The brokers breaking new ground

Who matters most in broking? On the grand scale you’d have to look at regulators, the government in power and the biggest brokers and aggregators. On a day-to-day scale the most important person to your business could be an inspiring mentor – or, more negatively, a useless processor holding up your application. The Hot List, on the other hand, is a list for all brokers, no matter who you work with and where you’re based.

Making MPA’s Hot List requires making news. There are several powerful franchise and aggregation chiefs who have a major influence in broking, but haven’t made any major changes to their organisations this year, so aren’t on this list.

We’re interested in those operators whose effects will make broking in 2017 significantly different to broking in 2016, whatever the size of their organisation.

Nor is the Hot List a popularity contest. This list includes more brokers than ever before, not simply because they’re award-winning but because, in doing so, they’ve shown other brokers new ways to approach the job. 

Stay tuned next week for those lenders, regulators, aggregators and more who made our Hot List. 


HOT LIST BROKERS

GEORGE KARAM
Director
BF Money
George Karam has done the commercial broking double; he’s No.1 in MPA’s Top 10 Commercial Brokers list and AMA Broker of the Year, both for the second year running. He’s also found time to rebrand his brokerage from Byblos Finance to BF Money, and move offices, while navigating an increasingly difficult lending landscape for property developers driven by fears around oversupply. 

DANIEL O’BRIEN
Owner
PFS Finance
This year’s Australian Brokerage of the Year at the AMAs, PFS Finance proves that the small brokerage model can excel at the highest level, beating much larger rivals to the prize. Nevertheless, much of  that success must be attributed to Daniel O’Brien, who clinched ninth place in this year’s Top 100 Brokers. 

RACHELLE EYNDHOVEN
Director
Sphere Finance 
Rachelle Eyndhoven is a breath of fresh air: she’s gone from 2015’s Australian Young Gun of the Year at the AMAs to writing serious numbers in this year’s MPA Top 100: $124m in residential loans over the 2015/16 FY to be exact. At 19th, she’s the highest ranked female broker in a number of years, and we hope her success inspires more female brokers to aim for the top.

MARSHALL CONDON
CEO
Neue Black
Marshall Condon has been a regular fixture of MPA’s Top 10 Commercial Brokers report in recent years, a great achievement for a young broker. Yet one couldn’t help but feel broking within a franchise was holding back Condon’s potential – but that changed when Condon established his own brokerage, Neue Black, at the start of this year. Targeted at wealthy millennials, the brokerage is a masterclass of branding, and writes both residential and commercial loans. 

YUVAL BLOOMFIELD
Broker
1st Street Home Loans
2016’s emerging star is undoubtedly 1st Street’s Yuval Bloomfield, who walked away with the Australian Young Gun award at this year’s AMAs. Bloomfield certainly hasn’t come from nowhere; after working in the UK (including at the prestigious Arsenal Football Club) he spent a decade at CBA and then NAB, rising to the position of senior business banking manager at the latter. With an established reputation and contacts in the industry, Bloomfield was well placed to enter the industry.

LOUIS KOVANIS
CEO
Genius Loan Solutions
If you discovered the most profitable niche in broking, how long do you think it’d stay a secret? When MPA dubbed Louis Kovanis “the mortgage doctor” in late 2014, coming from his success working with wealthy medical professionals, we assumed hundreds of brokers would move onto Kovanis’ patch. Yet this has not been the case, and far from a one-hit wonder, Kovanis is climbing the ranks; he now sits at No.3 in our Top 100 Brokers report, and aims to write $250m in residential loans over the next financial year.

KEITH CAINE
Owner
Mortgage Choice Glenelg
Mortgage Choice Glenelg is Australia’s most successful franchise brokerage and Keith Caine is its new owner. Caine, who has worked at the brokerage for six years having come to Australia from the UK in 2009, bought the business from Wendy Higgins, who retired this year. The challenge facing him is immense: to engage with many of Higgins’ old clients and keep volumes high despite South Australia’s struggling economy, while ensuring Mortgage Choice Glenelg remains the brokerage to beat.

MARK DAVIS
Director
The Australian Lending & Investment Centre
To put it simply, Mark Davis is Australia’s top broker, co-managing Australia’s top brokerage.
There are many ways of defining broking excellence, but at MPA we do it by the numbers: Davis was No.1 in our Top 100 Brokers report, writing $335.9m in residential loans over a single financial year. Likewise The Australian Lending & Investment Centre was No.1 in our Top 10 Independent Brokerages report, for the third consecutive year. That’s not to mention Davis being named Australian Broker of the Year at 2016’s Australian Mortgage Awards.

GEORGE SAMIOS
Broker
MADD Loans
Considering Samios established MADD in 2012, has twice appeared in MPA’s Top 100 Brokers report and is an AMA finalist, you may be surprised to hear he’s still in his 20s. In fact, Samios was one of the youngest brokers in this year’s Top 100 and came 11th, missing out on the top 10 by just $100,000. MADD’s brand is one of very few brokerage brands that can be considered genuinely distinctive, thanks to hilarious TV adverts featuring celebrities, lime green MADD cars and a slick website. If you look deeper, you’ll also find that Samios has a network of real estate referrers and a highly delineated process for dealing with clients.

HONOURABLE MENTION:
WENDY HIGGINS
Principal
Mortgage Choice Glenelg (retired)
The industry waved goodbye to one of its greats in 2016, as Wendy Higgins officially retired. Higgins is, in broking, about as close as you come to the definition of an industry legend: buying her Mortgage Choice franchise in 1998, Higgins went on to top MPA’s Top 100 Brokers ranking several times. Furthermore, her brokerage, Mortgage Choice Glenelg, came No.1 in MPA’s Top 10 Franchise Brokerages report for the fourth consecutive occasion this year, defying South Australia’s struggling  housing market.

IAN ROBINSON AND BRAD SEWELL
Directors
Robinson Sewell Partners
In regional Australia, Robinson Sewell Partners are finance heavyweights. Routinely driving from Victoria to the NSW Riverina and up into central Queensland, they help family owned agricultural  businesses get a better deal with the bank. Agribusiness is a $258bn industry, yet agribusiness brokers have until now kept a low profile. This year saw the duo’s broking talent begin to be recognised beyond dedicated regional awards: they were named best brokerage with two to five loan writers in this year’s MFAA National Excellence Awards.

MHAIRI MACLEOD
Principal
Astute Ability Finance
Highly commended at the AMAs, a finalist at the MFAA’s awards and a small business champion, it’s clear that Mhairi Macleod and her Central Coast brokerage are a serious operation. Astute Ability Finance is unusual in that it started in the asset finance space, financing niche items such as horse floats, and brings a new perspective to the diversification debate.
Yet broking is just a fraction of the work that MacLeod does: working with the MFAA’s WIMBN panel, she has emerged as a leading advocate and example for both community outreach and female brokers. 

MARK CHURCHILL
Director
Allfin Financial Services
Kubio is a cloud-based commercial lending platform that brings much needed efficiencies to the commercial broking channel, including pre-populating application forms with data, tracking applications, and matching clients with their local commercial broker. Unusually, it’s been developed by brokers themselves: Dominic Lo Surdo of Stamford Capital, Brian Kelly of BKK Finance, Alastair Philp of Heritage Property Finance and Mark Churchill (pictured) of Allfin Financial Services, and backed by Macquarie Bank. It’s available to all commercial brokers and is a hugely encouraging development in making lending software more broker-driven.

 

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