Monday: Got to work early (around 7.00am) to prepare for today's group board meeting. Managed to read up on the Sandler report and took on board the comments and views from the trade press (inc. Mortgage Strategy, of course). Spent most of the meeting discussing a pilot with a top lender for our new product, the Conveyancing Exchange. This will allow lenders, conveyancers, brokers and applicants to instruct, amend and track conveyancing online while interfacing with each other's IT platforms, removing double-keying. As David Gillam, our sales director, was with us, the meeting ended at 8.30pm in a pub.
Tuesday: Up early and over to Reading for a client meeting with Bristol & West and Bank of Ireland Mortgages. The pilot for the Valuation Exchange (a web-based platform for instructing valuers) with BoI Mortgages and B&W has been declared a success and we are now working with Richard Jackson, Gill Hall and Martin Hemmings on a roll-out programme. The Valuation Exchange (V.Ex) went live with a group of B&W packagers today. As David Gillam was with us, the meeting ended in a pie shop.
Wednesday: The day started with a project meeting with our IT team. Apparently, GUI SOAP isn't a shower gel at all but is a 'graphic user interface' and 'simple object access protocol'. I sometimes feel that I'm speaking schoolboy French while the IT team all have degrees in Russian. Anyway the upshot is that we can now link with brokers' websites to provide online case tracking for valuation instructions on our system. Spent the afternoon in London at the Institute of Directors discussing how we can work with universities to sponsor IT students – a great way to recruit staff. Shared a cab to Paddington with a gentleman who was an IFA. We ended up discussing the Sandler report and the impact it is likely to have on brokers and the industry as a whole.
Thursday: Early morning meeting with our accountants to finalise the group accounts. I picked up a few emails from David Webber at Lynx. We have agreed to work together on an interface that will allow packagers and lenders working on a Lynx platform to use any of our products at the touch of a button. I'm home on time tonight as my wife, Alison, is out and I'm looking after our eight-year-old son. Later, I explain that taking our son to a curry house not only is babysitting but is also helping him to develop as an individual.
Friday: Spend the bulk of today with our R.Ex team. The Repossession Exchange is a platform that lenders use to manage the repossession process. In effect it allows them easily to communicate with all parties involved (asset managers, contractors, solicitors, valuers, etc.). I check in with David Gillam after lunch. He had just got in after a long night on the company drink. Life is good, especially for David.
Paul Duckworth is managing director of xit2. His diary runs from July 15-19.