Now in its second year, The Adviser’s Better Business Awards recognises the industry professionals at the top of their game in each state. We look back at all the action and honour the deserving winners across Australia for 2015
Even bigger and better than last year, 2015’s Better Business Awards wowed crowds in Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.
An initiative of The Adviser, the evening’s awards were preceded by a conference during the day, with brokers treated to insights from a host of experts, including real estate gurus John McGrath and Tom Panos, thought leader Matt Church and networking specialist Ron Gibson.
Attendees also had the chance to participate in an interactive Q&A- style session during which panelists shared their own secrets and strategies for becoming some of Australia’s top loan writers.
A total of 339 finalists fought it out for a combined 78 awards across the states, including Best Office, Rising Star, Best Customer Service, Best Residential Broker, and, of course, the coveted Broker of the Year award.
While metrics were used in a number of award categories to help determine the winners, the high calibre of finalists made judging extremely difficult. The Adviser would therefore like to congratulate all of the winners and finalists in this year’s awards.
The Adviser would like to thank everyone that attended and look forward to welcoming you back in 2016. Special thanks also go to all of our partners for their invaluable support in helping bring this event to so many brokers across Australia.
Sixteen mortgage professionals from across the state of Victoria were named as winners at The Adviser’s Better Business Awards in Melbourne.
Broker of the Year, the night’s most coveted award, was once again given to Mark Davis of The Australian Lending & Investment Centre.
The Melbourne loan writer was also named Residential Broker of the Year at the Australian Broking Awards last August.
Mr Davis also took home the title of Best Residential Broker from the Victorian awards, while Simon Cai of C Loans won Best Finance Broker.
The Rising Star award was given to Marshall Condon of Mortgage Choice South Yarra.
The 26-year-old young gun from Melbourne’s inner suburbs wrote an impressive $102 million in loans last year, earning him a place on The Adviser’s Elite Business Writers list for 2014.
Daniel Jansen of Full Circle Home Loans claimed pole position in the Best Newcomer category.
In recognition of its outstanding team work, The Finance Specialists was named Best Independent Office (fewer than five brokers), while RateOne took home the award for Best Independent Office (five brokers or more).
Aussie won gongs for Best Branded Office (Moonah) and Best New Office (Caroline Springs).
In the broker support categories, the award for Best Customer Service for an individual went to Natalie Wilcox of Think Advantage, while Empower Wealth Mortgage Advisory won the gong for combined Best Customer Service.
Pepper’s Nicole Campbell-Burns won Best Lender BDM (non-bank) while Bank of Melbourne’s Sandy Lutersz claimed the top prize for Best Lender BDM of a bank.
Ms Lutersz says ongoing education and harnessing new technology were the main drivers of her success.
“We are ahead of the game on technology,” she told The Adviser. “The bank has made a lot of investments to make sure we are accessible when we are on the road.”
Best Loan Administrator went to Hume Leow of iProperty Plan while Choice Aggregation’s Chris Vellios beat off some tough competition to claim the title of Best Aggregator BDM.
Last but not least, The Adviser’s Editor’s Choice award was presented to Melissa Gielnik of Smart Lending.
An Adelaide finance broker proved to be the headline act at South Australia’s Better Business Awards.
Tom Caesarowicz of Positive Lending Solutions was named Broker of the Year, the top gong among the awards. The Adelaide loan writer was also named Best Finance Broker.
The Best Residential Broker category was won by Leon Spadavecchia of Afirm Financial, while Afirm’s Shauna van der Weegen was named Best Loan Administrator.
This year’s Rising Star award went to Marissa Schulze of Rise High Financial Solutions. Her brokerage also won Best Customer Service (Office) and Best Independent Office (less than five brokers).
Citibank’s Angela D’Angelo and Connective’s Justine Hockley took out the Best Lender BDM and Best Aggregator BDM categories respectively, while the Best Customer Service (Individual) award went to Leah Busby of Blackfish Finance.
For the second year in a row, Mortgage Choice Glenelg East was named Best Branded Office, while the award for Best Independent Office (five or more brokers) went to KeyInvest Lending Services.
Finally, Adelaide brokerage Go Loans was presented with the Editor’s Choice award by The Adviser’s editor, James Mitchell.
NEW SOUTH WALES
A 30-year-old broker who wrote a staggering $191.6 million during 2013/2014 was the standout performer at the New South Wales leg of the Better Business Awards.
More than 450 mortgage professionals packed into Sydney’s Four Seasons ballroom to recognise the best of the best in the state at a sold-out awards dinner.
Eric Cui of Alliance Mortgage Solutions took out top honours, winning the Residential Broker of the Year and overall Broker of the Year categories.
This highflying young broker is also The Adviser’s reigning Young Broker of the Year, having written 381 residential loans at an average of $502,800 last financial year.
His firm, Alliance Mortgage Solutions, also took home the trophy for Best New Office.
Mr Cui says vision, teamwork and enthusiasm are all major contributors to the firm’s success.
“Every member of the team at Alliance works together as one and shares the same vision,” he says. “We have quite a young team, with lots of energy, which really helps us drive the business forward.”
The NSW awards saw several multiple-award winners on the night. Aussie Parramatta was named Best Branded Office, with its own Alison Crouch named the state’s Best Loan Administrator.
1st Street Home Loans also picked up two awards, winning the Best Social and Community Service category, as well as the firm’s Mardee Thomas taking out the Finance Broker of the Year category.
For the second year in a row, Connective’s Fiona Brown was named Best Aggregator BDM, while Pepper’s Christian Malouf won the Best Lender BDM (non-bank) category.
The Rising Star award went to Conrad Turnbull of Flag Property Investment Services, and Elite Property Finance’s Shahin Afarin was named Best Newcomer.
Nicole Cannon of Pink Finance won the Best Customer Service (Individual) category, while Home Loan Experts took home the Best Customer Service (Office) award.
The title of Best Independent Office with fewer than five brokers went to Specialist Lending Group, with Sydney-based firm Shore Financial named Best Independent Office with more than five brokers.
Finally, the Editor’s Choice award went to Raymond Xue of ACA Mortgage Solutions. Mr Xue was also ranked number six in The Adviser’s Elite Business Writers of 2014.
The director of a Brisbane-based wealth management group stole the show at the awards in Queensland.
Tony Fornaro of Fornaro Group Wealth Management was awarded the top gong in front of 400 of his peers at Brisbane Convention Centre. He was also named Residential Broker of the Year.
Mr Fornaro’s outstanding performance also secured him ninth place in The Adviser’s 2014 Elite Business Writers list after he wrote $195.2 million worth of business in 2013/2014.
My Address Finance was the only other brokerage to take home multiple awards, with the firm’s George Samios and Helen Zeremes winning the Rising Star and Best Loan Administrator awards respectively.
Matt Carr of MC Mortgage Solutions was named Best Finance Broker, while the Best Newcomer award went to Benjamin Passfield from Mortgage Choice Indooroopilly.
Mr Passfield abandoned his previous working life as a carpenter and started his broking career with Mortgage Choice in 2011.
He claims not to use social media in his marketing strategies and say Brisbane’s investors are his core market segment.
Susan Kennedy from NAB Broker won the Best Lender BDM (bank) category and Better Mortgage Management’s Gavin Robinson was named Best Lender BDM for a non-bank.
PLAN Australia’s Mark Bowyer was the winner of the Best Aggregator BDM award, which was judged on broker volumes, retention and recruitment performance and broker servicing credentials.
In the customer service categories, Aussie Morningside’s James Buchanan was named Best Customer Service (Individual), while the Cornerstone Home Loans took home the award for Best Customer Service (Office).
Yellow Brick Road Robina was recognised for providing the Best Social and Community Service in Queensland, while Aussie Bundaberg was named the state’s Best Branded Office and Time Home Loans was named Best New Office.
The award for Best Independent Office with fewer than five brokers went to Cube Home Loans, with Auscredits named Best Independent Office with more than five brokers.
Aussie’s Melanie Smith was presented with the Editor’s Choice award.
A broker who specialises in upgraders took overall honours at the WA leg of The Adviser's Better Business Awards 2015 in Perth.
More than 350 mortgage professionals saw Opal Finance director Brendon Marshman named Western Australia’s Broker of the Year. He also took home the Best Newcomer award.
Mr Marshman’s latest success comes after he finished 20th in The Adviser’s Young Broker of the Year rankings, with the Perth loan writer producing volumes totalling $48 million.
Two other firms picked up multiple awards on the night. Launch Finance was named Best New Office, while its very own Steve Milligan was recognised as the Best Finance Broker.
Bianca Patterson of Momentum Wealth won the Rising Star award and the brokerage was named Best New Office with five or more brokers.
After being recognised for having the best integrated offering at last year’s awards, Rael Bricker from House + Home Loans was crowned WA’s Best Residential Broker.
The Best Customer Service (Individual) award went to Daniel Niederberger from Iconic Home Loans, and Finance365 was awarded Best Customer Service (Office).
PLAN Lending’s Ryan Healy was named Best Lender BDM, while Finsure and LoanKit BDM Surinder Agnihotri took home the Best Aggregator BDM trophy.
The Editor’s Choice award went to The Loan Company, with Steve Garvin of Purely Finance winning the Best Loan Administrator category.
TV Financial Services was named Best Independent Office with fewer than five brokers, while Aussie Morley was recognised as having the Best Branded Office in Western Australia.
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