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Elite Business Writers 2014

 

 

Elite Business Writers 2014

John Bastick Comments 0
— 20 minute read

In a very good year for the third-party channel, some brokers went above and beyond. To recognise those brokers who have set a new standard through their sheer volumes, once again The Adviser is proud to present our annual Top 50 who truly deserve the title of elite…

A quick glance at 2013’s Elite Business Writers and nine of last year’s top 50 could claim to have written residential loans surpassing the $100 million-mark. Fast forward 12 months and that figure’s more than doubled to 20. While one in 10 did more than $200 million in 2014.

If there’s a pulse to be taken on the state of the third-party channel in Australia at the moment then this year’s Elite Business Writers has to be it; and the good news to declare is it’s fit and firing.

We’ll stop short of calling the past 12 months the best year ever for the third-party channel; however, there are some harbingers to suggest it was just that. The Australian Bureau of Statistics report that mortgage volumes are up 13 per cent year on year; while this year’s Top 50 managed to improve their performance by an impressive 14.3 per cent, writing over $5 billion in mortgages between them.

So where’s all the action taking place when it comes to residential lending? Unsurprisingly this year’s results mirror wider industry trends that show it’s those with existing capital who are borrowing in record amounts. Of this year’s Top 50, some 44 per cent said their biggest customer segment was second home buyers or upgraders. That figure was closely followed by the investor market, claimed by 40 per cent. Sadly, the poor old first home buyers’ much publicised woes were also reflected in the figures – with only four of the 50 nominating them as their primary customers.

Yet, the rankings aren’t all about home loan volumes. With other business – commercial, leasing and equipment finance, personal loans, and the likes – and insurances all making up a broker’s final total, the Top 50 are testament to one thing: the impact a diversified offering has to the bottom line.

So what’s the secret to being an elite broker? After all, big volumes are only half the story. As one broker on this year’s list said he did it by working hard at the basics. Another claimed it was all in the customer service. Another believed you’d go nowhere if you didn’t have the passion. And without further ado, here are the winners and, as usual, congratulations to all who can rightly claim the title of Elite.

 

Bankwest sponsor message: Head of brokers, Ian Rakhit

The vast majority of Bankwest’s home loan business, be it first home buyer, owner-occupier or property investor, comes from brokers and we continue to enjoy working with many in The Adviser’s Elite Business Writers 2014. Informed opinion and open feedback from our broker partners is the bedrock of Bankwest’s ongoing success in the home loan market and an important factor as to why Bankwest remains the largest lender excluding the big four.

This year we have seen the growth of the investor market, particularly ‘mum-and-dad’ investors who already own their occupied property and are using their equity in it, or cash savings, to invest for the future.  For Bankwest, the largest growth in this sector has been in New South Wales and a key driver of this strong performance is due to the much anticipated launch of the Bankwest Complete Home Loan Package. This product launch was a result of invaluable broker input that our customers wanted a well-priced and flexible package solution and we were thrilled to be able to deliver on this in 2014.

Outside of property investors, Bankwest has always enjoyed a great demand from the first home buyer market, in part, due to our simple and easy to understand range of home loans that allow new borrowers full capatilisation of lender’s mortgage insurance.

We know that brokers appreciate the timeliness of our update platforms and processes. To further strengthen our relationship with them we have increased our desk-based BDM support numbers to ensure brokers have a local contact that they can access on the phone or through webchat to help get their deals progressed from approval to settlement.

These types of service enhancements, as well as the high calibre of experience and responsiveness of our BDMs underpins our ongoing commitment to brokers.

 

50. Serge Scekic

Aussie Balgowlah, NSW

Total volume of business written: $79,104,000 (of which 100% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 154

Based on Sydney’s lower north shore, Mr Sekic returns to the rankings from 2012, writing no other business than residential home loans. He ranks Suncorp Bank as his number one lender.

49. Antony Muir

Mortgage Choice, Bundall, QLD

Total volume of business written: $81,560,037 (of which 98.6% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 295

Mr Muir has owned this Gold Coast franchise for four years and says his primary customers are first home buyers and upgraders. NAB was Mr Muir’s primary lender and his average residential loan size was $272,663.

48. Matthew Dique

Loan Market, Chermside. QLD

Total volume of business written: $81,934,412 (of which 69.4% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 201

Mr Dique grew his impressive mortgage loan business by adding a further $25 million in insurances over the past financial year. With 17 years’ experience under his belt he cites CBA has his primary lender and real estate agents as his main referral source.

47. Mark Polatkesen

Loan Gallery, Melbourne, VIC

Total volume of business written: $82,339,083 (of which 100% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 269

Despite slipping 16 spots on last year’s rankings, Mr Polatkesen – an eight-year veteran – still managed to write 52 more loans and just shy of $20 million of extra business over the 2014 financial year. ANZ was his chief lender.

46. Bhavesh Shah

Loan Gallery, Melbourne, VIC

Total volume of business written: $82,339,083 (of which 100% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 269

Despite slipping 16 spots on last year’s rankings, Mr Polatkesen – an eight-year veteran – still managed to write 52 more loans and just shy of $20 million of extra business over the 2014 financial year. ANZ was his chief lender.

45. Adam Bourke

Mortgage Choice, Paddington, QLD

Total volume of business written: $83,603,781 (of which 94.7% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 262

Hailing from Brisbane’s inner suburb of Paddington, Mr Bourke says his primary customers are second homebuyers and upgraders. With 14 years’ experience as a broker he says CBA is his chief lender and client referrals are his chief source of new business.

44. Peter Gwynne

Financing Property, Varsity Lakes, QLD

Total volume of business written: $84,344,681 (of which 99.9% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 292

He may have slipped 19 spots on last year’s rankings, however Mr Gwynne can’t complain about the past 12 months. Loan volumes were up over $13 million year-on-year and loans written increased from 243 to 292.

43. Ian Simpson

Smartline, Sydney, NSW

Total volume of business written: $85,597,000 (of which 79.5% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 152

After a sterling 2013, things remained fairly static for Mr Simpson over the past 12 months. Total volume of loans remained similar, actual loans written were up slightly, while his average loan size fell slightly to $448,006.

42. Leteisha Pileggi

Mortgage Choice, Cannington, WA

Total volume of business written: $85,652,461 (of which 98.1% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 255

Another of Mortgage Choice’s impressive young guns, Ms Pileggi says her best referrers are accountants and her speciality is FHBs. Ms Pileggi rates CBA as her primary lender and her average loan size is $329,659.

41. Darren Comerford

Mortgage Choice, Arundel, QLD

Total volume of business written: $85,843,593 (of which 99.8% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 340

Mr Comerford says upgraders were his biggest source of business and his average loan size for the 2014 financial year was $252,077. NAB was Mr Comerford’s number one lender and real estate agents his chief referral source.

40. Josh Egan

Astute, Melbourne City South, VIC

Total volume of business written: $87,590,130 (of which 86.3% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 306

The 13-year broking veteran says ING Direct is his number one lender, existing clients are his best referral source and upgraders make up the biggest part of his customer base. His average mortgage size was $247,133.

39. Trev Shand

Loan Market, Bendigo, VIC

Total volume of business written: $89,564,005 (of which 72% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 485

Proving all the action’s not in the capitals, Bendigo’s Mr Shand added $25 million in insurances to $64.5 million in insurance in the past year. He says he can’t split ANZ and CBA as his preferred lender and regards FHBs as his biggest source of new business.

38. Brett Amos

Seven Point Finance, Melbourne, VIC

Total volume of business written: $90,000,000 (of which 96.6% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 273

Despite a slight drop on last year’s list, Mr Amos still managed to write a staggering $27 million more in business for 2014. This 10-year industry veteran cites Westpac as his primary lender and investors as the biggest segment of his client base.

37. Brad Nolan

Eastern Financial Solutions (Sydney, Newcastle, Sunshine Coast)

Total volume of business written: $90,965,570 (of which 80.6% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 181

Mr Nolan’s success, he says, has come from targeting the investor market. He uses investment strategists as his chief source of referrals and boasted an impressive average loan size of $405,346 over the past 12 months.

36. Leon Spadavecchia

Afirm Financial, Kent Town, SA

Total volume of business written: $91,840,781 (of which 71.2% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 224

Despite a 16-place dip in the rankings year-on-year it was ‘steady as she goes’ for Afirm and Mr Spadavecchia. Total volumes were down $3.7 million (primarily in lending for mortgages) from 2013 and settlements dropped one to 224.

35. Scott Marshall

The Loan Arranger, Adelaide, SA

Total volume of business written: $95,654,035 (of which 98.5% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 459

Another broker who fell in the rankings year-on-year, despite posting impressive numbers. Mr Marshall’s overall volumes were up $695,669 from 2013 and loans written increased by 28 to a credible 459. He says upgraders remain his biggest source of business.

34. Andrew Heath

Mortgage Choice, Richmond, NSW

Total volume of business written: $97,112,580 (of which 99.7% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 382

Yes, you can write an extra $25.8 million in volumes in a year and still drop 15 spots on the Elite Business Writer rankings. Mr Heath continues to excel in Sydney’s outskirts with an average loan size of $253,680. Upgraders are his primary customers and CBA his number one lender. 

33. Ross Le Quesne

Aussie, Parramatta, NSW

Total volume of business written: $98,003,030  (of which 100% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 362

One of the Aussie stars in western Sydney, Mr Le Quesne writes nothing but home loans. Year-on-year he increased his overall volumes by $31.5 million. He wrote an extra 140 loans for a loan average size of $270,726 – a decrease of $28,553 from 2013.

32. John Lucci

Loan Market, Ascot Vale, VIC

Total volume of business written: $98,950,353 (of which 34.3% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 198

With just over a third of revenues coming from mortgages, Mr Lucci’s other focus was business loans ($30 million) and insurance ($35 million) annually. This eight-year industry veteran says ANZ remains his prime lender.

31. Deslie Taylor

Mortgage Choice, Ormeau, QLD

Total volume of business written: $101,733,186 (of which 98.3% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 291

Broking for seven years, Ms Taylor makes an impressive debut on the Elite Business Writers rankings. She lists accountants as her primary referrer, upgraders as the biggest segment of her clientele and NAB as her primary source of funds. 

30. Marshall Condon

Mortgage Choice, South Yarra, VIC

Total volume of business written: $102,184,956 (of which 19% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 36

The 25-year-old ‘young gun’ from Melbourne’s inner suburbs storms onto the list in an impressive debut. Commercial lending is clearly Mr Condon’s forte, writing some $82.6 million in commercial in 2014; while builders and developers rank as his prime referral source.

29. Daniel Esposito

Loan Market Bulleen, VIC

Total volume of business written: $103,110,011 (of which 75.7% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 341

Year-on-year, Mr Esposito increased his total volumes by a staggering $36.8 million and settled an extra 65 loans yet still managed to slip in the rankings. Investor demand and $25 million in insurance were the core of his success.

28. Anthony Alabakov

My Mortgage Freedom, Melbourne, VIC

Total volume of business written: $106,578,000 (of which 96.1% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 242

Mr Alabakov actually wrote 16 less home loans year-on-year.That was more than offset by the average loan volume that increased from $329,457 in 2013 to $423,400 this year. He cites accountants as his main referrer, investors his main clients and NAB his prime lender

27. Jason Basseal

Loan Market, Earlwood, NSW

Total volume of business written: $107,037,132 (of which 84.1% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 281

Mr Basseal wrote an extra $35.5 million in home loans in 2014 and $17 million less in other loans giving him a positive increase of $15.5 million. Unsurprisingly, as he’s in one of Sydney’s hottest suburbs, upgraders were his biggest clients and ANZ his prime lender.

26. Marios Rokka

Loan Market, Essendon, VIC

Total volume of business written: $107,900,000 (of which 50.9% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 182

This year’s biggest improver, Mr Rokka jumped 23 places from last year by writing a massive $42.3 million extra in volumes year-on-year. With just on half his business from mortgages, he wrote just shy of $53 million in other loans and insurance. ANZ was his prime lender.

25. Theo Chambers

Shore Financial, North Sydney, NSW

Total volume of business written: $109,789,000 (of which 99% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 136

Another big improver, Mr Chambers moved 19 spots on last year’s rankings primarily due to an extra $38.6 million in volumes. His average loan size is now just shy of $800,000 per loan; which is good news for his number one lender, St George.

24. Jayden Vecchio

Discovery Finance Group, New Farm, QLD

Total volume of business written: $112,324,000 (of which 21.9% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 36

A broker for just on 12 months and already this Brisbane youngster has topped the $100 million mark. Commercial’s Mr Vecchio’s speciality with $87.7 million of loans written in 2014. Mr Vecchio not only placed as the ranking’s best new rookie, but best for other business too.

23. Colin Mason

Mortgage Choice, Buderim, QLD

Total volume of business written: $112,340,358 (of which 97.7% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 425

Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is clearly appealing to investors if Colin Mason’s success is anything to go by. Mr Mason wrote 425 residential loans in the past 12 months at an average of $241,424; while CBA was his number one lender and local accountants his top referrer.

22. Andrew Mirams

Intuitive Finance, Sandringham, VIC

Total volume of business written: $113,363,497 (of which 83.1% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 303

Despite his 12-year broking career, this is Mr Mirams’ first appearance in the Top 50 elite writers. He says investors make up his biggest customer base, buyer’s agents are his biggest referrers and ANZ his number one lender.

21. Peter Ellis

Century 21 Home Loans, ACT

Total volume of business written: $114,649,905 (of which 100% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 156

One hundred per cent of this broker’s volumes came from residential mortgages. And big loans they were too; averaging in at $734,935 apiece. Mr Ellis – an 11-year broker veteran – uses real estate agents as his chief referrer and upgraders make up his biggest customer base.

20. Wendy Higgins

Mortgage Choice, Glenelg East, SA

Total volume of business written: $115,933,777 (of which 96% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 418

With a stellar 16-year career, the past 12 months have been particularly good for Ms Higgins’ franchise. Some 418 loans, at an average of $266,400, Ms Higgins says upgraders constitute her biggest clients and estate agents her chief referrer. ANZ was the chief lender.

19. Kevin Gomer

Nicheliving Wealth and Finance, Perth, WA

Total volume of business written: $121,750,000 (of which 96% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 336

This Perth-based broker goes against the norm and specialises in FHBs. Mr Gomer uses builders has his chief referrer and his average loan size was $348,314 over the past 12 months. He ranks ANZ has his number one lender.

18. Josh Bartlett

Loan Market, Cheltenham, VIC

Total volume of business written: $125,858,562 (of which 76% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 559

Dropping two places from 2013, Mr Bartlett still managed to add $35.5 million in volumes from his 2013 results. His residential loans increased $28.2 million, loans written were up 263 and he diversified the business with $30 million in insurance.

17. Scott Partridge

Mortgage Choice, Baulkham Hills, NSW

Total volume of business written: $128,372,802 (of which 72.9% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 244

Hailing from Sydney’s booming north west, Mr Partridge identified investors as his chief client base. His $95.8 million in home loans was helped along by a further $34.7 million in commercial business. All of which represented good news for his chief lender ANZ.

16. James Chatfield

Chatfield Consulting, Wembley, WA

Total volume of business written: $129,780,433 (of which 100% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 280

An impressive result from this newcomer to the rankings who’s been a broker a mere four years. It was all residential mortgages for Mr Chatfield, who nominated investors as his best clients and boasted an average loan size of $463,501

15. David Friend

Tiffen & Co, Kingston, ACT

Total volume of business written: $131,891,389 (of which 72.5% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 313

A bumper year for Mr Friend who – compared to last year – could boast a further $23.7 million in volumes, an extra 52 loans; plus, $10 million of commercial and $25.5 million of insurance. However, his average residential loan size dipped to $305,859.

14. Matt Cunliffe

Mortgage Choice, South West Brisbane, Queensland

Total volume of business written: $159,104,103 (of which 54.1% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 262

Another of Mortgage Choice’s under-30 stars, Mr Cunliffe wrote $86.2 million in residential loans and a tidy $72.8 million in commercial in the past year. He says buyer’s agents are his best referrers and NAB his number one lender.

13. Colin Lamb

Mortgage Solutions Australia, Doubleview, WA

Total volume of business written: $165,267,103 (of which 87.5% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 290

Investors are undoubtedly Mr Lamb’s thrust, however he still managed $20.4 million in commercial and leasing and equipment finance too. Year-on-year, total volumes were up $16.1 million while residential settlements fell by 46. CBA remained his primary lender.

12. James Hasselle

Mortgage Choice, Miami and Burleigh Heads, Queensland

Total volume of business written: $174,361,805 (of which 70.3% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 479

Mr Hasselle has nailed the diversification debate adding $48.3 million in insurance to his $122.6 million in home loans. He cites upgraders as his primary customer segment and, staying true to his Queensland roots, nominates Suncorp has his preferred lender.

11. Gerard Tiffen

Tiffen & Co, Kingston, ACT

Total volume of business written: $178,012,149 (of which 63.8% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 399

One of two Tiffen & Co brokers in this year’s rankings, Mr Tiffen wrote $62 million in insurance volumes. However, he didn’t stop there – this was alongside $113.6 million of home loans and $2.3 million of other loans. Total volumes were up year on year by $34.5million and the average home loan was $284,867. This was all good news for Westpac, Mr Tiffen’s chief lender.

10. Mardee Thomas

Total volume of business written: $179,741,763 (of which 38.3% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 148

It’s not solely in home loans where Ms Thomas excels, rather it’s the $90 million in insurance she wrote over the past 12 months. That said, she still booked $68.9 million in residential from upgraders. Her average residential loan size was $465,822 and her chief lender is CBA.

9. Tony Fornaro

Fornaro Group, Chermside, QLD

Total volume of business written: $195,157,237 (of which 55.3% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 240

It was a clearly a good year at the Fornaro Group, improving 20 places on 2013. Mr Fornaro’s total volumes for the year were up a staggering $84.1 million, buoyed by $86.2 million in insurance volumes. Actual residential loans settled increased from 152 to 240, average loan size was $450,471, while NAB remained the lender of choice.

8. Tony Bice

Finance Made Easy, Chiswick, NSW

Total volume of business written: $208,500,000 (of which 25% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 160

Hailing from Sydney’s white-hot inner west, insurances were actually Mr Bice’s route to success over the past 12 months with $149.5 million of home, mortgage and life insurances added to the books. He also bagged $52 million in residential home loans, at an average of $325,000, which no doubt pleased his number one lender, Macquarie Bank.

7. Kevin Agent

The Australian Lending & Investment Centre, Melbourne, VIC

Total volume of business written: $242,310,552 (of which 52.7% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 471

With just over half his volumes in residential loans, Mr Agent added to his impressive results with $112 million in insurance volumes. Compared to 2013, total volumes were up a staggering $128 million, while his average residential loan sized increased by $22,660 to $271,323. Loans written annually increased by 79 to 471.

6. Raymond Xue

ACA Mortgage Solutions, Sydney, NSW

Total volume of business written: $253,712,302 (of which 97.4% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 433

Mr Xue wrote $247.2 million in residential home loans in 2014, making him Australia’s biggest broker for mortgage volumes. And it’s been a good year, with Mr Xue writing an extra $116.7 million compared to 2013. This no doubt brought a big smile to Westpac’s face – his chief lender.

5. Ao Tang 

Alliance Mortgage Solutions, Sydney, NSW

Total volume of business written: $285,887,200 (of which 73.7% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 345

A broker for a mere two years, Mr Tang wrote $210.8 million in residential insurances at a loan average of $594,048, $73 million in mortgages and $2 million in commercial in the past 12 months. Investors were his primary market, estate agents his best referral source, while Westpac was his number one lender.

4. Mark Davis 

The Australian Lending & Investment Centre, Melbourne, Victoria

Total volume of business written: $334,550,120 (of which 70.1% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 722

No broker beat Mr Davis for actual loans written – a staggering 722, increasing 137 from last year. Volume-wise Mr Davis wrote $234.5 million in residential loans and just shy of $100 million in insurance volumes, which represented an extra $111.8 million of volume for 2013.

3. Rael Bricker

House & Home Loans, Osborne Park, WA

Total volume of business written: $352,300,000 (of which 41.7% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 478

The secret to Mr Bricker’s huge 2014 volumes was his $200 million in insurance volumes. But, let’s not forget that he also banked $147 million in home loans, with an average loan size of $307,351. Proving the Perth investor market has been running hot over the past 12 months, Mr Bricker names investors his core market and NAB his number one lender.

2. Jeremy Fisher 

1st Street Home Loans, Rose Bay, NSW

Total volume of business written: $443,566,796 (of which 49.1% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 297

$218.1 million in home loans, $58.6 in commercial and $163 million in insurance volumes made for a stellar 12 months for Mr Fisher. Overall volumes were up $179.4 million, while Mr Fisher’s average home loan size weighed in at an impressive $734,484; a yearly increase of $114,064. Good news for his lender, CBA.

1. Justin Doobov 

Intelligent Finance, Sydney, NSW

Total volume of business written: $480,816,410 (of which 48.9% were home loans)

Number of mortgages written: 634

 

It’s been a phenomenal 12 months for Intelligent Finance with $480 million-plus in loans and volumes up $100 million year-on-year. What do you put your success down to?

I think it’s been due to efficiencies; we’ve been tweaking our processes and generally being more efficient at what we do. But the market’s also been up, which has helped the business along as well; when the sun, the moon and the stars line up that features on the bottom line.

You’ve been on the Elite Business Writers list since its inception. What do you think you do better than other brokers?

I think it’s consistency. Most people will work hard for a bit and then take a break and sit back and look at what they’ve done. My thinking is, sure we’re doing well, but how do we do better? Brokers will strive to improve their numbers but often the answer to that is in improving their processes. Every deal that we do we look at what went right and what went wrong. And by working on those improvements, if you keep replicating them, then it becomes the norm in the business.

You’ve typically kept your business pretty tight in terms of headcount and overheads. Looking ahead, do you see that changing?

Yes, the intention is to put more staff, more brokers on. The business model has always worked so I’ve just kept things the way they are.

How does your model differ?

Most other brokerages have lots of brokers and they all write a certain volume of loans. But the way I’ve done it is, I write the loans, they’re my clients, and I have a team that does all the processing of the applications. I’ve found that just makes things more efficient, which enables me to leverage my time a bit more.

So the plan is to expand?

I guess I’ve been so busy writing loans that I never got around to it. Other brokerages have business partners, so one person can focus on writing the loans, someone else can focus on the business. If that’s my downside, I’ve been too focused on working in the business and not on the business. Probably what’s holding me back is that I’m good at writing loans, I don’t need to hire anyone else to do it for me.

You’re writing as much insurance business as you are mortgages. Has that been a conscious decision to diversify the business like that?

Mortgages are our bread and butter and the thing to remember with insurance, although the actual volumes look impressive, you don’t actually earn that much out of it. But the two are hand in glove, you’re taking out a mortgage so why not insure the property, insure your life, insure your income too?

Brokers often talk about succession, selling their books, moving on. You’d have to say your book would be ripe for sale. Have you thought about getting out?

I take every day as it comes. I turn up to work, I do my job and help clients buy property and I move onto the next client; so in answer to your question I’ve not really thought too much about it; although I probably should. But I still see a big future here, lots of growth. Again, I’d like to bring in more young guys and take over more a role of overseeing the business, I don’t really want to work as much, I have a young family and I’d like to spend more time with them.

You’re renowned for doing ridiculous hours – starting at 3am and working 17-hour days. How much of that do you attribute to your success and is it sustainable?

I do regularly get bagged for that and, yes, I agree it’s not sustainable. The reason I am successful is that concentration on the business. Yes, the market’s very good at the moment and brokers will clock-on and they’ll clock-off and have their weekends. But in a year or two, if the market drops or dies or commissions drop then I’m sure all these brokers who could’ve worked harder now will be kicking themselves. The market has been so easy in the past year, all you have to do is hold your bucket and run around and catch it. But in a year or two, the industry might get tough, and brokers might have to go out fishing and trawling and trying to win business. The way I view it, if you’re just doing 40 hours a week now then you’re an idiot because brokers should be taking advantage of the market when it’s strong. Don’t think if a downturn comes I’ll simply work harder because you should be working hard now.  

Lastly, do you ever get tired of winning all these awards?

You can never get sick of being acknowledged. I think the thing with winning industry awards is your fame grows and that makes you a target. I respect people’s right to say whatever they want, but the more acknowledgements you get the more prone you are to the tall poppy syndrome. I’m sure there’s plenty of people out there who wish I got beaten but, to me, it’s not whether I came first, fourth or tenth, it doesn’t matter. Any broker in the Top 50 is still a bloody winner! You won’t always come first, so I’ll just enjoy it while it lasts.

Elite Business Writers 2014
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