Liberty claims network 'on goal'

by Adam Smith15 Dec 2011

Liberty Network Services has said it is on target in its recruitment of brokers, despite a challenging year.

The company recently announced it had teamed with Intellitrain to provide training to its advisers, and CEO Brendan O’Donnell has said the diversity of the business’ offering means its branded brokers will need a broad knowledge beyond mortgage products.

“It goes beyond mortgages, so from a training perspective we need broader training than in the general marketplace because our advisers will be offering not just one product, but a range of products. It’s about making sure that we meet the needs of the customer and provide them with appropriate advice,” he said.

O’Donnell has been a firm advocate of branding in the industry, saying it provides scale and marketing power to brokers. Liberty Network Services had its soft launch late last year, and O’Donnell said the business is thus far meeting its recruitment goals.

“We’ve had some really good response from across the board, both established brokers and those new to the industry. We’re still working through all those and bringing advisers on board, but we remain on goal at this stage in terms of the targets we had set for ourselves,” O’Donnell said.

Positioning the business as a proposition to brokers looking to align with a brand will be only one of the challengers Liberty faces in 2012, O’Donnell said. Another challenge will be repositioning Liberty as a lender in the minds of brokers.

“Brokers have largely seen us as a lender of last resort, whereas we’re actually a lender of first resort. We’ve expanded our prime range, our commercial range and our motor range. We have a lot more on offer than we did a year ago,” he said.

O’Donnell conceded that 2012 was set to be a challenging year, but said he was “quietly optimistic” about the future for Liberty Network Services.

“Are we on track? Yes we are. Is it a difficult market? Absolutely. But I think brokers are looking for distribution models that fit more with what they’re looking to do.”

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