Scott heralds PLAN 'new direction'

by Ben Abbott31 Oct 2011

PLAN Australia CEO Trevor Scott has declared he now has the right team, business structure and plan in place to reinvigorate PLAN's offering and help brokers grow their business revenues.

Speaking at the opening of PLAN Australia's national conference in Darwin last week, Scott acknowledged the tough times being faced by its brokers and mortgage businesses, but said PLAN would seek new directions for growth.

Having joined last March, Scott said he had initially observed "signs of stagnation" within the business, that had resulted in overall member satisfaction with PLAN's broker service offering dropping off in 2011.

However, Scott said he was "passionate" about third party, and the poorer satisfaction results were balanced with extremely high pride in the brand and its professionalism, as well as a strong desire to remain with the aggregator.

Scott said he had completed a wholesale restrucutre of the broker support team, that has seen the abolition of state manager positions in favour of two regional managers who are working in tandem with an operations manager.

In addition, Scott said the team restructure had included the overall addition of new BDM resources, in a move he said was designed "to increase the ways in which we serve you, our members".

PLAN will move forward by assisting brokers in shoring up declining revenues, Scott said, by providing new product diversification opportunity - such as its insurance product PLAN Protect - as well as fee-for-advice flexibility.

"We need to look for ways to grow our business, and to do that, we need to find ways to help you grow yours," he said.

While the group's CRM software Podium continued to give some brokers 'sleepless nights', Scott said he was focused on making it the "powerful CRM it can be", and brokers who had adapted to the system were seeing benefits.

Scott said recent years had been a "great period of change" for PLAN, following the succession of acquisitions by first Challenger and then NAB. However Scott said the bank's balance sheet backing meant access to more resources - such as HR - as well as the chance to invest profits back into the business to improve its offering to members.

As an example, Scott said the group's NCCP support team numbered 14, and had completed 850 visits with members.