Jump to winners | Jump to methodology
Coming of age in mortgage finance
The young professionals who are recognised as New Zealand Adviser’s Rising Stars in 2022 represent a unique generation. Mortgage broking is the first job that some of them have held, while others have entered the industry after switching from a different profession. Some might say this cohort has been unlucky to be building their careers during the pandemic years, but none of these winners feel sorry for themselves. On the contrary, their focus and persistence contrast with those who have the disadvantage of having honed their trade in the ‘old normal’.
To be sure, 2020 went easy on New Zealand compared to pretty much everywhere else. The pandemic did not really arrive for most until the second half of 2021. The difference with 2021 was the uncertainty factor. In 2020, dealing with the fallout of the pandemic was new and mortgage brokers did not know how it would affect customers financially. In 2021, people started to adapt and learn to live with new norms – and the Rising Stars typify those who adapted quickly and well.
The last 12 months were a busy period for brokers as more people sought financial advice in an extremely low-interest rate environment. No single experience represents the success that this group achieved in 2021 and there are many different stories, but they all have one thing in common: grit.
“I find that educating people in the personal finance space can set them up to achieve their own financial goals and help to put them in a better position”
Amy Walker, dm consult mortgages + insurance
A diverse group with powerful potential
The determination to achieve more despite the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic and an uncertain economic outlook bodes well for the future of the industry.
Mortgage and risk insurance adviser Amy Walker at Napier-based dm consult mortgages + insurance is still in her early 20s and focusing on learning the trade by attending relevant webinars and financial conferences.
“This allows me to make sure I understand the changes to the industry and can continue to support my clients with the most up-to-date information,” she says.
Keeping clients informed is a key driver for Walker, both in terms of providing a better service to build a client base and encouraging financial education. She has her own website, which she started with a friend, to help better educate clients and the general public on how to improve their position in life through a robust financial mindset.
“I find by educating people in the personal finance space, this can really set them up to achieve their own financial goals and help to put them in a better position,” she says.
Doing the basics well to help people get ahead is a common theme among the winners. William Tieu, adviser at Simply Finance in Auckland, says assisting first home buyers is his passion.
“It’s fulfilling to know I assisted them in their first major milestone and guided them to make sound financial decisions that could ultimately set them up for life,” he says.
Imparting knowledge to those who do not have the right tools get ahead on their own, or who are heading in an unsustainable direction is an important role for a financial advisor. Tieu cites a family with two young children suffering from debilitating short-term debt, preventing them from being able to take out a home loan. He came up with a plan to get them out of this hole in six months and then applied for pre-approval.
“They were so over the moon because they never thought they would be able to own a home in the next five years,” he says.
“It’s fulfilling to know I assisted them in their first major milestone and guided them to make sound financial decisions that could ultimately set them up for life”
William Tieu, Simply Finance
The value of sound advice
Of course, the right financial advice changes as the times change. One major event in 2021 was the introduction of new Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act lending rules, which altered the playing field for many would-be first-time home buyers.
Advisors saw some applications fail to come to fruition as a result of these changes, particularly for clients that were approved for amounts below the median house price in their regions. Providing advice appropriate to the times will continue to be important going forward as other dynamics such as interest rate increases and the growing effect of inflation on living costs become central.
Three firms this year – Loan Market, Rod Schubert Financial Advice (RSFA), and The Mortgage Supply Co. – have multiple winners on the podium.
RSFA managing director Rod Schubert says he was impressed with Anne Zablan-Balila and Cameron Sinclair’s determined yet humble way of assisting their clients, especially those wanting to buy their first home. Both winners came into the job with no direct experience but picked things up quickly – a trait mirrored across the entry field. “I am extremely proud,” says Schubert.
Growing client bases and bringing in more business were also on the agenda for the new generation.
Mortgage broker Jack Windler at The Mortgage Supply Co aims to assist more clients every month and grab training opportunities, while his colleague Brooke Roy continues to build service, clientele, loan volume and staff numbers.
Generations are shaped by their experiences in their early years. For example, the Greatest Generation had a strong sense of personal responsibility and made huge sacrifices to protect the things and people they loved; the Silent Generation grew up in depression and war and were generous to a fault, non-judgemental, and considerate but fair; while Baby Boomers were confident, hardworking, and believed they could change the world.
There is no doubt the current generation represented by this year’s Rising Stars will break the mould again, and we look forward to seeing how they will continue to impact and shape the business.
- Aaron Cooke
Loan Market Highland Park, Auckland
- Anna Johnston
Sally Thomson Broker, Dunedin
- Anne Zablan-Balila
Rod Schubert Financial Advice, Tauranga
- Alexandra (Lexi) Jones
Counties Home Loans, Pukekohe
- Amy Louise Walker
dm consult mortgages + insurance, Havelock North
- Brooke Roy
The Mortgage Supply Co, Mount Maunganui
- Cameron Sinclair
Rod Schubert Financial Advice, Tauranga
- Dane Vickers
Mike Pero Mortgages, Hamilton
- Ella Dromgool
Catalyst Financial, Christchurche
- Jack Dray
- Jack Windler
The Mortgage Supply Co, Auckland
- Jordan Mitchell
Home Loan Shop, Wellington
- Olivia Osborne
Summit Mortgages, Matamata
- William Tieu
Simply Finance, Auckland