How I became a broker – Adele Forbes' story

Her story is one of resilience, evolution, and unwavering commitment to her role

How I became a broker – Adele Forbes' story

In the dynamic world of financial services, career paths often take unexpected turns, driven by passion, opportunity, and sometimes, sheer determination. Adele Forbes (pictured), managing director at mortgage brokerage West Yorkshire Money, knows this journey intimately. Her story is one of resilience, evolution, and unwavering commitment to her role.

Forbes’ journey began in 1998, fresh out of university with a degree in HNC Business from Wrexham. Despite the challenges of being a part-time mature student, she found herself drawn to the world of business, finding it both easy and endlessly fascinating. Her first foray into the financial realm was with GE Capital, where she managed Debenhams and Arcadia Store cards alongside her studies, juggling a full-time workload with university commitments.

Starting out as an underwriter

“I decided underwriting was for me initially, and mortgages was a safe choice, thinking the biggest debt anybody will have,” she recalled. “I got my first position at Capital Bank, which then moved on the BOS, then HBOS.”

But it was during her tenure at The Mortgage Business that Adele’s interest in underwriting solidified, captivated by the responsibility of making lending decisions.

“I secured a position at The Mortgage Business as a customer service adviser, taking over 200 calls a day for existing borrowers,” she related. “After two years, I saw the underwriters batting scenarios around and discussing cases with their peers, and loved the fact they were responsible to make decisions on lending money.”

In 2000, Forbes seized an opportunity to become an underwriter’s assistant, marking the beginning of her ascent within the industry. Over the years, she navigated through various roles, weathering the storms of corporate buyouts and economic downturns. Despite facing redundancy during the financial crash of 2007, she refused to be deterred, embracing diverse roles from cleaning to waitressing while searching for her next opportunity.

Challenges and setbacks

A turning point came when she ventured into field agent work and arrears counselling, an experience that humbled her and broadened her perspective on the realities faced by borrowers in financial distress. It was during this time that she met her husband and made the bold decision to relocate to Leeds, leaving behind stability for the unknown.

“I moved up to Leeds without work, secured a temporary position in Solar Panel, then I got promoted within a week to BDM,” she said. “But I had no passion for the position, it wasn’t finance or mortgages, so I quit.”

Forbes applied for an underwriting position with Yorkshire Building Society, where she stayed for one and a half years and made some amazing friends.

“I resigned and regardless of being pregnant, I carried on,” she remembered. “I think the epiphany was losing a baby in 2013, and I was 35. It made me question where I was going and what was important. I hadn’t considered having kids, and I had recently lost my mum to cancer.”

Getting back on track

Despite these personal losses and career transitions, Forbes’ resolve remained unshaken. She embarked on a new chapter as a self-employed BDM. With unwavering support from her partner, she pursued her CeMAP certification.

In 2013, she took a leap of faith, venturing into the world of mortgage advising. While initially challenging, her tenacity and adaptability propelled her forward, eventually leading to remarkable success as an estate agent. Today, Forbes stands at the helm of her own directly authorised firm, a testament to her indomitable spirit and unwavering commitment to excellence.

Her journey from underwriter to broker is a testament to the power of perseverance, resilience, and unwavering determination. Her story serves as an inspiration to aspiring professionals navigating the unpredictable waters of the financial world, reminding us that success often lies just beyond our comfort zones.

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