Start at the bottom to get to the top

I closely follow the trade press and not a week goes by when there isn\'t an announcement that a particular lender has poached a BDM from a rival firm or that a packager has appointed a senior member of staff from somewhere else.

And I’m always glad to hear when workers within a firm are promoted to more senior roles. It means the industry is retaining its most successful workers and internal promotion is good for business.

One article last week concerned BDMs and how they have evolved into some of the most sought after and headhunted workers in the industry.

They are on the front line of the mortgage market, out there each day selling their services to brokers and packagers. The majority of them do a great job.

If you have a problem with a business deal, are agitated and starting to despair, you call your BDM. They can make or break deals.

So where do these movers and shakers come from and how did they get so good at what they do to warrant the high salaries that many of them achieve?

In business, my philosophy is that the best people come up through the ranks. They have the most complete understanding of the market they’re in. In the kingdom of the mortgage, the university of life is king. This is evident in the directors on my board. Each of them at some point in their early career has been a broker, an underwriter or an administrator, including myself.

By working their way up, they have been able to accumulate a range of skill sets from their various experiences.

This enables them to succeed in their current roles and gives them a thorough grounding in the mortgage business.

My belief is that doing a job and learning from it makes you a better person. It gives you the ability and credibility to drive other people forward to make them successful too.

I actively encourage my staff to aspire to grow as people and as employees. We have a strong ethos here of promoting from within the ranks.

My BDMs spend a long time working in our new business department so they can work at the coalface and constantly hone their skills.

The time spent there provides them with insights into our business and products, which in turn helps them to inspire brokers to choose us over our competitors in the packaging market.

So I’d encourage staff in the industry to keep learning. Experience is vital and the best way to gain it is by starting at the bottom and working your way up.