Steve Kane was recently confirmed as the new head of broker platforms for Advantedge, moving up from his role as managing director of FAST. He explains how he intends to leave his mark on some of Australia’s biggest aggregators.
MPA: Having formally taken on the role as general manager of broker platforms, where do you see Advantedge heading under your guidance and leadership?
SK: I think the market will determine any different future strategies we come up with. We clearly have a very significant record in relation to NCCP and regulatory reform and the support we give brokers in that space under PLAN, Choice and FAST. The technology piece is continuing to evolve. It forms the centrepiece of our offering, so we will continue to develop and invest in it. PLAN, Choice and FAST will continue to operate as independent aggregation businesses, albeit with the benefit of the ‘one kitchen, many restaurants’ theme through the Adventedge business. And we will continue to look at ways to improve efficiencies around the services we offer to brokers.
MPA: When people eventually look back at your legacy at the helm of Advantedge, what would you hope would define it?
SK: I would really like the whole of the Advantedge broker platforms business to recognised as a major player in developing and continuing to increase the relevance of the broker channel. We need to be able to demonstrate to the broader public the value of the broker proposition. I’d like to be seen as one of the people who contributed through Advantedge to the increasing relevance of the broker channel. We’re now seeing new markets emerge with a low credit volume environment, and we need to maximise opportunities for brokers, and maximise opportunities in terms of advertising the broker channel to the broader community.
MPA: How do you go about that? Do aggregators directly market to the public, or do they support brokers to make their own marketing more effective?
SK: The latter, I think. It’s making sure that what brokers offer to their customer is an ever increasing superior service, so customers choose to go to brokers because they know they’re going to get a highly professional, well executed, well coordinated service. It’s up to us to supply brokers with the tools that enable them to do that. Our focus is really around support for the broker’s business, for them to expand their business and be able to grow the recognition of the broker channel in the marketplace. The broker channel is still growing, and given everything we’ve been through the last three or four years, it really is a good story. I don’t think we get it out there enough to the wider public.
MPA: What would you be doing if you weren’t working in financial services?
SK: It would be in the non-profit sector around the charity environment. I’d be investing in organisations like the Salvation Army, the Smith Family, that type of thing. I’ve done work with organisations like that in the past in my free time, but free time is an increasingly rare commodity. I see charity as a very important part of society. I’ve been fortunate to have a good life, and I think everyone – where they can – should contribute back.