60 Seconds with…Gemma Harle

Gemma Harle, Managing director, Tenetlime

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How long have you been at Tenetlime and how are you finding it?
I’ve been here a few weeks. I decided to join after speaking to the company about its ideas following its rebrand. It has a good appetite for business and an exciting offering, with plans to get ahead of the market. I like the way it is focussing on the non-investment sector and I’m really enjoying it.

What is the size and structure of the business?
Compared with traditional mortgage and general insurance networks we are much bigger. Because of our IFA offering and how long we have been established we are better placed than many. We have plans to expand and are committed to the non-investment market, while a lot of other networks have limited resources.

So what plans do you have at TenetLime?
We have aggressive growth targets. We will be working on our non-investment proposition, ensuring it continues to support the partners we deal with. We will be reshaping it so it suits both directly authorised brokers and those who are part of the network. We’re always looking at buying other businesses, although we have no specific plans at the moment – but that’s the way to go if you want to grow. I think we can expect more consolidation in the industry this year. That must be the case if networks want to grow.

Last year saw some well-known networks collapse. why do you think that happened?
They didn’t respond to market conditions well enough. They were thinking the old market would come back and were not nimble enough when the time came to adapt. Their fate was sealed. Then of course there was the question of the investment behind them – networks need financial security.

What do you think will happen in the mortgage market this year?
There will be a slow return of business and we’ll see some new lender entrants, which is good. There has been some natural cleansing since the credit crunch began and only the best brokers will survive.

Then there’s the challenge of direct distribution. Many lenders have made a commitment to intermediaries but the proof of that pudding will be in the eating. Basically, we’re in for a slow recovery.

Interview by Christine Toner