Transforming a successful network into a new partnership, a focus on giving brokers a one-stop shop for all things mortgages, and why attitude matters
The L&G network has recently disbanded – Can you give the context?
Our housing market is changing rapidly. A limited supply of homes is continuing to push up house prices and threatening to push thousands of young people out of homeownership, while a generation of asset-rich, cash-poor retirees are increasingly looking to their homes as a means of funding later life.
The role of the broker is also changing greatly, with more flexibility and diversification needed to cope with the evolving needs of customers, particularly in relation to technology
The impact of these changes means Housing Partnerships today is a very different business from the network that was. Successful businesses rarely stand still and we therefore made the decision to bring the network into an exciting new era by gradually evolving the business into a new partnership, where we can continue to serve, maintain and build on the firm’s strong relationships.
In terms of the changes that this means for our partners, the main difference is that the firm is now responsible for the advice given, instead of Legal & General Network. This gives the firm control over its business and the decisions it makes, while still benefiting from the support and close relationship with L&G.
You have played a key role in the network and the mortgage club. How do you feel about the club’s history and the way it evolved?
Legal & General Mortgage Club has successfully established itself over the past 21 years as the largest mortgage distributor in the UK, maintaining a strong position throughout the highs and also the tougher periods following the global financial crisis.
Since then we have moved from strength to strength, and to a position where the club is involved in one in every five UK mortgages and one in three for the intermediary market.
Last year we surpassed our targets with £47bn in completions and we are on track to beat that again in 2016. These achievements are testament to the hard work of the Mortgage Club team, the strength and quality of our mortgage partner firms and the strong relationships we have built with brokers and lenders alike.
However, there is much more to do.
While we must continue to ensure our broker partners have access to the widest range of lenders and products, as well as good proc fees, it is also important to support their access to other new and growing markets, such as later-life lending.
What else can the market expect to see from L&G Mortgage Club this year?
We have already come a long way this year with several new lenders, a second charge proposition with access via master brokers or direct to lender, a later-life lending hub offering the same choices and lots of educational support, including events, the Mortgage Credit Directive matrix, the Government’s housing schemes matrix and new-build forums.
There will be more of that later in the year, and a focus on offering the broker a one-stop shop for everything linked to mortgages. By supporting brokers’ ability to diversify, we can help them future-proof their business and provide the best service for customers.
As a child, what was your dream job?
A cricketer or a chef. But I quickly realised that neither was as glamorous as it seemed, so I opted instead for the glamorous world of mortgages.
Do you have any secret talents?
Not really, but I once sang on stage with Leo Sayer. He was singing at a venue I was at and asked for volunteers to come up on stage and be his backing singers for one song. So a couple of mates and I decided to join him.
What is the best advice you have received?
It’s all about attitude. You can teach skills but attitude is the most important thing in a person.
Who is your all-time hero, and why?
Apart from my dad, who taught me to play all the sports I love, and my daughter, who is the most amazing person I know, I would pick Sir Geoff Boycott and Leeds Utd’s Allan ‘Sniffer’ Clarke – I even named my first hamster after him.
If you were not in your current role, what would you like to be doing?
Assuming I didn’t have the money to be a professional holidaymaker, I wouldn’t be far from the mortgage world. It’s such a fast-moving, energetic, enjoyable place that I can’t think of anywhere better – unless we could transport it to a ski resort.
Year established: 1995
Address: Legal & General
1 Coleman Street, London EC2R 5AA
Tel: 01226 230504
Legal & General Mortgage Club is the largest distributor of mortgages in the UK and provides brokers with access to exclusive products, tailored marketing support and education, supported by a field-based team of development managers and a telephone-based support services team.
The Legal & General Group was established in 1836. At 31 December 2015 the total value of assets across the group was £746.1bn