BDM in the Spotlight: Michael Riddiford, Aquamore

Most passionate brokers are the ones that succeed

BDM in the Spotlight: Michael Riddiford, Aquamore

BDM in the Spotlight and State Manager in the Spotlight is a regular series, giving brokers insight into the lives of some of the country’s leading relationship managers.

MPA spoke to Michael Riddiford, Aquamore’s business development manager for Queensland who joined the private lender in November last year. We asked him about how he supports brokers, what sets successful brokers apart and what brokers should expect from a BDM and lender relationship.

With a background in trade finance and credit of more than 20 years, Riddiford says he loves communicating with brokers, especially as more and more are gravitating towards private lending due to its fast, flexible commercial finance solutions for business borrowers.

Name: Michael Riddiford

Title: Business Development Manager - Queensland

Time in industry: 20+ years

Company: Aquamore

Location: Brisbane    

Give a brief description of your role and how you support brokers

My role is to extend Aquamore’s footprint in metro and regional Queensland. While we operate in a very competitive space, my task is made easier by the fact that we have great products and a team that really strives to be the best in the business. I’m committed to actively supporting brokers to write more private lending solutions to support business growth.

Describe a goal you aim to achieve in your role this year?

My goal is to make 2024 the most successful year Aquamore has in the Queensland market and to make sure Aquamore is always front of mind when brokers need a short-term commercial finance facility.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

I love the interaction I get to have with our brokers, whether it be over the phone, by teams, or ideally face to face over a great coffee (my Melbourne colleagues don’t believe me, but Brisbane has great coffee, too!)

What sets successful brokers apart?

Passion. From what I’ve seen the most successful brokers love their job and don’t hesitate to go the extra mile for their customers.

What should brokers be demanding from a BDM and lender relationship?

Responsiveness.  All BDMs are busy, and being on the road and in meetings is an essential part of what we do. However, that can’t be at the sake of being a good communicator. My preference is to workshop a scenario on the phone and provide a follow-up confirmation by email. In addition, a good BDM should not shy away from tough conversations. Again, I prefer to have these in person or over the phone, then confirm the outcome via email.

Are there any industry-wide changes that you think would benefit brokers? 

Private lending is increasingly preferred by brokers seeking to find fast, flexible commercial finance solutions for business borrowers. We expect private lending to continue to be in the spotlight this year as the sector offsets traditional lenders, and progressively non-bank lenders’ tighten credit criteria.

What do you provide to brokers that makes you valuable to them?

I bring to the table a genuine passion for helping people. That manifests in several ways including being responsive, trustworthy, and taking the time to understand the issue and workshop potential solutions.

Describe your ideal weekend

My ideal weekend would start with parkrun at New Farm Park along the beautiful Brisbane River, followed by a great coffee and perhaps an indulgent breakfast to replenish (and more) any calories I may have burnt off.  Later on, I would be catching up with a few close friends to cheer the mighty Port Adelaide Football Club on to victory in the AFL (there are a lot of things in life you can change but not your footy club!)

BDM in the Spotlight features a range of relationship managers and BDMs within the mortgage and finance industry.  Among those recently featured: Beyond Bank’s Tristian Cunningham,  AMP Bank’s David Askew, Moula’s Gillian Paton,  La Trobe Financial’s Waran Chandiran, Pepper Monday’s Harry Stewart, Dynamoney’s Victoria GravesAquamore’s Richard PlancaResimac’s Stefanie O’Connell, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s Julie SalibaAFG’s Scott Chandler, Suncorp Bank’s Zach MetaxotosAMP Bank’s Laura Downer, RedZed business development manager Joel ReidAquamore’s Brett WinzerCommonwealth Bank relationship manager third party banking Jessica Matthews and Suncorp Bank business development manager, small business and commercial Ash Fernando.