What can brokers expect from Together in 2018?
New products, innovation and a continued desire to help them find the best outcome for their customers.
As we widen our distribution, we’re going to be working with even more brokers to help them understand our specialist finance offering and common-sense approach.
These are exciting times at Together as we expand our broker teams to support our partners face to face and over the telephone, while increasing our distribution channels through networks and clubs. The master broker and packager communities are massively important to us — and always will be — but we are also very much looking forward to opening up Together’s offering to even more intermediaries across mainland UK who have not previously been able to reach us via these traditional channels.
As a child, what was your dream job?
I really wanted to be a footballer and used to train and play all the time in the local park, with my mates. That was in the days before the top players could command astronomical wages, so it certainly wasn’t the money that attracted me.
Unfortunately, Spurs never came to watch me play, so the decision was taken out of my hands. I decided then that my career path lay elsewhere.
Do you have any secret talents?
I’m double-jointed. That’s my party trick.
What are your hobbies?
I’m an avid Spurs supporter and have been since I was young. As a season-ticket holder, I go to watch them play whenever I can and keep an eye on their scores when I’m out of the country.
I’m also a keen horse-racing enthusiast and a lapsed golfer — but the less said about the golf the better!
What is the best advice you have received?
Build a great team. Teamwork is one of the most important elements of building a great business.
It’s fantastic to be surrounded by talented and knowledgeable staff you can trust, who understand the wider vision of the business and are quick decision makers. This applies not only to our own company.
Who is your all-time hero, and why?
It has to be former England footballer Glenn Hoddle, who was dominant in my formative years and one of the most gifted English players of his generation.
He was an incredible and inspiring player who was obviously great at passing and shooting, and his close control on the ball was a marvel to watch.
If you were not in your current role, what would you like to be doing?
Lying on a beach in Italy! We have a place near Tropea in Calabria, so I get out there whenever I can with family and friends.
We enjoy exploring the picturesque towns dotted all the way down the coast, eating great food at some fantastic restaurants and just relaxing.
What is the toughest decision you’ve ever had to make?
Leaving a high-street lender after many years was a really hard decision for me.
I’d worked for mainstream providers for three decades, at some of the UK’s leading companies, getting to know the mortgage business inside out, gaining a huge amount of knowledge and generating a large network of contacts.
However, moving to Together in 2017 has really opened my eyes to the specialist finance sector and has come at a time when mainstream lenders are changing their policies on who they will lend to, meaning some potential borrowers will not be able to access the funding they need.
If you were chancellor for a day, what would you do?
Look again at stamp duty. I’m not sure the measure announced in the last Budget to cut stamp duty for first-time buyers has necessarily had the desired immediate effect that the Government anticipated in getting more people on the property ladder.
And, those on the higher rungs may still have to pay considerable amounts of money to move house, which may be putting off a lot of people.
Capital gains tax on property may also be causing some stagnation in the market, and I think that needs revisiting.
Year established: 1974
Number of staff: 600+
Address: Lake View, Lakeside, Cheadle SK8 3GW
Phone: 0161 333 7400
Specialist lender Together offers residential and commercial mortgages, auction finance and bridging. Last year Together lent nearly £1.2bn.