NextGen.Net has appointed its inaugural national head of broker partnerships.
The technology solutions provider to the lending industry has announced that it has created the new role as a “key part of the customer engagement team”.
It has welcomed Suncorp’s former national partnerships manager - bank intermediaries, Renee Blethyn, into the role of national head of broker partnerships.
Ms Blethyn started in her new position last week (15 June).
She has over 20 years’ experience in the finance industry, having held roles across broking, retail banking and distribution, mortgage lending, specialist lending, business development and strategic account management.
NextGen.Net said the new position “reinforces the company’s ongoing focus on supporting broker groups in an ever-evolving marketplace”.
NextGen.Net chief customer officer Tony Carn said: “Renee is an outstanding choice for this exciting new role; she brings a wealth of experience in the industry, a deep understanding of the needs of the third-party channel, as well as a strong and energetic focus on optimising innovation and opportunity.
“We want to ensure that our broker partners have full access to leverage the ApplyOnline platform and innovation roadmap.
“Renee will play a pivotal role in driving our commitment to the broker channel and will be an integral addition to the NextGen.Net team.”
Ms Blethyn said: “I am very pleased to have joined NextGen.Net and am excited to help drive broker priorities into strategy and solutions.
“It’s a great opportunity to work for a leading technology provider to the industry as they look to strengthen their partnerships with aggregators. I look forward to engaging broker groups and working strategically with them to support the broker community.”
'Our mission is to make lending easy'
Speaking to The Adviser, the new national head of broker partnerships outlined that she had interacted with ApplyOnline via a range of different perspectives throughout her career, including as a broker (when working alongside her father at Destiny Financial Solutions), as an aggregator (at Connective), and as a lender (BankSA, Pepper and Suncorp).
She commented: "I've had experience with NextGen.Net and ApplyOnline in nearly every role I've had. I think that being able to have that perspective and use what I've learned as a broker, from my aggregator role, and then as a lender - to now (moving into the technology space) - gives me a very balanced approach when there's discussion about what is best product and best for customer."
Ms Blethyn said that her initial focus will be "understanding all the different parts of the business, how it all works together and what the technology roadmap looks like" and then preparing for "the exciting innovations that are coming".
She continued: "The data and insights that NextGen.Net have available to offer to broker partners, is the bit that I'm really passionate about because that's where I see that there's a real opportunity.
"Some of it might just be making minor tweaks and changes within sites, but they can really deliver some some great returns," she said.
"I know how much the red crosses and the green ticks [of Apply Online] drives a loan assessor's sense of achievement for the day. So, for us to be able to make that platform and interface a much more enjoyable experience, so that it works better for them and is easier to use, is really exciting."
The new national head of broker partnerships concluded: "Our mission at NextGen.Net is to make lending easy. We know that brokers have got so much that they have to do from a regulatory perspective, the amount of change that they're having to deal with, the pressure from lender turnaround times etc.
"What we want to do is just make sure that they know - and have access to - all of the tools and support that we have available to make their lives easier.
"We know that technology is never going to replace the broker. What we want to be able to do is support them so that they can do what they do best; which is help people," Ms Blethyn told The Adviser.
The new position is the latest major appointment announced by NextGen.Net, the company behind lodgement platform ApplyOnline, after having last week announced that it would be promoting its applications director Brett Stanford to the role of CEO, effective 1 July 2021.
Mr Stanford has been with NextGen.Net for 25 years, and in his current role, he has overseen the design, creation and delivery of the NextGen.Net lending platform.
The company’s current CEO, Adrian Macleod, will remain as executive chairman of the company, where he will continue to focus on the strategic direction across the entire company, including Frollo.
[Related: NextGen.Net appoints new CEO]
Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.
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