His entry into the business was not something that he had planned
Like many of his colleagues in the industry, Rhys Schofield’s entry into the world of mortgages was not something that he had planned. He attended Cardiff University, where he received his degree in Sociology.
But how did he get into financial services, and in mortgage advice, in particular? Schofield (pictured) shares his career journey in this Mortgage Introducer feature.
Getting into the industry
After university, Schofield took a job with Cardiff-based specialist finance packager Y3S, where he was employed as a second charge broker.
“I was sold more or less immediately,” he related. “It was a great learning experience and so many of those guys have gone on to great things.
“In fact, my first boss was a certain Gwilym Pugh, who reinvented himself and became a hugely successful model and general Instagram celebrity.
“That man definitely makes ginger look cool!” said Schofield, who himself sports a ginger beard.
Unfortunately, the credit crunch happened, and Schofield was made redundant as their pool of lenders dried up in the space of a month or two. He then ended up working for Lloyds Banking Group on credit cards.
However, he always wanted to go back to mortgages. That opportunity came when he was offered a telephony advisor role for mortgage and savings provider Cheltenham & Gloucester (C&G).
“I worked my way up to be a trainer for the new mortgage advisors, and then, when I moved back home to Derby, I took over a branch of C&G as we rebranded to TSB and launched the new bank,” Schofield recalled.
He shared that while he had a blast working for TSB for two years, he always had the nagging issue that direct-to-bank business was not for him.
“If you’re only advising on your own products and not the plethora of other lenders’ products, it’s often the client that missed out on what was best for them, so I entered the world of broking as an employed estate agency broker for Spicerhaart,” he said.
After more than four years at Just Mortgages, Schofield moved on and formed Derbyshire-based Peak Mortgages and Protection, where he initially served as principal adviser, in 2018.
Motivations to continue as a broker
In June, broker firm Mortgage 1st – also based in Derbyshire – acquired Peak Mortgages and Protection.
“I’m in a unique position as I’ve actually just sold Peak Mortgages and Protection to the amazing guys over at Mortgage 1st,” Schofield said. “Seriously, working with them for the last month or so has re-ignited my motivation after what feels like a long period of hard work.
“Jon and Lisa (Stones) are keeping me on for at least another three years to be the man on the ground at Peak, although my official title is ‘brand director’ as well as helping to double the size of the team in that period which is really exciting.
“We have an imminent network change for the advisors over to Stonebridge who have been brilliant in their support, and the advisors are loving being part of the M1 family. It’s just great to work with people that really get what good culture and support for brokers looks and feels like.”
Looking to the future
Schofield said that he could not wait to make serious headway with growing the number of Peak advisors, so they could bring their own particular brand of mortgage and protection advice to even more clients.
“That’s definitely my number one priority,” he stressed.
Aside from growing Peak, he also looked forward to devoting more time to sharing his knowledge on mortgage broking.
“As some people may know, I also co-founded a conveyancing brokerage Fix My Legals, which is going from strength to strength,” he said. “Who’d have thought an actually good conveyancing referral route for brokers would be popular? It’s not rocket science, and I can’t believe no one else had stuck to their principles and done it already.
“On my Fix My Legals days, I’m now offering coaching on all things mortgage broking for our introducers. It could be about instructing more legals, submitting more protection, growing a business, or just starting out.
“There is a lot of knowledge I’ve picked up that I’d love to share, and it will be totally free of charge to our users because our thoughts are if we help our introducers grow, we’ll also grow as a business.”
Beyond that though?
“I always said I was going to retire from the industry at 40, so it’s three more years until I move up my Welsh mountain, hitting hot metal with a hammer – I want to be a blacksmith, and never talk about mortgages again,” Schofield said in jest.
“I’ll probably still weigh in on LinkedIn as it’ll be hard to give up my ‘Metallica of Mortgages’ mantle.”
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