How I became a broker – Rowan Frayling’s story

History graduate with dreams of teaching ends up managing a mortgage brokerage

How I became a broker – Rowan Frayling’s story

Rowan Frayling (pictured), managing director of J Finance, has had a career that began with uncertainty and evolved into a distinguished one in the mortgage industry. With a degree in History and an initial ambition to teach, Frayling’s path took a few unexpected turns, ultimately leading him to a role where he makes a significant impact on clients and colleagues alike.

Getting into the mortgage industry

Frayling graduated with a 2:1 in History, initially considering a career as a teacher. However, he soon realised that teaching was not his calling. A suggestion from a friend led him to explore the world of mortgage broking, a field he knew little about at the time.

“At 21, not a homeowner, I barely had any idea what a mortgage was, but I said ‘yes’,” he said. “Six months later, I left, having decided it wasn’t for me and went to work for Nationwide Building Society instead.”

Over the next five years, he gained a wealth of experience in various roles, from personal banking to mortgage compliance. This period was crucial in developing his understanding of the financial industry and honing the skills that would later prove invaluable in his career.

An unexpected opportunity arose when Frayling was approached to join a small, family-run mortgage brokerage. Despite his initial reservations, he accepted the offer and started working at J Finance. The decision marked the beginning of a transformative period in his career.

“After seven years, I bought the firm,” he said. “Now, I’m 18 months into the managing director role, still as an advising principal, and I wouldn’t change what I do!”

Motivations to continue as a broker

Frayling’s daily motivation is clear: his team and his clients.

“I want to make sure clients get their homes, get the solution that works for them, release the equity that helps them in later life or allows them to complete that building project that at first seemed unlikely,” he said.

Specialising in complex lending, later life, and short-term finance, Frayling thrives in areas many brokers shy away from. His expertise allows him to say ‘yes’ where others say ‘no’, making a tangible difference in his clients’ lives. This approach has set J Finance apart, building a reputation for tackling challenging cases and delivering successful outcomes.

Looking to the future

Looking ahead, Frayling is focused on sustainable growth and excellence rather than expansion for its own sake.

“The future will hopefully see the firm go from strength to strength,” he said. “I have no interest in becoming the biggest firm in the country, but I do want a high performing team and a home for brokers to help clients from and be empowered and supported to write business with as few hurdles as possible to providing excellent service to their clients.”  

His vision is one where J Finance remains a supportive environment for brokers, enabling them to serve their clients effectively and efficiently. Frayling’s leadership aims to foster a culture of empowerment and high performance, ensuring that both clients and brokers thrive.

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