Specialist lender on its new launch

Simon Cockerill, head of intermediary sales development at OSB Group, joins Mortgage Introducer TV to discuss the launch of a new high net worth team, the benefit to brokers and why the time was right to create the new division.

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Paul: [00:00:12] Hello everyone and welcome to Mortgage Introducer TV. I'm Paul Lucas Mortgage Introducer's global editor. And you're likely to see myself and a few of our journalists here on a regular basis as we bring you the biggest names across the UK mortgage sector with exclusive interviews that you won't find anywhere else and what better to start with, our guest today, Simon Cockerill, head of intermediary sales development at OSB Group. He's going to be talking to us about the exciting news of OSB group's new high net worth division. We're going to be discussing how the team itself is going to work, what this means for OSB group's growth and progression as a whole, and why this is the right move in the current market. Simon Welcome to Mortgage Introducer TV.

Simon: [00:00:59] Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Paul: [00:01:02] First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at the company.

Simon: [00:01:06] Yeah, absolutely. So, I mean, I joined one savings bank group around four and a half years ago. I joined as the head of sales in the field looking after all the field BDMs. And I moved into this role. So my title now is head of Intermediary Sales Development, and I moved into this role in January 2021. And it was it was clear during the pandemic that brokers wanted to work in different ways. And my remit for this role was to grow a division within the business to support that, that sort of evolvement of how brokers were dealing with us. So my role is across the three brands, Kent Reliance for Intermediaries, Precise Mortgages and InterBay and incorporates really anything that isn't field sales. So I've got a telephone team that that looks at all the inbound phone, email and live chat queries. I've also got an office BDM team that we're just setting up across the Kent and Precise Brands. And then also now as we're talking about today, we're introducing the new high net worth team.

Paul: [00:02:08] Yes. Simon, really interesting story to date. So how is this new team going to work and what's the goal here? What are the benefits for brokers in introducing this new division?

Simon: [00:02:19] Well, it's another real value add for brokers and their high net worth clients that already have a large loan or portfolios within one savings bank already. Strategically, we know these these clients are important to both the broker and ourselves. And the idea is that we're going to look at their sort of evolving needs and opportunities, whether that's any new lending that they want to do or whether it's coming to the end of the current deal and looking, what opportunities are there for them at the end of that? But it fits quite nicely with our handcrafted solutions approach are sort of our manual underwriting approaches that these clients tend to have the more complex needs and the approach to underwriting needs to be the same. But the experience within this team actually will sit very well with the clients, but the team will liaise directly with brokers. So it's not looking at sort of just looking at the bank's clients, it's looking at those brokers as well and linking in with the clients off the back of it. And the two people coming into the team, Mark and Krissy, they have got huge experience in this market as well. So we're really matching up sort of brokers needs and wants and also what we want is a bank and matching it to some of our most experienced people. So they'll be looking to set regular review meetings, look at existing facilities and any further borrowing opportunities. So a real win win for everybody.

Paul: [00:03:38] Yeah. Thanks, Simon. So it sounds like there's a lot of building on existing customers and indeed existing expertise within the team, as well as looking to create something that goes even further. Is that right?

Simon: [00:03:50] Yeah, absolutely. Like I say, it's all about matching up the the clients that are very experienced in these markets. But also you need to match that with the people that are dealing with them. So we know experienced brokers, experienced people within our teams will need to be matched up with these with these clients.

Paul: [00:04:07] Yeah. Really interesting. So how does this new high net worth team fit in with the overall OSB strategy? I guess what I'm saying is, what's the big picture here?

Simon: [00:04:19] So going back to what I mentioned earlier, the pandemic taught us an awful lot as an industry that we need to support brokers in lots of different ways. You know, we're sat here talking on a on a sort of a Zoom meeting during an interview. And two years ago, we would have been sat in a studio doing this. So it's clear that the market's evolved in many ways. Interestingly, when you look at the structure within my team, we did some research at brokers and one in five brokers told us actually the video conference, video conferencing was their preferred method of actually dealing with new business inquiries. So, you know, this team that we're setting up is set up to be able to function in that way, as well as all the traditional ways as well. And also things like live chat. 40% of brokers told us that actually live chat was the preferred route of engaging with this pre application as well. So we've had that within the business for quite a while now, but now we've got it across all brands and we've just done a soft launch into precise mortgages on live chat as well. So that really adds another string to the bow. So now as a business, we're just able to cater for all brokers in any way they want to communicate with us, whether that's out in the field with a field sales team or video conferencing, telephone, email, live chat, everything is is catered for and this high net worth team will be able to deliver that in the same way. So again, if brokers or clients want to meet over any of those functions, we'll be able to do it. So it's a real seamless sort of transfer into moving forward with how brokers and clients want to operate.

Paul: [00:05:48] So talking about the current market conditions, Simon, what key trends is OSB group seeing among its clients at the moment that leads you to think that the high net worth sector might actually need a bit more support and a dedicated division?

Simon: [00:06:03] Yeah. So the initial conversations that we've had over the last few months with with clients and brokers alike have been that actually at the start of the pandemic, a couple of years ago when we started getting an awful lot of requests for payment holidays, landlords were also getting in payment holiday requests from tenants. So from our perspective and those clients, they probably looked at the last couple of years to consolidate and have a look at their portfolios, especially in buy to let, but also sort of have a look and see where the opportunities are and the markets bounce back incredibly quickly, especially in buy to rent the demand and therefore for the private rental sector is really, really strong. So what we've actually seen in the last couple of months is a lot of these clients that have got significant levels of funding with us, they're actually looking to borrow more and expand the portfolio. So timing wise, the market seems to be in a stronger place as ever and again, links in with the timing why we think this is the right time to launch a high net worth division. But it's something as a business we've been talking about for some time, and it's clearly it's the right time now to extend our support to brokers and clients alike in this in this sort of strategy. But listening to the feedback from brokers, listen to the feedback from the client, it's it's it's the right time to start looking after these clients and looking at what other opportunities there are there as well.

Paul: [00:07:29] Yeah. Thank you. Simon So can you talk me through some of those key people that are going to have an important role to play in this team?

Simon: [00:07:36] Yes. So we've got two people starting this team up. So Mark Callahan is is rejoining the bank. And also Krissy Salmon, who's been with the bank for a number of years. Between them, they've got over a decade's experience of business development management experience, but also dealing with these high net worth clients. And also internally, we have our credit committee, which is where these clients will be discussed and and look to look at their borrowing needs and the agreements to be made. So they've got experience of presenting into that committee as well, which is really fundamental to the experience that we need to be able to make the right decisions on the back of whatever clients are looking for.

Paul: [00:08:17] Yeah. It sounds like a great line up, Simon. Is there anything else that you wanted to add about what people should look out for from this team or or what you're expecting in the future in this market?

Simon: [00:08:28] Yeah. So this is really a starting point for this division, really. We do expect the high net worth team to grow as time goes on. But in terms of what brokers should expect from this market, Krissy will be in contact as and when the reviews for those clients come up and they'll be reaching out to make sure that those relationships are really solid before we start talking to the customers directly as well. So watch this space, I guess is the word.

Paul: [00:08:56] Yeah. Thanks so much, Simon. It's been great to have you join us. Best of luck to OSB Group and with the progression of the new team, of course.

Simon: [00:09:04] Again, thanks for having me. It's great to be able to share these these news stories with you.

Paul: [00:09:09] And to everybody watching. Well, this is just the beginning, so make sure you come back here for more. Soon we'll be here at Mortgage Introducer TV.