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KEVIN WHEATLEY Managing director, Bayside Commercial Mortgages

Total value of commercial loan settlements 2013/14

$82,440,000

Number of commercial loans settled 2013/14

7

Average commercial loan value

$11,777,143

Years as a commercial broker

5

In Kevin Wheatley’s opinion, being a standout broker isn’t about broking at all. “If you don’t have strong business acumen, where you’ve learnt to structure a company and run a company from the ground up, you’ll never understand business finance because there are so many facets behind it,” he says. Having wider business experience, Wheatley argues, has made the difference, and with seven loans totalling $82,440,000 it’s difficult to argue with him.

“We don’t make a point of saying we only specialise in commercial; we specialise in all types of funding” Wheatley is currently managing Bayside Commercial Mortgages, and was previously a contractor at AAA Commercial Mortgages. His

focus is on development, construction, and mergers Business and acquisitions. But only acumen five years ago Wheatley was yet to become a matters broker, and instead was Experience in the working in logistics for a logistics business helps chemical company, with Wheatley better an academic background understand his clients’ in international trade. businesses. Since moving into finance he’s “never looked back”, yet he insists his experience in logistics, especially the specifics of procurement, continues to be an invaluable asset. When it comes to fellow brokers, Wheatley is not scared to point out why his business experience counts. “They lack business acumen,” he argues. “They’ve never run a business themselves, and more importantly, they’ve never started a company by themselves.” He’s particularly scathing of those from a banking background, who he sees as “institutionalised”, kept away from the real-world operation of businesses. Understanding how businesses grow continues to be a major drive of Wheatley’s, and he recalls the challenge of persuading banks to lend to a specialised mushroom farm, the technicalities of which they struggled to understand. He refuses to reject any business, insisting “we don’t make a point of saying we only specialise in commercial; we specialise in all types of funding”. And he sees lack of knowledge as a barrier to residential brokers moving into commercial broking. “Residential is a very straightforward business,” he says. “It’s all there in front of you. With commercial you have to understand how to put the best structures in place that are going to work for your clients.” While budding commercial brokers might struggle to equal Wheatley’s logistics background, he strongly believes in learning new skills on the job. He himself learnt the basics of residential broking, in order to educate the three trainees in his office. Once they’re confident in dealing with residential business, he explains, he’ll introduce them to commercial specifics. He’s “extremely” positive about the market they’ll enter. “The financial markets are a lot more positive now, more money is coming back into the commercial finance space… There are exciting times ahead.”

OCTOBER 2014 | 27  

Mortgage Professional Australia issue 14.10  
Mortgage Professional Australia issue 14.10  

The magazine for mortgage professionals in Australia.