Hot Seat: Greg Charlwood

by Melanie Mingas09 Oct 2019

Greg Charlwood, managing director of Australian Invoice Finance, reflects on the things that have shaped his career to date, including a plumbing apprenticeship, a stint living and working in India, and an appreciation for quality BDMs

Q: What’s the greatest challenge for brokers at this time?

A: The greatest challenge for brokers is definitely coming to terms with the range of changes that Commissioner Hayne recommended in his final royal commission report. A ban on commissions to brokers, in particular, would have been devastating for the industry. Commissions are a critical funding mechanism that keeps costs down for consumers, and I just can’t see consumers accepting out-of-pocket expenses'

Q: After finishing school I decided to learn a trade. I completed a plumbing apprenticeship, but when it came down to it I soon realised that plumbing wasn’t the trade for me. The next thing I knew I was involved in invoice finance and have been doing it for more than 30 years – it certainly is strange how life turns out.

A: What was your first job?

Q: After finishing school I decided to learn a trade. I completed a plumbing apprenticeship, but when it came down to it I soon realised that plumbing wasn’t the trade for me. The next thing I knew I was involved in invoice finance and have been doing it for more than 30 years – it certainly is strange how life turns out.

A: If you had the MFAA’s CEO over for dinner, what would you serve?

Q: In a previous role I set up an invoice finance company in India. The role involved a lot of travel to the region, and Indian food – as it is eaten in India – quickly became my favourite cuisine.

I would serve up a nice dry coconut chicken curry for Mike Felton, with dal makhana, basmati rice and naan bread. Lots of pickles too (of course!), and we would wash it all down with a few cold ones.

Q: What are your top survival tips for working in finance?

A: In this industry, I think it’s important to learn as much as you can and listen to what people have to say. Stick to the rules, but always offer solutions when decisions are to be made. In the business world, building strong relationships with those around you is also key.

Q: What’s one thing, personal or professional, that you hope to achieve before 2020?

A: I would like to continue to grow our sales team at Australian Invoice Finance by adding more quality business development managers like those we already have working in the business. Building a line-up of quality BDMs is the greatest challenge in invoice finance and one of the most important factors in the success of our business.