Aggregator unveils culture-based compliance education

by Miklos Bolza27 Jan 2017
National aggregator Connective has announced an expansion of its education and support program in a new initiative that fosters a culture of diversity and inclusion amongst Chinese brokers.
 
The program will be headed up by compliance support manager Ryan Leong who has now stepped into a dedicated role to assist the aggregator’s Chinese brokers.
 
The idea stemmed from the Connective’s vision and strategy in terms of broker support, Monique Hope-Pearson, head of compliance and group legal counsel, told Australian Broker.
 
“It was bred from wanting to take compliance and have it as a business enabler as opposed to a business prohibitor. We’ve got a really clear vision about what we want to do with compliance here.”
 
“Compliance is much more than just responsible lending. It’s who our brokers are and the support that they need. Everyone comes from a different background with different levels of understanding.”
 
When delving into Connective’s brokers, Hope-Pearson said there was a realisation that the cultural backgrounds of different brokers could affect the effectiveness of training programs.
 
This put the focus on Chinese brokers – a significant segment of the market which Connective would now help develop, she added.
 
Thus, a more holistic support program was born. Leong was chosen to lead this initiative being fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese and understanding the many nuances to Chinese culture.
 
“What we’ve been doing over the past couple of years is starting to really dig deeper into what our compliance framework consists of,” Hope-Pearson said. “We don’t want compliance to be something that brokers are afraid of. We want compliance to be built into the sales process so everyone wins.”
 
The focus here was not just saying Connective had a great compliance program, she added. Instead, the aggregator looked at measures to properly gauge a program’s effectiveness and ensure that brokers understand the topics taught and get value from them for their business.
 
As people from different backgrounds learn differently, Leong would provide tailored support to Chinese brokers in these areas, Hope-Pearson said.
 
“Aside from assisting our Chinese brokers in overcoming language challenges, he’s also able to help bridge gaps in their understanding of our values, customs, social norms, and how business is conducted in Australia,” Hope-Pearson said.
 
The training programs will help Chinese brokers understand not only how to meet compliance regulations but also why they should be met.
 
“Culture is all about doing the right thing and enabling our brokers to do the right thing through coaching and education and specific targeted programs to learn in a fun environment.”
 
This will include a number of initiatives such as culture-specific networking events and a webinar series. One of these networking events was held last year for the Chinese Moon Festival in Sydney and Melbourne and another has been planned this year for Chinese New Year.
 
“The action is actually on us to understand how Chinese brokers work and to find a really meaningful way to work together. We know that we have to get something done. How do we best support our brokers to do that and achieve a compliance result as an outcome at the same time?”
 
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