The technological trends looming on the horizon, the challenge of lenders’ execution-only models and some valued, all-encompassing advice
What sort of technology developments can brokers expect to see over the next five years?
We are already starting to see differing technology adopted by lenders for brokers; post-MMR, many have invested in the intermediary market and channel.
There have been many drivers for this: seeking greater volume; removing friction from the process; and delivering consistency of service, to name a few. I expect the new digital banks to seek to provide a more interactive approach, with perhaps a ‘gaming’ app feel to the experience.
With lenders actively beefing up their systems to attract direct business, is this a threat to brokers?
Post-MMR, the broker channel has seen significant growth and I, for one, do not see this altering dramatically over the coming years. Since the MMR, and with the European Mortgage Credit Directive looming, the service provided by the broker has been invaluable to the lender community.
We are also seeing other institutions leverage the broker channel to step outside their natural habitats, with a number of building societies entering the intermediary market. The split of direct versus intermediated business has often fluctuated in recent years but I expect brokers to continue to deliver the lion’s share of the business.
How did you end up at a technology company?
I spent the best part of 20 years in the third-party servicing space and thoroughly enjoyed it. That said, I wanted to broaden my view of the market and seek to aid lenders and financial institutions, leveraging my outsourcing experience.
I also thought that this had been an under-focused area during the credit crisis for many. With the onset of new banks, digitisation and big data, to name a few trends, it is an interesting and growing market to be a part of.
If you could change one thing about your current job, what would it be?
Work/life balance is always difficult given how busy we are so I would like to be as active and successful as we have been but in less time.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
I have had a number of good pieces of advice over my career, some unrepeatable. ‘Always do to others as you want them to do to you’ is a favourite of mine but probably the best advice was not just work-oriented but more about life in general: ‘No regrets, don’t die wondering.’
Who is your all-time hero and why?
Given my sporting background, a number of my heroes are from the world of sport. But for true dedication to his sport and his training, as well as for his achievements, I would have to say Jonny Wilkinson.
If you were not in your current role, what would you like to be doing?
Playing professional rugby, but I am far too old and round for that now.
Do you have any secret talents?
I can do a reasonable number of disappearing tricks with liquid of most varieties. On a more serious note, I used to play semi-professional rugby for a long time, in both codes.
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Unisys is a global information technology company that works with large firms and government organisations to solve IT and business challenges.
Unisys has clients in the government, financial services and commercial markets. With more than 20,000 employees serving clients around the world, Unisys offerings include cloud and infrastructure services, application services, security and high-end server technology.
In the UK it has a mortgage savings, loans and branch offering that supports around 40 per cent of the UK mortgage market.