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the mortgage mole


Boy, what a star Mortgage Strategy staffers donned their finest outfits last Wednesday for the biggest event in the industry’s calendar – the Mortgage Strategy Awards.

Held at the prestigious Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane, the great and the good of the industry were out in force for the glitzy event which rewarded those who have been at the top of their game in the past year.

The surprise of the night came when 1980s pop star Boy George made an appearance during the now-famous M Factor finals.

BM Solutions’ Phil Rickards took to the stage to sing the star’s classic hit Karma Chameleon but was soon replaced by the man himself, much to the audience’s delight.

The singer brushed aside recent legal difficulties to deliver a short but brilliant set of his classic tracks. The highlight of the performance came when he addressed the crowd with the ghetto-style shout-out – “Big up the mortgage people!” Indeed.

Celebrity deals Boy George wasn’t the only celebrity spotted at the awards. Holby City actress and serial rock star groupie Patsy Kensit was also seen in the hotel by several guests, prompting one mortgage man to relate details of his celebrity dealings.

The unnamed broker revealed he once arranged a mortgage for Kensit although he declined to say which star she was involved with at the time of buying the house.

The same broker also claimed to have helped members of Spandau Ballet get mortgage finance and even came close to arranging mortgages for The Bay City Rollers.

Unfortunately, the Rollers’ finances were in disarray at the time and the broker had to advise them against taking out a mortgage. Mole likes the fact he has friends in high places.

l win and lose Meanwhile, one award has yet to meet its rightful owner. Bright Grey picked up the title of best protection provider but unfortunately nobody from the company was on hand to collect it. Instead, Strategy editor Robert Thickett collected the trophy on the firm’s behalf.

Unfortunately, Thickett is well known at MS HQ for being easily distracted and at some point between collecting the award and leaving his table at the end of the evening the editor extraordinaire managed to misplace the prestigious award.

“One minute I had it in my hand and the next it had disappeared,” a confused Thickett told Mole. “I don’t know how it happened – I’m usually so careful. At the time I wasn’t sure how I was going to explain it to Roger Edwards and the team at Bright Grey.”

Fortunately for Thickett, Legal & General’s Joe Wiggins, who was on the same table, had taken the award for safekeeping and will return it to the winner. Phew!

A great success Finally, Mole would like to offer his sincere congratulations to all the winners at last week’s event as well as those who were nominated and the talented M Factor finalists.

The evening was a terrific hit as the industry celebrated the successes of the past year, forgot the disappointments and looked forward to the year ahead.

The sore heads and bleary eyes the next morning at Strategy Towers were more than worth it.


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Guide: Johnson Fleming produces auto-enrolment checklist

For a job as big as managing the auto-enrolment changes, it’s important to know what has been completed and what still lies in front of you to give you the reassurance that everything is in hand. Getting the planning and project management right at the outset can help you see the path ahead and ensure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities. To help with this, Johnson Fleming has produced a checklist outlining every step that needs to be taken when preparing for auto-enrolment.


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