Complete turned 21 last year - how has the market changed over those years?
The industry is unrecognisable. We have gone from an essentially free market, which was largely unregulated, to a highly regulated one - from a time when anyone could advise on mortgages and loans, to a significantly more professional environment. Customers are hugely better served and advisers are now part of a profession where competence is paramount. Latterly, the regulatory structure has led to lenders being more restricted in what they can do, which has may have acted as a brake on innovation and inclusiveness when it comes to underwriting, but overall the industry of today is in good shape.
What have been the highlights for the market and for you personally?
M Day back in 2004 was without doubt the day we remember most. The lead up to the day, the fear, but ultimately the overall positive effect it has had on our industry. In addition, the explosion in the specialist lender market over the last 20+ years has been incredible. Post 2008 and the credit crunch, the sector has not only survived but also continues to demonstrate innovation, transparency while bringing new entrants to market such as Kent Reliance, Precise and more recently Axis Bank. Personally I continue to be amazed and proud of the resilience the intermediary market shows despite the challenging economic climate we have seen over the last 20 years and the more stringent regulatory framework that has evolved. I take my hat to them all.
What do you wish you'd known when starting out?
Life’s too short, so don’t work as many hours!!!
What do you predict for the market for 2016?
Against a still uncertain economic situation globally, prediction is always difficult. There seems to be no shortage of funding available into 2016 which is a complete turnaround from a few years ago. So I expect to see new entrants in the market, but also some changes in ownership of some of the smaller existing brands as funding brings with it the need to part with equity. Everything being equal, 2016 will be a good year to be an adviser and a customer as choice of product, cheap rates and a maturing regulatory environment, which benefits us all.
What advice would you give to anyone starting out in this market today?
Never stop learning what clients need. Specialise in key areas and find a partner to help you with more challenging cases, which will leave you free to engage with new clients.