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Curriculumvitae: Mark Blackwell

Describe your current job

I am responsible for managing and growing relationships with clients and suppliers of professional services for xit2, the mortgage and property outsourcing specialist. We employ 40 staff and support around 100 partners who instruct valuations, conveyancing, Energy Performance Certificates, asset management and arrears management instructions through us. We work alongside many stakeholders including surveyors, panel managers, mortgage intermediaries and distributors.

Describe your first and last jobs

My first full-time job was at NatWest in the retail banking division. My first responsibility was filling the franking machine and I’ve never looked back. My last job was intermediary sales director at Alliance & Leicester.

What have you done in between?

I worked mainly in the mutual sector and at former mutuals Cheltenham & Gloucester and A&L. I also ran my own IFA practice. Outside of work I believe there is a call for my guitar playing skills, I have run a couple of marathons and I enjoy spending time with my family.

How do your jobs to date compare with your career aspirations when you were younger?

They are fairly well aligned.

What has been the defining point of your career to date and why?

I believe you are defined by what you do next – keep the hunger.

And the most embarrassing?

There have been loads of embarrassing experiences, but I’d say my worst was an impromptu speech at a Premier Mortgage Service roadshow 12 years ago when I was presenting to a big audience of mortgage professionals. The topic was a new lending solution for the society I was with at the time, and I was talking about technology and systems. Unfortunately, my slide projector blew up so I had to get on a soapbox – John Malone had a spare one and it saved the day.

What work ambition would you like to achieve by retirement?

To be able to say that in unprecedented times I learnt valuable lessons and contributed to a reformed marketplace. Xit2 has the chance to be involved in that process and I intend to play a role.

How many mortgage payments do you have left?

The Monetary Policy Committee is doing me proud. I’m on a tracker deal and the overpayments are helping. Thanks are due to the broker who recommended my deal.

Up close…

Age: 43

Where do you live?

Solihull. I was born there when it used to be in Warwickshire

What’s your favourite holiday destination?

Always the next one I am going to.

What’s your tipple?

If I’m in the pub I like bitter but if I’m having a meal I like red wine.

What one thing would you take to a desert island and why?

My jukebox. I may as well dance myself to death.

Who is your celebrity crush?

Sarah Chalke who plays Dr Elliot Reid in Scrubs.

What’s the most embarrassing album you own?

Showaddywaddy’s Red Star.

What’s the craziest hobby you’ve ever attempted?

Going out every Sunday last summer and completing a 30 mile cycle run with friends who bike regularly. I played Louis Armstrong to their Lance, blowing my own trumpet after 20 miles. Not even the padded shorts came to my rescue.


Stay alive to cash in when buyers return to market

Is it just me or is the rest of the mortgage industry also fed up with reading that house prices are going to have to drop by 40% before the market recovers, and that mortgage lending for 2009 will be less than price of a plasma TV?


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