, 2018 and 2019. Over the past three years, he has built up his Brisbane-based boutique firm Hunter Galloway with his business partners and brothers Joshua and Jayden. (Jayden was 2017 FBAA Broker of the Year.) In 2015, Nathan, Joshua and Jayden even started an online community, TopBroker.com. au, to highlight industry best practice and deliver free tips, tools, blogs and podcasts with industry commentators and high-performance brokers as a way of motivating other brokers. “Top Broker is our way of giving back to the industry that has given us so much,” says Nathan. “When I graduated from university, I had no clue what a mortgage broker was but was fortunate to have a great role model in Jayden who I saw starting in the industry,” he reflects. “Jayden is not only my brother, but he helped pave my way to success in the industry by allowing me to build upon what he’d started.” 46
Like most brokers, Nathan’s drive comes from wanting to help his clients find solutions and he thrives on the challenge of sourcing the right loan for their situation. That’s exactly what led him out of banking where he was in mobile lending, and into his own business. “I literally started from a zero base. No referral partners, no direction and no clue,” admits Nathan. “Every day I had to grind it out and got a lot of rejection and was really challenging. I’m grateful for the assistance of a few great coaches that helped set me on the course for success and kept encouraging me to continue.” One piece of advice Nathan has held on to since he began broking back in 2015 was from top broker Jeremy Fisher of 1st Street Home Loans, who told him: ‘This is not an overnight business so be patient and remain persistent and consistent in your dealings with your clients. Make sure everyone around you knows what you are doing and understand the value proposition you are offering.’ “I have followed Jeremy’s advice to the letter,” says Nathan, “and I live by his motto – ‘Every client should refer another client’.”
The single biggest thing
that helped me when I started broking, and even today,
is my 10 calls before 10am.
Finance Broker of the Year
I literally started from a zero base. No referral partners, no direction and no clue. Every day I had to grind it out…
As for most brokers, referrals are integral to Nathan’s business, so he actively networks. He participates in a fortnightly BNI (Business Network International) mastermind session with six different business owners, which could be real estate agents, builder brokers, solicitors or accountants – all sources of new clients or business advice. “Jim Rohn used to say you are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with,” offers Nathan. “Working with equally motivated business owners and industry
professionals like those people in my BNI mastermind helps me continually push myself towards bigger and better goals. While Hunter Galloway services all mortgage customers, from first home buyers to experienced investors, Nathan’s main focus is on construction loans and investor home loans, which he has built through referral partners and his networks. However, even with referrals Nathan knows success still comes down to consistent work, communication and daily discipline. “The single biggest thing that helped me when I started broking, and even today is my 10 calls before 10am,” he shares. “In the beginning I did this as 10 calls to new referral partners, and prospects – and as I’ve become more established I’ve used this as a way to stay in touch with clients over the years.”
Image below: Jayden, Nathan and Joshua Vecchio of Hunter Galloway, Brisbane.
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Customer feedback or a marketing opportunity? Martin Grunstein
is a professional speaker on sales and customer service. He has worked with more than 500 companies across over 100 industries and has spoken at several NIBA conventions. For more info visit www. martingrunstein.com.au
TripAdvisor changed the world! Not only did it give customers the ability to punish or reward businesses who gave them poor or outstanding service, it exposed consumers’ natural reluctance to believe claims made by a business with a vested interest in telling you they are wonderful, as businesses do in their advertising. Word of mouth has always been considered the most powerful form of advertising but it had never been formalised until the arrival of TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google Reviews, Facebook and other sites that allow consumers’ opinions and feedback to be broadcast into cyberspace for all to see. But it did much more than that! It actually changed the way consumers made purchase decisions. If you look at how we purchased international travel as little as 15 years ago, we would go a travel agent who would talk to us about our proposed trip and give us lots of brochures of hotels and things to do overseas
and, based on the promotional material and the agent’s advice, we would decide where we go on holidays. Today, we don’t even go to the venue’s website. We go to TripAdvisor and make our decision based on the customer feedback rather than the promotional material of the venue. Because we believe what other customers say is more honest and a better indication of what we can expect than the promise of perfection made by the venue’s website or advertising. And that is not unique to travel. Just because there isn’t a specific InsuranceBrokerAdvisor site doesn’t mean your prospective customer is any less suspicious of promises you make when selling your services. The marketplace is saying that before I do business with you, I want evidence that the claims you make are true. The best evidence is obviously testimony from customers through testimonials or review sites. I was presenting for Finlease whose major competition in the leasing industry is the big four banks. If you go to Google Reviews you will see that Finlease has 4.9 stars over 798 reviews. The biggest of the banks, CBA, has 1.7 stars over 1202 reviews. I suggested that customer satisfaction should be the centrepiece of their marketing. I am sure CBA beat Finlease on price in most cases but if you ask the 1202 customers who reviewed CBA, I bet almost all of them would
rather have done business with Finlease than CBA and, most importantly, probably would have if Finlease used their outstanding level of customer satisfaction and huge advantage over their competition. I googled insurance brokers in several locations and in one location Broker A had 4.9 stars over 49 reviews and Broker B had 2.4 stars over 10 reviews. To the customer who looks at both of those broker’s reviews, Broker B doesn’t stand a chance. Testimony needs to be a part of your marketing armoury. This means glowing testimonials on your website; strong google reviews and including evidence of customer satisfaction in your proposals rather than just quoting prices. Here’s a piece of direct marketing I’d like to see a broker use: We at XYZ Brokers have a google review score of 4.9 stars. Please google your broker to see their level of customer satisfaction. If it’s less than 4.9, perhaps we should talk. If it’s less than 4.0, we should talk quickly. If it’s less than 3.0, we’ll send an emergency rescue team so you can work with a broker that truly values its clients.
Or, following a glowing testimonial from one of your customers, Is this how you feel about your insurance broker? If not, let’s talk. We at XYZ brokers have google reviews of 4.9 stars and have dozens of clients who feel the same way as Mr. Jones who wrote the above testimonial. And that’s how you SHOULD feel. Can you imagine a future where there would be RelationshipAdvisor, a site where your expartners would share their assessment of their time with you so prospective partners could make a decision as to whether to go out with you? Would that impact decision making? You bet it would. But that is happening in business now. And clever businesses are understanding the impact of this and making evidence of customer satsifaction an integral part of their marketing. And if you are the broker with the google reviews of 2.4 stars, fix things quickly. Get your customer service right, otherwise the reviews will get worse and you will lose your customers.
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get broker fit
Great initiative by FBAA to support our brokers and to increase awareness in the area of mental health!
- Savvy Finance Pty Ltd
I ATTENDED THE FBAA BROKER GETFIT EVENT AND THOUGHT IT WAS FANTASTIC. THE INFORMATION SHARED BY THE SPEAKERS WAS GREAT AND VERY BROKER FOCUSED WITH REALLY PRACTICAL TIPS TO IMPLEMENT.
The first Get Broker FIT 2019 events were held in September 2019, in line with R U OK? Day. These successful events are the first of many wellness events to come. Thank you to everyone who attended both in Sydney and Melbourne, sponsored the event or helped to make this day so beneficial for those within the Industry to know that they are not alone. A huge mention to Suncorp who came on board as the exclusive sponsors. They also have their vulnerable customers piece and relevant BDMs who are always available to talk through anything you require.
- LASE Enterprises Pty Ltd t/a Your Finance Angels.
EVERY BROKER HAS THEIR UP AND DOWN DAYS. GETTING FIT IS ABOUT LEARNING WE ARE ALL TOGETHER IN THIS. LEARNING WHO TO TURN TO IS VITALLY IMPORTANT DURING THE DARK MOMENTS. THIS EVENT IS AN ABSOLUTE ‘MUST-ATTEND’. - Australian Mortgage Planners
Congratulations to our two event winners Marcus O’Brien from MOB Finance and Consulting Melbourne and Coral Scarr from Bespoke Financial Advisory Sydney Broker Magazine
Australia’s leading consumer and financial law firm applauds the end of weaponised civil court actions. Graham Doessel Chief Executive Officer MyCRA Lawyers
ens of thousands of Australians have had their credit rating destroyed, businesses and financial security put in jeopardy all because civil court actions treated defendants as guilty till proven innocent when it came to their credit rating. Leading consumer and financial law firm MyCRA Lawyers says mortgage brokers have been frustrated for years as clients had their bank funding cut off because of trivial and vexatious civil actions.
“Other common weaponised civil disputes are ex business partners suing simply to dry up funding – even spurned lovers who are out to destroy their ex-lovers’ business,” Mr Doessel says. “The system was so crazy even abandoned claims would remain on people’s credit file for years. “We made a submission to the Price Waterhouse Cooper’s ‘Three Year Review’ of the Credit Reporting Code. The 32-page submission detailed how civil claims were being used to vexatiously impact people’s credit files even when the court case had no chance of success. It’s a victory for common sense. “The system still isn’t perfect with people able to impact someone’s credit file simply by making credit enquiries in their name, but we are now headed in the right direction.”
“We started campaigning to the Privacy Commissioner in 2017 to have this detrimental and harmful misreading of the rules changed,” says MyCRA Lawyers CEO Graham Doessel. Now only judgements can be recorded on someone’s credit file and those judgements must relate to ‘credit’ to impact someone’s credit rating.
The new legislative requirements based on MyCRA Lawyers recommendations come into effect on Valentine’s Day 2020 and will be retrospective, meaning people with a civil court action on their credit file that isn’t the result of a Judgment, and isn’t credit related should automatically be removed.
“We’ve had a client with a business employing 120 staff almost sent to the wall because of a trivial dispute with their pool repair man over $3000 that never even went to court.”
Any brokers with clients who have these unlawfully reported court actions still on their credit file post February 14 are strongly encouraged to contact MyCRA Lawyers on 1300 667 218 for a free initial consultation.
SPORT CAN BE A CONFIDENCE GAME CHANGER Nearly 50% of all girls stop playing sport by 17. But we know that sport builds conﬁdence and the more conﬁdent girls are now, the more chance they have to be successful later in life. That’s why we’re supporting Team Girls, in partnership with Netball Australia, to build a nation of conﬁdent young women who continue to thrive as they grow. At Suncorp, we have the same commitment to our Broker partnerships. Working together, we can build a more conﬁdent and sustainable lending industry that focuses on great customer outcomes. And one where Brokers thrive.
When our partners succeed, so do we. - Alex Brgudac, Head of Partnerships
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HomeStart Helps Australians Into
omeStart’s new Starter Loan now available to broker clients HomeStart Finance accredited brokers have another option to help low to moderate income earners into the property market, thanks to a new loan launched by the State Governmentbacked organisation. The Starter Loan is the HomeStart product name for the Deposit Gap Loan announced earlier this year as part of the 2019 South Australian State Budget, which allocated $2 million in funding to help up to 200 South Australians into home ownership. It will be delivered via HomeStart and a new Affordable Housing Fund and is expected to be available until 2021.
Mr Oliver says the organisation had been pleased with the interest from brokers and home buyers since its launch in September. “The positive feedback from brokers who are now able to assist customers they previously couldn’t is really pleasing – it confirms we are on track with innovative products like the Starter Loan.” He said, depending on purchase price and other factors, singles without kids could save up to 44% on upfront costs thanks to the Starter Loan, while those with kids could see a reduction of up to 33%. He said couples and families could also experience significant savings. For example: •
A single home buyer without kids and an annual household income after tax of $48,000, who wants to purchase a house for $230,000, could be looking at total upfront costs of $22,760 including deposit (three percent for Graduate Loan or Low Deposit Loan), fees and charges. By using the $10,000 Starter Loan, the upfront costs would drop to $12,760.
A young family looking to buy their first home with an annual household income after tax of $58,000, who wants to purchase a house for $330,000, could be looking at total upfront costs of $31,350 including deposit (three percent for Graduate Loan or Low Deposit Loan), fees and charges. With a Starter Loan, the revised upfront costs would be $21,350.
HomeStart’s new Starter Loan can provide up to $10,000 toward the upfront costs associated with buying or building a home subject to eligibility criteria being met. It is taken out with a primary HomeStart loan and has a five-year term, during which no repayments are required, and no interest is charged. HomeStart Chief Executive Officer John Oliver said brokers trying to help clients on low to moderate incomes, who struggled to save for the deposit and meet other upfront costs like Stamp Duty, could help them into home ownership sooner with this loan. “HomeStart’s mission is to make home ownership a reality for more people in more ways and the Starter Loan is another way we’re doing this, and also providing brokers with the tools they need to help us achieve this,” Mr Oliver says. “Since HomeStart was formed 30 years ago, we’ve helped more than 75,000 South Australians into home ownership. One in five first home buyers in South Australia come to HomeStart and 90% of our customers were unable to secure finance for a home loan from a mainstream lender at the time of their application. “Brokers with clients who are first home buyers, single parents, migrants, graduates, single income families and older South Australians can help them buy a home with our diverse range of innovative loans, and this includes the Starter Loan. It’s another option to help low to moderate income earners enjoy the benefits that home ownership brings.”
Eligibility criteria includes: •
Being able to qualify for a primary HomeStart loan
Having a net household income of less than $52,000 for singles and $60,000 for couples
Not owning another property
Having enough funds to cover the deposit, but not enough for the remaining upfront costs, such as Stamp Duty.
HomeStart accredited brokers are able to write the Starter Loan, however they are required to complete an online training module on the product before they can do so.
Detailed product information was supplied to HomeStart accredited brokers for the launch, while general information is also available at homestart.com.au
20 Brokers to Watch In
New or experienced, operating in hot or cooling markets, lone brokers or those with sizable support teams, our collection of brokers to watch in 2020 is a mixed bag.
It would be easy to list a brokerâ€™s value in terms of their total dollarvalue of loans settled, or their yearon-year growth, even the number of jobs they create for the industry, or perhaps their years of experience. But when it comes to collating a list of brokers to watch in 2020, it really is about more than numbers. Tasked with compiling this group, our pool of FBAA member brokers made it difficult to narrow that list to just 20. While we have been busy behind the scenes in 2019, extracting the post-Royal Commission shrapnel from the mortgage broking industry, our 8000+ members have continued business-as-usual, delivering competition to banks and value to Australian loan customers, innovating our industry, educating consumers, and keeping mortgage brokers in high regard with our regulators and decision makers. The purpose of this list is to highlight the calibre of brokers within our industry, who deliver results, who achieve good outcomes for consumers, who have business acumen, who engage with their communities and who actively promote the benefits of being a broker. We can each learn something from these brokers, whether itâ€™s taking tips on building referral partners, joining business networks, launching education components to our businesses, or simply setting in place solid habits for productivity.
To the 20 brokers who made this list.
Congratulations *Please note: This list is not ranked in order.
business, and focused on developing a platform for future growth, Faris says he’s now ready to hit the accelerator in 2020. “The goal for 2020 is to increase settlement volume by 150%, and retain 98% of our current book.”
Faris Dedic Red Door Financial Group Melbourne, VIC For Faris Dedic, pinpointing one single greatest business success is a hard task. In three years, his company with co-director Steve Andrianakos has moved into a new office, built a loyal team, been nominated for and won multiple awards, transacted more than 350 deals and settled $500m+. With this rapid growth though has come challenges. “We recognised that if growth is not managed it can quickly impact various values that the business resonates,” reveals Faris. “To overcome this, earlier in 2019 we engaged an external consultant to assist with managing growing our business from a small to medium sized firm on the revenue front, whilst not impacting our ‘small business service proposition’. This gave us an outside perspective as to what we could do to better our business practices, and led to the development of better task and resource management, division segregation within the firm and a corporate structure that allows for continuous growth.” While 2019 was a year where Red Door stabilised the 64
Year, and was a finalist in the Australian Broking Awards and Better Business Awards (2019 and 2020). Critical to her professional development and business growth, was investing in mentoring with Therese O’Neill. “I implemented everything Therese recommended I do, including: ringing five new people a day, no excuses, which quickly resulted in leads; and creating videos for Facebook, even though I was incredibly nervous, but this also resulted in leads. I also read a lot of books, kept a notebook in which I wrote down one new scary thing to do every day and did it, and I signed up for the Tom Panos ‘Real Estate gym’ mentoring. My business grew by 236%as a combined result of these initiatives.”
Imaan Toor Loan Market Melbourne, VIC If Imaan Toor’s own mortgage broker hadn’t mucked up her straightforward lending deal a few years back, she may never have become an awardwinning broker herself. “I quickly needed to educate myself to get out of the bind that broker had left me in,” recalls Imaan. “In becoming a broker, I’m on a mission to ensure I always provide transparency and clarity to my clients.” Imaan believes it is her keen attention to detail and communication that has led to her success as a broker. “Being of Indian descent, I understand the cultural nuances and differences between lending regulations and practices between India and Australia. I am able to bridge the gap into the Australian financial system for my customers.” In 2019, Imaan was named FBAA’s Mentee of the
Anusha Haran One Stop Loans | Great Western Sydney, NSW Starting each day at 5.30am, Anusha Haran spends two hours exercising, meditating and listening to motivational speeches. “After this, I feel refreshed and my mindset is at its peak – it wants to smash the day!” says Anusha. The 2019 FBAA Asset & Equipment Finance Broker of the Year winner says the key to her success has been not being greedy. “A business grows when everyone around it grows,” offers Anusha. “This includes staff, referrers, clients and family.
Being known to the local community and giving time and education to the people in the local community has grown our reputation in the area and taken us to the next level.” Looking to the year ahead, Anusha wants to continue building her profile as a female broker who is driven and passionate to help clients to achieve their financial goals and dreams. She also intends to continue giving back to her local community, school, clubs and businesses by educating them on the importance of finance and budgeting in everyday life. “In 2020, I will be a major contributor to the finance industry’s growth and sustainability in the form of support and attending industry events and helping other brokers grow.”
A business grows when everyone around it grows. – Anusha Haran
the entry requirements for brokers aren’t able to adequately prepare you for what it’s actually like doing deals and dealing with bank appetite. If you can learn from someone who writes a lot of loans you could speed up your learning curve immeasurably.”
Kirsty Dunphey Up Loans Launceston, TAS Transitioning into the broking industry five years ago from a real estate background, Kirsty Dunphey knew she wanted to establish a clientfocused brokerage. “I had experienced very transactional broking experiences in the past and I thought I could do it differently,” says Kirsty. “My skills from real estate, revolving around communication and customer service, are focused on building lifelong client relationships,” says Kirsty. “If a client has to ask us where something is at, then we’ve failed them – that’s our standard.” Kirsty’s shift into mortgage broking has been possible because of habitual goal setting. “I’ve been a goal setter for forever. I have a little box of index cards and any time I get excited about something – it goes into the box. The broking goals in there are pretty far-fetched, but then I break them down into smaller, achievable steps.” And her tip for those starting out in broking? “Learn at the feet of someone fantastic who writes large volume,” says Kirsty. “Unfortunately,
Sarcha Sagisaka Success Finance Solutions Perth, WA FBAA 2019 WA Finance Broker of the Year award winner Sarcha Sagisaka believes the key to her Broker Magazine
success as a broker over the past 12 years has been excellent service and attention to detail. “I make calls, follow up, answer emails, triple check my work and monitor my lodgements.” Sarcha says she prioritises helping clients make informed decisions by holistically viewing the client’s situation, communicating options and recommendations, as well as providing a spreadsheet of all current and proposed property, loan and structure details. “This is particularly pertinent in the current regulatory environment where it has now been determined that such information will eventually be documented as standard,” says Sarcha. “For me, it is something I have always done.” It makes sense then that Sarcha is pleased to see the Best Interest Duty progress. She believes the broking industry has a bright future, but is concerned about ongoing regulatory reforms. “Brokers need to unite to ensure ongoing changes are fair and workable.” Evolution and improvement is always front of mind, and Sarcha’s 2020 goals are to continue to grow her business, expand her consultancy services and implement technology for efficiency. “I don’t believe brokers can be replaced by technology or robo-advice. Artificial intelligence has a long way to go before it can replace the human touch. However, brokers can make the most of technology to make their businesses more efficient and customer friendly.”
a second office in Aspley, and grow his teams at both Seven Hills and Aspley; ramp up the Madd Workshop client education series; sponsor local/community events; plan the (top secret) Madd Charity Ball 2020; and continue client education through Madd Life, which he launched in 2019.
George Samios Madd Loans Brisbane, QLD “Our method is simple,” says George Samios, Founder and Director of Madd Loans, “give the client a Madd experience. We have a strong team who provide a service that’s engaging, fun and stress-free. This has created a snowball effect, whereby our clients continue to recommend Madd Loans to family and friends, and this is how we have been able to double our loan volumes each year. “We pride ourselves on not getting declines,” continues George, whose emphasis on making the experience fun has made Madd Loans attractive to many first home buyers in particular. “Educating our customers is a major priority,” says George, “and the feedback we receive is that our customers appreciate the time we take to educate them, from negotiating on a property to education on how to pay their home loan off sooner.” Being named Queensland Broker of the Year for the fifth consecutive year by Connective has capped off a remarkable rise for George, and he shows no signs of slowing down. In 2020, George plans to open
money and what they really need to know. It’s no surprise then that Maryanne sees educating clients as a key part of her broking role. Maryanne runs The First Home Buyers podcast (available on Apple), which aims to educate younger generations on how money works and how they can set themselves up. Maryanne’s online course, The First Home Buyers Program, also helps first home buyers through the process of saving a deposit, purchasing a home and beyond, and includes a private Facebook support group. Her ‘Who are the people in my neighbourhood’ project, developed with the help of industry mentor Therese O’Neill, and sponsored by OnDeck, is a video series in which Maryanne interviews local businesses to give them social media content and exposure. “In turn, it helps me to build my network within the community,” says Maryanne. In 2020, Maryanne is working on an environmental initiative she’s titled 2020 Trees, supported by The Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife. “Many of my clients, myself included, are wanting to create a sustainable future. In 2020 I am committing to planting one tree per settlement. My goal is 50 new trees in 2020.”
Maryanne Elliott 360 Mortgage Solutions Logan, QLD Maryanne Elliott’s dream of being a teacher was put on hold when she fell into a job in finance, learned how money actually works, and saw the huge gap between what people know about
treat my clients the same way I treat them. Having a team of brokers with the same high expectations and standards meant I was able to take a holiday and enjoy a break from broker life.”
Karlie Scharfenberg The Loans Suite Penrith, NSW Karlie Scharfenberg left a 17-year career in Residential and Commercial Banking, because she left she wasn’t allowed to care about her clients anymore. The finance and mortgage broker life suits Karlie perfectly though. “Getting up every day helping people with their finances is what I love,” she says. “I honestly think the key to my success is just being me, I joke around with my clients, I laugh, I am not at all unapproachable and I am always there when they need assistance.”
NO MATTER HOW MANY TROPHIES I HAVE, I CAN SAY I HAVE LASTED THE STORM OF THE APRA, ASIC, ROYAL COMMISSION, CREDIT ASSESSORS, BANKS, MEDIA AND THE HURRICANE OUR INDUSTRY HAS BEEN IN THE LAST THREE YEARS.
– Karlie Scharfenberg
In her four years as a broker, Karlie has claimed numerous accolades and grown a recognised brand that other brokers want to be part of. So far, Karlie has expanded into Western Sydney, Southern Highlands, Sapphire Coast and Brisbane, and is about to put on a broker in ACT and regional NSW. Karlie’s greatest challenges in her new career have been finding the right people to surround yourself with, and then learning to let go. “You can burn out so fast in this business without taking breaks and enjoying time out. I’ve had to learn to let go and trust that people will
Bernard Desmond Loan Market Melbourne, VIC
Bernard Desmond is no stranger to awards, being named 2018 Australian Broker of the Year (Australian Broking Awards) and winning the 2019 Residential Mortgage Broker of the Year (REB Awards). Not bad for someone who hasn’t yet hit three years in broking. “We are in the business of servicing people, not selling a product,” says Bernard. “Our primary focus is to provide a 6-star experience to our clients.” Bernard breaks down his success into three categories: 1) technical skill set; 2) customer excellence and speed of service; and 3) investing in marketing and branding. He has several daily practices that have helped him succeed. “Target three new face-to-face appointments a day, because magic happens when you meet more people and do it consistently. Become memorable – in six months’ time customers won’t remember their interest rate, but they will remember their experience in dealing with you. Ask for referrals – word of mouth is the best marketing and costs nothing, but if you don’t ask you don’t get. And as simple as it sounds, follow through on everything you say you will do.” Bernard openly shares his tips for new brokers. “Write a business plan and define your first 30, 60, 90-day plan. Set weekly, monthly, quarterly, half yearly and yearly goals – and celebrate when you smash them. Be very clear on who your customer is – you cannot be everything to everyone. And get a mentor – don’t do it alone.”
and solution-driven. And not lose sight of how important the customer journey is to the success of my business.”
Suzy MacDonald Yellow Brick Road Milton Brisbane, QLD Suzy MacDonald became a broker out of a true desire to help people. “I love what I do and I am passionate about finding solutions and creating strategies that help customers achieve their financial goals,” says Suzy. “I also want to keep them on track during their financial journey by helping them to get out of debt and securing a positive outlook for their financial future.” Focussing on the client experience and providing personalised service has seen clients become advocates for the business. “By understanding a customer’s needs, being consistent, and achieving great outcomes, the customers have returned and refer friends, family and colleagues,” says Suzy. “I feel blessed to have clients that come to me already feeling positive about the experience they will have based on the referral they received.” Suzy has big goals for 2020. “I want to build my team with like-minded staff so that as the business grows, I can maintain the level of service that customers appreciate. I want to adapt to the changing environment and to diversify my business so that we remain competitive
I am passionate about finding solutions and creating strategies that help customers achieve their financial goals.
- Suzy MacDonald
their mortgages more than working on their financial plans. Today, after 15 years in broking specialising in the medical industry, John believes the secret of his success is delivering above expectations and doing the one-percenters. “I make sure I get back to everyone timely, I leave my problems at home and I think to myself on each call: ‘How am I going to make you a really happy customer?’” Leveraging as much as possible enables John to concentrate on what he does best, which in turn generates more new business. John’s key focus for 2020 is to better utilise technology. After so long in the game, John has some simple words of advice for budding brokers: “Know your products, learn from more experienced people, use technology to your advantage, outsource as much as you can once you have a bit of momentum, and remain enthusiastic and learned,” says John. “And be humble; never think you know it all.”
John Paynter MediPro Capital Finance Brisbane, QLD “I ask myself every day what can I do today to further drive momentum in the business,” says John Paynter, Managing Director of specialist brokerage MediPro Capital Finance. Having originally started out as a trainee financial planner, John quickly realised he enjoyed helping clients with
Stephen Dinte Australian Mortgage Planners | Greater Western Sydney, NSW After 24 years in the industry, Stephen has seen plenty of
changes and challenges; but he believes you just have to keep moving. He’s not driven by growth for growth’s sake, however. “Bigger is not necessarily better,” says Stephen. “I strive for continual improvement.” His advice to new brokers? “Ensure you have sufficient capital to sustain you for the first 12 months.” Stephen believes his business success, and longevity, comes down to maintaining great communication with clients and stakeholders. Helping clients to get the things they want brings him the most career enjoyment, and being able to work with so many great industry people is his greatest career achievement. As well as an industry mentor, Stephen is an active Rotarian, is on the steering committee for the Independent Finance Brokers Forum and actively supports his chosen charities. In 2020, Stephen is focused on working with 72 existing clients to lower their remaining loan terms.
Nathan Vecchio Hunter Galloway Brisbane, QLD Named FBAA Broker of the Year for the second consecutive year and QLD/ NT Finance Broker of the Year for the third consecutive year (2017—2019), Nathan Vecchio is certainly one to watch in 2020. The key to his success, Nathan believes, has been leveraging his referral partner networks and his local networks like his BNI (Business Network International) chapter. “Every fortnight I have a ‘referral partners mastermind’ where six different business owners ranging from real estate agents, to builder brokers, solicitors and accountants catch up to discuss our clients and own businesses,” shares Nathan. “We all encounter similar issues, and the group not only has helped me solve bottle necks in the business but grow my referrals too.” In 2020, Nathan is working to deepen his referral relationships with real estate partners and companies like Buildi, a builder broker that finds the right builder for pre-approved clients who have purchased land. “2020 for me is going to be about quality referral relationships, over quantity.” Broker Magazine
“2020 for me is
going to be about quality referral relationships, over quantity.
- Nathan Vecchio
Derik’s favourite part of being a broker is making a positive difference in people’s lives. “I have a real passion for helping first home buyers secure their first property,” says Derik. “When new clients are surprised that they can buy their dream home or I can save them thousands on their current loan, it puts a huge smile on my face.” Derik became a broker almost five years ago, after careers in legal and finance sectors. In 2020 he plans to expand Australian Loan House through employing BDMs. He advises new brokers to be patient, as it takes time to build a customer base and grow your networks, and always look to delight your customers. “If you truly put your clients’ needs first, you will be successful.”
Derik Karamian Australian Loan House North Sydney, NSW Derik Karamian’s believes it’s his customer-centric approach and having the customer’s best interests at heart have been the biggest factors in his exponential growth. “The customer is at the forefront of everything,” says Derik. “I believe that If I look after my clients and put their needs first, they will do the right things by me. Almost all my business comes from referrals from existing customers who have become raving fans.”
When new clients are surprised that they can buy their dream home or I can save them thousands on their current loan, it puts a huge smile on my face.
– Derik Karamian
continual performance feedback. With so many tools available to brokers today, and technology changing so rapidly, Vishal’s team work hard on staying up-to-date. “We spend considerable time and effort researching if we have the right tools in place to be able to provide efficient, compliant and time-relevant service to our clients.”
Vishal Gupta Unique Finance Services Greater Western Sydney, NSW
While the industry has experienced many challenges throughout the years, Vishal says his greatest businesses achievement has been to be able to grow and keep momentum despite facing difficult market conditions in a highly competitive marketplace. Vishal attributes his success to many daily practices which centre around a focus on his team: facilitating open team communication on a daily basis; coaching and reassuring his team follows streamlined business processes; and providing
The key to his success, Max believes, is “putting myself in the client’s shoes and asking what I would want to know in their position to help me get ahead; this requires a lot more time in the questioning, listening and education phase,” he says. Max embraces new technology as it becomes available, such as SMS fact finds. All files have been paperless for at least 8 years. Max is also focused on giving back. “We have taken the 1% pledge, so that 1% of our revenue goes towards the global goals for sustainable development, with a focus on poverty and education.”
“Finance is my passion,” enthuses Vishal when asked about why he became a broker. “Being able to assist a client with achieving their financial dreams is my daily motivation for continuing in the industry.” The constant variety keep things exciting for Vishal, whose business is a diversified mortgage broking and business consultancy. “The multitude of different life scenarios that clients present makes the challenges even more rewarding and keeps me motivated to keep servicing clients and learning during that process.”
just finding them the best rate, the better our business will be and the better off our clients will be.”
Max Phelps Golden Eggs Home Loans Sydney, NSW Writing his first book, Getting Your Money $hit Together, was a huge effort for a self-confessed “maths nerd”, money coach and 2019 FBAA NSW/ACT Finance Broker of the Year Max Phelps, but it has also made conversations with clients and referral partners much easier. Max’s approach is to focus on long-term client outcomes, which involves spending more time on budgeting and planning to make sure the mortgage is manageable, fits the plan and can be paid down quickly. “The work [we do as brokers] is getting tougher, but the need for advice is increasing. The more we focus on advising clients, rather than
Stephen McClatchie Loans Australia The key to Stephen McClatchie’s success is simple: constant and neverending improvement. (Which is no mean feat after 24 years in the industry.) “Broking is a very rewarding career but also very hard work,” says Stephen, who also presents at seminars. “I enjoy working out strategies for clients to continue to build their net wealth and maximise their borrowing capacity.”
Not surprisingly, Stephen has plenty of great advice for those considering taking the plunge into broking. For a start, he’s a big believer in mentoring. “First, work out what your goals are, then find a mentor who can help you achieve them.” “Always look to improve your systems and hire an assistant as early as possible to concentrate on seeing clients, not processing loans. Build a team of experts around you, and outsource as much as possible to maximise client-facing time. And don’t be afraid to work within an existing brokerage if the structure is win-win; leads are the hardest facet to get consistently right, and if you do you can build your business much quicker.” And Stephen believes the future is bright for brokers focussed on continual improvement, technology and adding value. “For the last 24 years it has been an awesome industry and I think it will only get better. When I started, brokers had 2% market share; in the next five years broker share could reach over 70%.”
I enjoy working out strategies for clients to continue to build their net wealth and maximise their borrowing capacity.
71 Broker Magazine - Stephen Mcclatchie
best things I did was tell all my friends and family I was becoming a broker. During my first week I got a deal from one of my friends for $760,000.”
Axius Partners Sydney, NSW
Medico Finance Australia
After nine years in banking, William Giovas shifted gears and joined Axius Partners, which offers, Funds Management Services, Capital Advisory Services, Incubation and Partnerships and Fund Placement. “My greatest achievement has been supporting my clients as they grew into much larger corporations,” says William. “It was hugely satisfying seeing the business and my contact points in the business develop over time. “At Axius we provide a wide range of financial services, it is far more thorough than providing debt and not seeing the client again. I like to be part of the process as the client’s business grows, they put on more staff and acquire more sites.” Key to his success, William maintains a daily task diary and a well-organised Outlook calendar. To push himself further, he identifies three goals each year to actively pursue. Most important though, is: “Understanding your most precious resource is your reputation. Having a long-term view with how you deal with clients and lenders, and doing the right thing by them.” 72
As Jared Engwirda found his niche when he realised more and more of his clients were doctors. Last year, he rebranded his business to Medico Finance Australia, and in 2020 will continue building brand awareness within the medical community. “I’m constantly inspired by some of the big names in broking, some I know personally and others I only know through social media and industry news. Seeing their successes pushes me to do better every day,” says Jared. “I’ve really welcomed the change in recent years to talking about mental health, it’s encouraged me to share my own story which has led to others sharing theirs. The more openly I spoke about it the less it had a hold of me.” This year Jared will continue his focus on health from 2019. “I’m eating cleaner, drinking more water, exercising more and meditating daily.” Jared’s advice for brokers starting out: “Build relationships with experienced brokers. Most of us are happy to share what we did right and wrong in our early days. One of the
Steve Sell Loans 123 For Steve Sell, lasting 25 in the asset finance industry has come down to taking the time to listen to his clients’ situations, having a good team of brokers and embracing technology. “We have developed proprietary software that enables us to speed up the processing and approval of applications, storage of information that is our CRM and aids in compliance,” explains Steve, emphasising the relevance of this to success. “This makes the client journey smoother, quicker and easier.” Steve says looking ahead to 2020, the broking industry has a great future. “I believe it will continue to grow market share by offering clients real choice and the best outcomes. Positive credit reporting is already impacting approvals. Educating and explaining what the credit file means and how it impacts clients is going to be required in 2020.”
“I have met a lot of people during my treatment and experience with cancer who have had no financial protection in place, and they had to return to work when they were so unwell. I feel so lucky I haven’t needed to go back into a stressful work environment whilst going through this”. - Paula, mother of five, Living Benefit, Breast Cancer
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Peter J White AM
Director, FBAA Life Member
Cert IV Finance, Graduate Management Qualification (GMQ) – UWA
Dip Mortgage Lending, AFB, MAICD, REIQ Cert IV Property Services (RE), FBAA Life Member
Director - Company Secretary
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.
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.
Over the past 20 years Tony has been on three NFP boards – BIZLINK – Chairman, Asthma Foundation WA – Chairman and Asthma Australia – Director.
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Special Responsibilities - Vice Chairman and IDR Chairman 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.
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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.
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Special Responsibilities â€“ Chairman of New Entrants committee, Member of the Finance and Risk Management and Renumeration 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.
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Special Responsibilities â€“ CAM: Commercial Equipment, Asset Finance & Motor Dealers Angelo has had several careers in executive and development roles across various sectors in the past 20 years with more than 10 years in Finance specialising in the Asset Finance sector. Angelo has built successful businesses including one of the largest asset brokerages in Australia. He currently is the director of a boutique aggregation business supporting brokers across Australia and currently works with the CAM committee supporting asset brokers and motor dealers.
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