One to One: Georgina Smith, managing director, OneFamily Lifetime Mortgages

Smith_Georgina

Being the first mutual to offer lifetime mortgages, and recognising how family members are turning to each other for financial support at milestone moments

You recently launched into the equity release market. Why now?
Lifetime mortgages is a fast-growing market and OneFamily has brought forward innovative products that will be attractive to consumers.

Family members are turning to each other more and more to plan for and manage life’s milestone moments.

OneFamily understands the aspirations of families alongside the financial pressures they face. We are responding by developing products that support and assist families in helping each other financially.

OneFamily is a modern mutual designed to help families who want to help each other meet the financial demands of modern life. With that as our driving ambition and strategy, it is only natural we should seek to enter the lifetime mortgage market and to do so in such an innovative way, especially when that market is underserved by products that meet the changing needs of families.

The clearly apparent gap in the market and the lack of any real innovation have been huge factors in OneFamily’s plans to enter the lifetime mortgages market. We want to look beyond personal finance and focus instead on family finance.

Our product range, including those already launched and the ones to come, brings much needed innovation, competition and consumer focus to the sector.

How does OneFamily differ from other equity release providers?
Entering the lifetime mortgage market with a differentiated product set, genuinely based on customers’ needs, underlines OneFamily’s strategic commitment to provide relevant and wide-ranging family-centred financial products and services.

OneFamily is the first mutual to offer lifetime mortgages, bringing new standards of customer care and the ethos of a member-owned financial services company to the market.

What can brokers expect from you over the coming year?
Our products were planned to be launched over two phases, with the interest roll-up and a voluntary payment product having already gone live earlier this month.

The second phase will see the launch of our interest payment product, including a fixed rate and a variable rate linked to the CPI, with consumers committing to pay a regular amount each month, and with the option to switch to one of the other two products should their circumstances change.

If you were not in your current role, what would you like to be doing?
Lying on a beach.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Just be honest.

Do you have any secret talents?
Yes, but telling you would be giving it away.

Who is your all-time hero, and why?
My mum. She has inspired and supported me in everything I have ever done.

I am also delighted to say that her life and my step-dad’s life have been hugely improved through a lifetime mortgage.

Which three people would you most like to invite to a dinner party?
My three best friends – but do not tell my husband.

COMPANY PROFILE

Year established Family Investments: 1975; Engage Mutual: 1980; OneFamily: 2015
Headcount
c.600

Address
FREEPOST ONEFAMILY ADVISER
Tel 0800 802 1645 (lifetime mortgages sales support)

Website: www.onefamily.com/

HISTORY
OneFamily was established in April 2015 – from the merger of Family Investments and Engage Mutual – with a desire to do things differently.

At OneFamily we are passionate about families. That is why we have created financial products that can help meet the demands of a modern family life, from children’s savings and investments to over-50s life insurance and lifetime mortgages.

Whether the funding is for further education, buying a house or leaving something behind for loved ones, our aim is to support families during life’s pivotal moments.