Feature: Exciting prospects among the industry’s next generation


The Mortgage Strategy Awards, held last month, offered many insights into the state of the industry. And one thing that jumped out at this year’s event was that the future of this industry is in good hands.

Smart, ambitious and very energetic – the next generation arriving right now is an impressive group that has managers excited. We thought we’d spread some good humor by profiling four newcomers.

Barbara Santangelo, Business Analyst, Knowledge Bank

Asked her opinion on the new group of workers entering the industry, Knowledge Bank founder and chief executive Nicola Firth said: ‘I have seen a shift where one would expect that more is done through digital channels.

“It has become a no-brainer to adopt digital channels rather than an acceptance and sometimes a reluctance to adopt with the older generation. Proactively researching what new technology can do and how it can help in the workplace is something I’ve really seen in the next generation. »

And, according to Firth, new business analyst Barbara Santangelo epitomizes that – “a breath of fresh air.”

Barbara has a constant drive to improve, go back and review existing work

Firth says, “Barbara has a strong appetite for finding things that can be improved or simplified. As we work on new processes to help the end user, she continues to challenge us on processes that have been around for a while.

“Barbara has shown that being new to a company doesn’t mean you won’t be challenged from day one, which we loved. She has a constant drive to improve, go back and revisit existing work to improve processes, functions or functionality, while understanding existing business requirements.

“She’s tenacious but respectful and gets the best out of people by being that way.”

Barbara has a strong appetite for finding things that can be improved or simplified.

Santangelo says she was very keen to work in fintech because “it’s an area where I’ve seen people grow in a very successful and driven way.”

She continues: “I’ve always enjoyed working with internal processes; understand how businesses operate and should operate, what challenges the industry can present to businesses, how to communicate well internally; and translate that communication to create something like a feature or a new product for users and customers.

What has Santangelo learned so far at the Knowledge Bank?

“I learned, and am still learning, the difference between being a leader and being a boss,” she says. “When you have leaders instead of bosses, you feel like you’re not alone and all the fear and insecurity [of starting in a new industry] go away.”

Oliver JackJack Oliver, Administrator, Tamed Support Solutions

Tamed director Edd Stokes found the ambition of the new generation of workers “refreshing”. He names Jack Oliver as a perfect example of this.

“Jack impressed us from day one with his eagerness to learn and the way he takes feedback,” says Stokes.

“While Jack may not have the experience, he uses a lot of common sense and seeks to eliminate or reduce unnecessary steps in any process. We can always count on him to ask us where common sense rather than experience may lead us to adopt a different approach.

After hiring Jack, our recruitment strategy will now include school leavers

And that’s something that Stokes noted in general. He says: “Most people Jack’s age are eager to take on challenges when they disagree with an outcome, and that has led us to take a more considered approach. We regularly involve Jack and his peers in business strategy sessions. »

Ambition is a key theme in this discussion. Stokes says he’s surprised how “so driven and motivated someone can be at such a young age.”

He continues: “Instead of going to university after leaving school, Jack started working for us, quickly progressed to studying CeMap and, that was not enough, started taking courses in driving! It is a set of ethics to which we can all aspire.

Second-order effects cannot be ignored.

Most people Jack’s age are keen to challenge when they disagree with an outcome, and that’s led us to take a more considered approach.

“Based on the hiring of Jack, our recruitment strategy will now include school leavers and we are also looking at apprenticeship schemes,” says Stokes.

Oliver himself observes: “One of the main attractions of my current career is my love of mathematics. Throughout my years at school, it was always my favorite subject and a career in financial services is a perfect fit for me.

“The other attraction was my interest in the property. On Dress Up As Your Career day at school, I remember being surrounded by doctors and footballers when I wanted to be a property developer.

Sonya MatharuSonya Matharu, Senior Mortgage Broker, The Mortgage Mum

According to The Mortgage Mum’s Managing Director, Sarah Tucker, “The next generation brings a completely different online presence and energy. The interaction they get from their followers is super engaging and inspiring, and completely different from what we’re used to.

She continues, “Sonya communicates in a way that her peers appreciate. [She] makes mortgages trendy and sort of trendy – a word I never thought I would say about a mortgage. When I look at her Instagram page, she personifies what’s to come in our industry, and people love it.

Sonya makes mortgages fashionable and somehow fashionable. People love its vibe

Tucker can’t help but list the ways Matharu has brought new ways of thinking to the business. She’s created guides for clients, she co-hosts The Mortgage Mum podcasts, and “she networks in a modern way, with magazines and women’s groups, and brings a whole new vibe to the business.”

The compliments pile up.

“Sonya is for me a real demonstration of the new confidence of young women. His state of mind is much more mature than mine at his age, and that excites me. It shows me that things have evolved considerably since I was a woman in my twenties.

“She made the role fashionable and showed these young women that working in the mortgage industry is an exciting place!”

Sonya networks in a modern way, with magazines and women’s groups

Matharu says she was inspired by her insight into the industry while working as a broker’s personal assistant. It was like “entering this secret club of important information that we all needed to know, but no one shared. I decided to become that person.

When asked how her upbringing had prepared her for the role, Matharu said: “Other than learning numeracy and literacy, I don’t know how they would have presented the role of a broker. in mortgages, because I think it requires something more personal than these skills. .

“I also think it would be difficult to present this work to an audience that doesn’t know what a mortgage really is. It would be great if we learned about mortgages and personal finance while in high school.

Broom-AidanAidan Broom, Broker, Heron Financial

Heron Financial director and principal Matt Coulson said the next-generation adviser “focuses on multi-channel engagement and a much less formal approach.”

He adds, “This open and approachable stance was epitomized by Aidan, who ensured success for his customers while simultaneously improving the overall experience.”

This key digital theme is coming back.

“In addition to embracing modern communication tools like Zoom, Teams and WhatsApp, Aidan regularly contributes to podcasts,” says Coulson.

“These podcasts have been a new and effective way to reach a wider audience and have been very well received at all levels. [Aidan] covered key topics such as the home buying journey and the importance of understanding the different types of plans.

Aidan brought a much less formal approach: freshness and dedication

And it is by using different channels that Broom has cemented its reputation.

“Aidan has demonstrated the value of finding the most effective communication platform for his clients. Many colleagues within the company have followed suit,” says Coulson.

“Aidan brought a freshness and dedication that leaves no doubt that his client’s needs will always be at the top of his agenda. He has proven that a continued focus on delivering good client results will not only result by satisfied customers, but also by a growing list of potential customers, who all want to experience the same fantastic service.

Broom says the main reason he chose to work in mortgages was “the impact you can have on clients and the change you can make in their lives, especially when they didn’t think they could. Carry on”. He adds, “Working with difficult cases and getting solutions that others might not necessarily have been able to come up with is also a part that I enjoy.”

Echoing Matharu, Broom points to the lack of general financial education in the country’s school system.

Aidan showed interest in researching the most effective communication platform for his clients

“I had no preparation for school. What was overlooked was the importance of understanding finances and the short and long term impact they would have on future plans, and how best to ensure you were in a strong position. .

“Also,” he concludes,[there should be] some insistence that going to university is not the ultimate solution and that there are good careers to follow without this option being explored.

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