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Australian Broking Awards 2013

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The Adviser 12 minute read

Since its inception in 2011, the Australian Broking Awards has gone from strength to strength, growing in submission numbers and attendance

Commonwealth Bank is proud to be the principal partner for the third Australian Broking Awards in 2013.

The Australian Broking Awards are the only industry awards that focus solely on the achievements of the nation’s leading brokers and brokerages.

It is an event that reflects the evolution and maturation of the third party distribution channel and allows us to showcase our best and brightest.

CommBank is honoured to be a leader in this industry, as we strive to deliver simple and easy solutions to support brokers in building their businesses.

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As Australia’s Mortgage Lender of the Year, we work with brokers and their clients to help them find the right home loan. More importantly, we provide our brokers and their clients with all the relevant information, tools and insights that will secure and enhance their financial wellbeing.

We are committed to partnering with our accredited brokers in the mortgage broking community at events such as this, which allows them to be recognised for outstanding achievement.

Kathy Cummings
Executive general manager
of third party and mobile banking
Commonwealth Bank


Since its inception in 2011, the Australian Broking Awards has gone from strength to strength, growing in submission numbers and attendance.

Now in its third year, the Australian Broking Awards is not only the benchmark for quality and recognition in the Australian mortgage industry, it is also the only awards program focused solely on the third party distribution sector.

The awards will recognise and reward the industry’s top performing brokers and brokerage groups at a five-star business luncheon to be held at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Sydney on Friday 2 August 2013.

The industry has quickly acknowledged these are the awards that count, with competition across all categories reflecting the drive for industry recognition.

Setting a precedent

This year, more than 300 brokers, brokerage groups and aggregators entered the coveted awards program for a chance to be recognised as the industry’s best.

The Adviser’s publisher, Jim Hall, says the quantity and quality of nominations submitted in this year’s awards program has not only set a “new precedent” but highlighted the stature of the awards:

“When we launched the Australian Broking Awards in 2011, we were blown away by the calibre and the number of submissions,” Mr Hall says.

“The inaugural awards program set a new standard for industry awards-based events.

“When we launched the Australian Broking Awards, we didn’t just want to have an awards program that recognised the brightest or the best for that year. We wanted to build a program that would grow and evolve as the industry does – an awards program that had the scope to mature in line with the industry and highlight the evolving professionalism of the third party distribution channel.”

Designed exclusively to acknowledge brokers and brokerage groups, the awards has seen record submission numbers each year since inception.

“Today, with more than 300 nominations, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the 2013 Australian Broking Awards will be the biggest and the best yet,” Mr Hall says.

His comments were reinforced by the calibre of the event’s partners.

Sponsorships for the 2013 event sold out within a few days, with one lender securing their sponsorship position during last year’s awards ceremony.

During the principal partner’s opening address last year, CBA’s executive general manager of third party and mobile banking, Kathy Cummings, said openly that the bank would remain on as principal partner for the 2013 event.

“We are so proud to be associated with this awards program and I can say that we will be associated with it again next year,” she said.

Of course, CBA isn’t the only lender to pledge its support for this year’s awards.

NAB Broker and Citibank are confirmed as Platinum Partners, while ING DIRECT, Suncorp Bank, RP Data, Pepper and Bankwest are all Gold Partners.

In addition, St George has signed on to be the entertainment partner for the third year running.

Bankwest’s head of specialist banking Ian Rakhit says the bank was proud to support an industry event that is so highly regarded.

“Bankwest is excited to participate as gold sponsors of the 2013 Australian Broking Awards. As a challenger brand, we understand the importance of recognising industry excellence and we are proud to be a part of an event which highlights the highest quality of professionalism and customer service within the Australian mortgage industry,” Mr Rakhit says.

“As one of the first lenders to support the broker channel over two decades ago, we can most certainly say our passion and enthusiasm has not wavered. Bankwest remains committed to investing in and working with our broker partners to further cement our position as a lender of choice in the Australian market.”

A hard slog

There is no doubt that the past 12 months have been a trying time for Australia’s brokers, brokerages and aggregators, with fluctuating mortgage volumes and relatively subdued property markets.

Brokers and brokerage groups had their work cut out for them, yet despite the sluggish market, it is pleasing to see so much of the third party distribution channel go from strength to strength.

“All finalists and winners in this year’s Australian Broking Awards are a true representation of success,” Mr Hall says.

“In today’s market, keeping your head above water can be tough and not only have all of this year’s finalists managed to do just that, they have been able to strengthen their core proposition and, in many instances, grow bigger and write more business than ever before.

“In fact, so many of this year’s 300 entrants have performed so well that it was incredibly challenging to select just four or five finalists in every category.

“I would like to congratulate everyone that entered this year’s awards. Your commitment to the industry deserves nothing but praise.

“Further, I would like to congratulate all of this year’s finalists on a job well done and for stretching themselves to achieve greatness.”


Important information
What: Australian Broking Awards 2013
When: Friday 2 August
Where: The Overseas Passenger Terminal, Sydney

Methodology

To ensure professionalism and transparency remain at the heart of the 2013 Australian Broking Awards, The Adviser has developed a stringent assessment process.

A robust methodology leverages the distribution capabilities and strong ties to the mortgage industry that the publication has developed over the years.

All award entrants were asked to complete an online questionnaire, providing key business indicators.

Questionnaires were then assessed against specific metrics and business performance parameters to determine a shortlist of finalists.

Shortlisted finalists were then requested to deliver a thorough submission giving additional business details plus other information to support their nomination.

To ensure transparency, an independent judging panel made up of respected industry professionals assessed all submissions and provided an overall score based on broker business metrics, plus the broker submission.

Some corporate awards also included face-to-face interviews, with overall scores determining the winners.

Best Training and Education

Since the introduction of NCCP, professionalism in the third party channel has improved. What’s more, some brokerage and aggregation groups have provided their brokers with extra support that helps set brokers ahead of their competitors. This award acknowledges the group that is providing its members with the most effective and diverse training programs relevant to brokers. To win this award, groups had to highlight how their training program supports broker development, and also how it demonstrates innovation and best practice.

Best Marketing

Effective marketing is crucial to a company’s success. And while all brokers and brokerage groups understand how important this is to a business’ bottom line, some do it better than others. To be recognised in this category, groups had to detail the structured approach they take to their marketing, including conceptualisation, development and execution. In addition, they had to demonstrate a structured marketing mix that leverages multiple marketing channels, including advertising, public relations, websites and apps.

Best Diversification Implementation Program

While residential mortgages are the main generator of business for a majority of brokers, there has been a steady shift towards a diversified broker offering to strengthen client relationships. To be recognised as a finalist in this category, groups had to showcase a structured approach to business development through diversification, with established goals and results. They also had to show how diversification has driven business growth and cemented solid relationships.

Best Innovator

Innovation is the key to success in any industry. Innovation involves forward thinking and unique concepts, with the backing and drive to realise them. To be recognised in this category, brokers, brokerage groups and aggregators had to show how their innovation – be it related to systems, products, business development processes or client management – has improved the business. Finalists also had to demonstrate the rationale behind the innovation and how it overcomes a problem or capitalises on a perceived opportunity.

Best Ethical/Social Responsibility program

This award recognises the broker, brokerage or aggregator that has gained the most traction via an ethical/social responsibility program, and can highlight how that program has improved the position of the people or cause on which it is focused. Finalists had to highlight the drivers for embracing ethical/social responsibility, why the program was put in place, and how the program affected change or supported a cause. Finalists also needed to demonstrate how the program has improved the brokerage, broker or aggregator.

Best IT Platform

Ask any broker what one of the most important things they look for in an aggregator is and they will tell you a robust, easy to navigate software system. Access to up-to-date lender interest rates, current product and policy information, plus the backing of a solid CRM system is essential for brokers. To be recognised as a finalist in this category, groups had to highlight how its technology platform empowers brokers for better customer servicing and demonstrate how the technological development is relevant to the mortgage broking industry.

Best Digital Presence

A strong digital presence can help smaller groups to prospect at the same level and with the same success as the larger brokerages. This award recognises the brokerage that has most effectively harnessed the digital channels available for engagement, new enquiries and client retention. To be recognised as a finalist, groups had to not only highlight how their digital presence empowers broker lead generation, but show how the digital presence is based on the evolving needs and role of brokers.

Finance Broker of the Year

Brokers are no longer perceived to be a provider of a transaction, but take a holistic view of a clients’ overall financial position. Smart brokers have adopted a wider service offering and are now focused on building client relationships. This means offering products outside of mortgages, with some brokers solely focusing on commercial, equipment or business finance. This award acknowledges the growing customer thrust towards holistic servicing and recognises the broker best servicing the non-residential mortgage needs of clients, including cross-sell products such as insurance, credit card and personal loans. All finalists in this category had to highlight exactly how they have structured their business to offer a wider service to their clients.

Residential Broker of the Year

Broker market share is growing year on year, with the latest data from JP Morgan indicating that brokers now account for almost 45 per cent of all loans written. But while the broker channel as a whole has improved and grown over the past few years, there are, of course, always a few standout performers – brokers who go above and beyond for their clients. In this category, brokers were assessed across a range of key business metrics including, but not limited to, loan volumes, loan book growth, compliance, submission quality, customer service, business processes, stakeholder engagement and customer relationship abilities.

Newcomer of the Year

Being a new-to-industry recruit is challenging to say the least. With no income earned for the first few months, at least, only the committed, passionate and dedicated mortgage brokers survive. This award acknowledges the broker who has built the most successful business within two years of start-up, based not only on loan volumes and other business performance metrics, but a holistic approach building a sustainable platform for future expansion. Finalists in this category had to demonstrate a market-leading approach to customer service and how that supported initial business growth. In addition, they had to highlight how they plan and execute business building strategies that get results.

The Broker of the Year is chosen from the winners of the Finance Broker of the Year, Residential Broker of the Year and Newcomer of the Year awards

Best Office Franchise

An individual office plays a key role in servicing borrowers in their local market. Offices considered for this category have between three and 10 brokers/loan writers and are part of a franchise group. This award recognises the individual office that has most effectively driven business growth over the previous 12 months across all product sectors, utilising a range of business development principals. Finalists had to show how their approach to growth has delivered results. They had to also articulate what it is that sets them apart from their competitors.

Best Office Non-Franchise

An individual office plays a key role in servicing borrowers in their local market. Offices considered for this category have between three and 10 brokers/loan writers and are not part of a franchise group. This award recognises the individual office that has most effectively driven business growth over the previous 12 months across all product sectors, utilising a range of business development principles and tactics. In this category, all finalists had to highlight what makes their group unique and how their structured approach delivers clear results.

Major Brokerage of the Year Non-Franchise

A number of key brokerage groups synonymous with the mortgage broker proposition have given way to the rise of other broker groups that may not be as big, but have clout in terms of their customer service abilities and business growth capacity. This award recognises the group with at least 11 brokers/loan writers that has done most to advance the development of mortgage broking, based on its proposition to members and member recruitment and its customer-centric capabilities. The award covers both the business side of operating a brokerage and the success of its individual brokers.

Major Brokerage of the Year Franchise

Franchise brokerages are a mainstay in the third party distribution channel. These brands are well regarded by those in the industry, and by potential borrowers looking for the perfect home loan solution. As a result, the third party distribution channel has gone from strength to strength and now accounts for almost 45 per cent of all mortgages written. Finalists in this category had to demonstrate how their structured approach to business has resulted in success. These groups also had to highlight how they represent the profession and personify professionalism in broking.

Boutique Aggregator of the Year

This award recognises the boutique aggregation group that has the most effective member offering and best supports business growth. While it is hard to define exactly what constitutes a boutique group based on broker numbers, a guideline would be around 500 members or fewer. The award is based on business metrics (including but not limited to loan volumes, book size and growth, broker effectiveness and support mechanisms) plus a submission assessed by the Australian Broking Awards judges.

Aggregator of the Year

While the industry has seen its share of consolidation and attrition since the beginning of the global financial crisis, some aggregators continue to grow in size and scale – proving they are here for the long haul. To be recognised as a finalist in this category, aggregators had to highlight what it is that makes them unique, including clearly articulating its competitive advantages, unique selling points and how these support growth in volumes and broker numbers. In addition, they had to demonstrate how size, scale and scope has supported members’ business development.

For a full list of finalists CLICK HERE 

Australian Broking Awards 2013
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