Women Leaders in Mortgage in NZ |
Elite Women 2023

Women leaders in mortgage defining success

New Zealand’s women leaders in mortgage are redefining what it means to succeed while their industry is in a state of flux due to challenges such as rising interest rates and inflation.

The awardees of NZ Adviser’s Elite Women of 2023 are trailblazing, business-savvy mortgage professionals setting new standards. Their determination is particularly impressive considering the gender disparity among the industry’s advisers, with women in the minority among the top sales performers, according to industry expert Charlotte Ireland, network manager of Mike Pero Mortgages.

“Women often must prove themselves more than men, especially when starting a business from scratch and building their client base,” she says. “Although it is a significant challenge, more and more women have been able to build top-notch companies over time.”


Four of the best

These Elite Women all possess an exceptional combination of skill, knowledge, drive and passion.

  • Brooke Reynolds – “Succeed with kindness”
    As the first female director at Rapson Loans and Finance, Reynolds’ more than 20 years of industry experience reached a milestone when she bought into the business and became a partner. She overcame personal and financial hardships and credits that with instilling a profound sense of empathy.

  • Linda Eagleton – “Balance family and work”
    An industry veteran with more than 30 years of success in various roles, Eagleton branched out on her own five years ago as a mortgage adviser through the Loan Market network. She now leads two female staff members and has built a flourishing business, prioritising her family and work-life balance alongside financial success.

  • Katherine Kraakman – “Do the right thing for people”
    After a highly successful stint in banking, the Priority Loans and Priority Life director became a self-employed mortgage adviser. Just one year later, Kraakman purchased the Priority Home Loans business, which boasts a diverse staff of six.

  • Nicole Keane – “Adapt and network”
    With a background in hospitality, Keane was a quick study under the tutelage of her mother, Kraakman. Keane, a financial adviser for over six years, has excelled at helping first home buyers successfully navigate the complex mortgage process.


Women leaders in mortgage achieving success on their terms

Eagleton has always been driven to succeed, but not at the expense of her family life and raising her children. Her decision to work only two nights a week remains in place today, even though her children are grown up.

Her accomplishments include:

  • attaining Platinum Elite status with Loan Market, which recognises the top 3% of advisers across New Zealand and Australia

  • helping clients in Māori and Pacific Island communities break the cycle of social housing by purchasing a house

  • employing two women in her fully remote business to allow family responsibilities to be met

“It’s pretty rewarding when you help a customer achieve their dream of buying their first home, especially when they have been told it’s impossible,” says Eagleton. “There’s probably no better job where you can go out and change people’s lives for the better.”


Linda Eagleton
“It’s pretty rewarding when you help a customer achieve their dream of buying their first home, especially when they have been told it’s impossible”
Linda EagletonLoan Market

New Zealand’s female mortgage leaders share their success

Empathy and compassion are common traits among this year’s awardees. Rapson Loans and Finance’s Reynolds proactively puts herself in her client’s shoes.

“Adversity gave me a greater understanding of people and the things they go through, and one of my Google reviews said I was so kind; that meant a lot to me,” she explains. “I see barriers and hurdles as a blessing and an opportunity.”

Reynolds started her career as a Westpac relief teller, progressing to mobile mortgage manager and branch manager before joining Rapson as a mortgage broker and financial adviser. She has mentored and supported colleagues along the way.

One of Reynolds’ nominators for this award noted her dedication to training and uplifting team members. This commitment extends to helping build a formidable network of industry-leading females in the mortgage world.

“I find the most joy in other people’s success, and I’ve always helped people get ahead,” she says.

Reynolds’ achievements include:

  • securing $58m worth of lending in a year as a mobile banker

  • collaborating and participating in an ideas exchange with the New Zealand Financial Services Group


Brooke Reynolds
“I see barriers and hurdles as a blessing and an opportunity”
Brooke ReynoldsRapson Loans and Finance

Top women in mortgage adapt to the market

A focus on excellence in supporting clients and colleagues fuels prosperity for the mother-daughter partnership of Priority Loans and Priority Life awardees.

Kraakman’s high client referral rate and ethical standards drove her business to grow substantially. She has weathered the challenges in the mortgage industry over the past year.

“My biggest goal for last year was to keep my business going and keep all of my staff,” she says. “Other companies were getting rid of staff, but I didn’t because I knew the future would be worthwhile with them. I thought it was the right thing to do.”

Kraakman redefined the benchmarks for her firm’s success:

  • moving out of rented premises and purchasing a building from which to operate

  • hands-on mentoring of her staff to advance their knowledge, skills and networking

  • embracing the new financial regime and passing all audits in the last 12 months

Her daughter, Keane, works to ensure her first home buyers are successful. Her adaptability and industry knowledge keep clients returning when they seek to upgrade or expand their property portfolios.

“It’s just about being open and honest with clients and looking at all possible solutions to make it work for them,” Keane says.

Keane returned to the mortgage industry in August 2022 after maternity leave, and despite the challenges of the past year, she

  • helped Kiwis achieve their financial goals by overseeing the firm’s educational social media content

  • served as a volunteer representative at Waikato Women in Business and co-hosted monthly networking events

For aspiring women leaders in mortgage, this year’s awardees offer these pearls of wisdom:

Katherine Kraakman
“Other companies were getting rid of staff, but I didn’t because I knew the future would be worthwhile with them”
Katherine KraakmanPriority Home Loans


Nicole Keane
“It’s just about being open and honest with clients and looking at all possible solutions to make it work for them”
Nicole KeanePriority Home Loans

Advice from 2023’s Elite Women

Keen to pass on insight to help others progress in New Zealand’s mortgage industry, the four winners shared what was fundamental to their success.

  • Keane: “You just have to do it. Don’t worry about fitting a mould of what you think that should be like.”

  • Kraakman: “Take that leap of faith and have confidence in yourself. Back yourself 100%.”

  • Reynolds: “Get a good mentor. The more you know and understand your clients, the better job you can do for them.”

  • Eagleton: “Provide excellent customer service.”

And expert Ireland, who has 23 years of financial industry experience, emphasises how 2023’s Elite Women are continuously adapting and evolving.

“The industry is always changing; it’s dynamic, and there’s new legislation. Then there are new challenges to overcome with technology. It’s always changing, and it’s always different,” she says. “Some of the most successful people aren’t necessarily the loudest people. They’re the people who have a really good process and follow that.”

Women Leaders in Mortgage in NZ | Elite Women 2023

  • Angela Downie
    Director and Financial Adviser
    Platinum Mortgages New Zealand
  • Ashlee Wiblin
    Director and Mortgage Adviser
    The Home Loan Collective
  • Ashlene Prasad
    Business Development Manager
  • Carmela Laylo
    Business Development Manager and Financial Adviser
    Futurisk Insurance
  • Elyce Peters
    Co-Founder and Managing Director
    The Mortgage Girls
  • Emma Pullar
    Director and Business Operations Manager
  • Heather Gail Roney
    Director and Mortgage Adviser
    Mortgage Ladies and Co
  • Jen Taylor
    Director and Mortgage Adviser
    Taylored Mortgages
  • Jenny Zhou
    Director and Principal Adviser
    The Mortgage Centre
  • Jenny Campbell
    Country Manager
  • Jessica Pronk
    Registered Financial Adviser
    The Mortgage Supply Co
  • Jinal Doshi
    Mortgage Adviser
    Loan Market Central
  • Karina Reardon
    Head of Strategic Partnerships
  • Kelly Brough
    National Manager
    Link Financial Group NZ
  • Laura Carter
    Mobile Mortgage Adviser
    The Mortgage Girls
  • Louise Taylor
    Mortgage Adviser
    The Mortgage Girls
  • Michelaé Reeve
    Mobile Mortgage Adviser
    The Mortgage Girls
  • Sarah Johnston
    Chief Executive Officer
    Astute Financial Management
  • Sarah Bloxham
    Director and Chief Talker
    Lets Talk! Mortgages & Insurance
  • Tegan Gawron
    Business Operations Manager
  • Trish Marsden
    O'Hagan Home Loans and Insurance
  • Zebunisso Alimova
    Mortgage Adviser
    Mike Pero Mortgages


As part of our editorial process, Key Media’s researchers interviewed the subject matter expert below for an independent analysis of this report and its findings.

Charlotte Ireland
Network Manager of Mike Pero Mortgages


Applications are now open



NZ Adviser invited mortgage professionals from across the country to nominate their most exceptional female leaders for its annual Elite Women 2023 list. Nominees had to be working in a role that related to, interacted with, or in some way impacted the industry and should have demonstrated a clear passion for their work.

Nominators were asked to describe the nominee’s standout professional achievements over the past 12 months, initiatives and innovations, and contributions to the mortgage industry.

After a thorough review of all the nominations, the NZ Adviser team narrowed down the list to the final 30 Elite Women who have made their mark in the industry.