Business development managers play a crucial role in the everyday lives of mortgage and finance brokers.
Not only do BDMs – sometimes also referred to as relationship managers or business relationship managers – educate brokers about lenders’ products, policies and systems, but they also help navigate complex loan scenarios, providing a vital second opinion before lodgement. This can ultimately speed up turnaround times and create a smoother path to settlement.
A great BDM will always be willing to help brokers who need advice and support, because they understand the value proposition of the relationship. Brokers are more likely to continue to seek out fi nance solutions for their clients from lenders whose BDMs go out of their way to assist them and help see a loan deal through to fruition.
BDMs can also provide a great sounding board for brokers wanting to establish or boost referral networks and improve their sales skills to bring in more business.
Aggregator and broker network BDMs play a slightly different role to lender BDMs. They provide brokers with expert one-on-one support and guidance, helping boost their skills and career progression through training and professional development sessions.
Aggregator BDMs can even help residential mortgage brokers diversify into the world of asset and commercial finance, reaching new clients and strengthening their relationships with current clients.
To find out who are the best BDMs in Australia in 2021, Australian Broker asked brokers. We approached hundreds of brokers across the country and invited them to nominate the best business development managers they had come across who were working for lenders and aggregators.
Brokers ranked BDMs across four criteria – customer service, responsiveness, communication and product knowledge.
From more than 400 nominations a shortlist of 100 BDMs was compiled, and then 24 winners, who rated excellent across all four categories, received 5-Star BDM Awards.
One of the 5-Star Award winners is Pepper Money BDM Pasquale Caia.
“On behalf of the Pepper Money team and the entire industry, I’d like to acknowledge Pasquale Caia and congratulate him on being awarded the 5-Star BDM Award by Australian Broker,” says Pepper Money general manager mortgages and commercial lending Barry Saoud.
“Pepper Money’s continued growth and success is wholly dependent on our ability to recruit, train and retain quality BDMs.
“Being part of the Pepper Money business for over eight years, Pasquale has consistently delivered at an outstanding level, and he lives the Pepper Money can-do and real values. It’s no surprise he has been recognised as one of the best BDMs in the country.”
AFG national sales manager Hayden Cush commends the performance of AFG BRM James Tran, who also won a 5-Star Award.
“It’s really no surprise that James has received this award. He is well regarded in the business and has done a terrific job servicing AFG brokers. We are thrilled to have James flying the AFG Home and Commercial Loans flag,” Cush says.
“An enormous amount of dedication and hard work has gone into his achievement, so it’s great to see James acknowledged with this award.
“Our BRMs specialise in distributing competitive lending products to our brokers and ensuring the process from scenario to settlement runs seamlessly for all parties involved. More broadly, the AFG sales team are the lifeblood of the business and consider service to our members an absolute priority.”
Three BDMs at Bankwest – Jude Schofield, Grant Roden and Tes Anderson – have won 5-Star Awards.
“Bankwest strives to be the best bank for brokers in the country, delivering brilliant experiences to both brokers and customers,” says Bankwest general manager third party banking Ian Rakhit.
“That’s why we’re committed to working with brokers – to listening and delivering what they need and want and being there when needed – and why these awards are so significant.
“Ours remains a people-first business, where support, confidence and ease, as demonstrated by BDMs such as Tes, Grant and Jude, make such a difference. Their recognition reflects the commitment all our BDMs strive to deliver to our brokers, and I’m tremendously proud of their efforts.”
Liberty BDM Matt Hall adds a 5-Star Award to his impressive list of accolades in 2021. He is already national winner of the MFAA BDM – Lender and Support Service Provider award and an Australian Mortgage Awards Best Non-Bank BDM excellence awardee.
“Liberty is incredibly proud of Matt’s impressive achievement and his dedication to our business partners,” says John Mohnacheff, Liberty’s group sales manager.
“A true freethinker, Matt never shies away from a challenge and is always willing and ready to go the extra mile for our business partners.
“On behalf of the wider Liberty community, I’d like to personally congratulate Matt for his outstanding efforts and his unwavering dedication to the brokers he supports.
“As long-standing supporters of the broker channel, BDMs are at the heart of our business. The efforts of individuals like Matt allow us to help brokers provide flexible, tailored lending solutions so that together we can help more people to get financial.”
Adelaide Bank BDM Jess Stevens has also received a 5-Star BDM Award. Steve Larizza, the lender’s regional manager, northern, broker distribution, says Adelaide Bank is both proud of and excited by the amazing recognition Stevens has received.
“It was a pleasure to share this news to our wider Adelaide Bank family, showing just how devoted and committed Jess is to her work. Like Jess, Adelaide Bank BDMs play a significant role in supporting brokers to meet their customers’ needs, making the process simple, delivering clear and direct messaging, and being available when it counts.
“Over the years Jess has received numerous compliments from her aggregators and brokers, which is a testament to herself and why there is no doubt she is held in the highest regard and worthy of this amazing recognition.”
Another 5-Star Award highlighted the success of Heritage Bank BDM Andrew Galloway.
“We’re extremely proud that Andrew has been recognised by brokers for his outstanding service,” says Stewart Saunders, head of broker experience at Heritage Bank. “Andrew is an exceptional advocate for brokers, working in partnership to get positive outcomes for them and their clients.”
Saunders says Heritage Bank is on a journey to modernise its origination platforms to deliver a better and faster experience for brokers.
“Our fantastic BDM team goes above and beyond to support brokers, helping out if things get off track. Heritage’s growth in the broker channel over the last 22 years is off the back of the hard work of our BDMs and the valuable broker relationships they have built.”
RedZed is proud of its 5-Star BDM winners, Peter Burkhart, Kristie Oldfield and Sally Carmichael.
“For a long time now, we have known our core group of BDMs are amongst the best in the industry, so it’s fantastic to see some of them recognised on this national stage by those that matter the most – their broker partners,” says RedZed national sales manager Adrian Fisher.
“We are very proud of our collective group, who are all regularly recognised for the value they consistently provide to our network. As RedZed continues to expand its distribution footprint, we are excited that more of the broker network will get to experience how our BDMs like Sally, Kristie amd Peter can make a big difference to their business.”
Fisher says BDMs are likely responsible for the first experience a broker has with a lender, so the quality of their service is extremely important, as the first impressions they create are long lasting.
“RedZed has experienced incredible growth over the past two years as we expanded our distribution into aggregator relationships. Our BDMs have been pivotal during this time in engaging, training and nurturing these new relationships, culminating in significant volume increases.”
Australian Broker carried out extensive research to determine the top business development managers in Australia.
Researchers contacted 300 brokers across the nation and through in-depth phone interviews encouraged brokers to identify the top-performing BDMs.
Brokers were asked to name the BDMs who gave them the best support based on the following four criteria: customer service, responsiveness, communication and product knowledge.
From more than 400 nominations, the list was whittled down to 100 BDMs, with 24 individuals who were rated excellent across all categories receiving 5-Star Awards.