When I try to get my fellow brokers together to collaborate and share ideas on best practice over a few beers I am often inundated with questions as to why I would do this and resistance from particular parties.
To give an example, I help run various educational seminars for commercial and second charge lending and I have invited one particular person to six in a row and without fail, he never turns up. When I enquire why, it transpires that someone he knows has died. I half-jokingly respond by saying he needs to be very careful because he’s in danger of becoming the prime suspect.
We hear a lot about innovation in the industry and while I am all for that – and its slightly more aggressive brother ‘disruption‘ – I can’t shake the feeling that the answers to our problems are already sat within the broker community.
This is one of the main reasons why we recently started The Adviser Alliance, the primary motivation of which is to put the mortgage adviser at the forefront of the advice process.
There seems to be an undercurrent of distrust in the industry, possibly because adviser numbers are evenly split between DA and AR, and vested interests will argue one is better than the other.
I have long thought about arranging a fight in a field somewhere so that we can put this argument to bed once and for all. But if I know DAs, they won’t bother turning up, and if I know ARs, they’ll have to leave early to attend a compulsory lender event in Milton Keynes.
So what do we do? The first comedic rule of improvisation is to agree to something and then embellish it to make the initial idea even better. I have seen this supportive nature create ideas of genius in the arts and I often wonder what business could do if it embraced a similar philosophy.
So, if you are a broker, regardless of how you are authorised, how do you fancy working together for the greater good? I look forward to hearing from those whose first thought was a resounding “yes”.
Martin Stewart is director of London Money