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L&G bigwig joins Towergate

Ben Thompson, managing director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, has revealed he is leaving the firm to join Towergate Partnership, the parent group of his previous employer Paymentshield.

He joined L&G in August 2007 from Paymentshield, where he headed up its mortgage club offering. Paymentshield was bought by Towergate in November 2006. Thompson’s new role has yet to be announced.

Along with Paymentshield, Towergate also owns insurance distributor British Insurance.

It was also revealed last week that Mark Blackwell, former intermediary sales director at Alliance & Leicester, is set to join mortgage data management firm Xit2. Blackwell has been app-ointed as sales director and will be responsible for building on existing client relationships and developing products across the market.

Peter Stibrany, managing director of the Xit2 group, says: “It is a coup to have someone of Blackwell’s calibre to lead our sales.

“His wealth of experience and expertise will be invaluable in helping us achieve our growth targets and I am looking forward to working with him.”

Meanwhile, Graham Felstead has been promoted to the newly created role of head of sales at Royal Bank of Scotland Intermediary Partners.

Felstead was formerly head of corporate accounts at RBSIP and will now manage its 167-strong salesforce covering the RBS, NatWest and First Active brands.

Chris Pearson, director of intermediary mortgages at RBS, says: “Felstead has a vast amount of experience within the broker sector and will be invaluable in developing our sales proposition.

“This appointment is an investment in our sales strategy and will ensure we have a clear focus on how to maximise our performance.”


SMS offers extra commission

Solent Mortgage Services is offering brokers commission fees of up to £50 or an additional 10% on business submitted via its online portal Porthole and its Solent Enquiry to Application System.

Website matches buyers to sellers has launched a consumer service that connects prospective buyers with home owners looking to sell their properties.

Rural prices beat urban values

The latest annual Halifax rural housing review has revealed the average house price in rural areas of the UK is 15% higher than in urban areas. Rural area prices average £235,324 compared with the urban figure of £204,290.


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