Ray Hair, executive director of The Local Loan Company, explains the importance of a client-first attitude and reveals the hiring and education plans that will underpin the firm’s expansion in 2019
Q: What’s one of your recent career highlights?
A: I have been fortunate to work with some of the industry’s best people over the last 20 years, initially in my 10 years with PLAN Australia, then with ALI Group and more recently with Homeloans. However, my current role is my career highlight. Working with two professional and passionate business partners, Kylie Platt and Susan Lepidi, and our brokers and client service team, is something I should have commenced 10 years ago.
Q: What’s the greatest challenge for brokers at this time?
A: Brokers face two very significant challenges right now, each of which can provide opportunity. The fall from grace of our lending and investment institutions provides insight into how easy it is to lose sight of what is most important: our clients’ interests. Put your clients first and provide advice that addresses their current and future needs. Building client knowledge and trust is of paramount importance, and it will pay dividends.
Our other challenge is the emerging economic slowdown and credit crunch. Lower immigration, cooling property prices, rising interest rates and rising unemployment all point to increased financial stress for many people. Now more than ever our clients need our support, advice and assistance.
Q: What was your first job?
A: My first full-time job was with the ATO, where I worked for six years in a variety of roles whilst also finishing my economics degree and backpacking around the world. I then joined Deloitte, where I worked for another six years, qualifying as a chartered accountant before moving into financial services with the RACV, then Fortis Insurance and PLAN Australia.
Q: What’s one thing, personal or professional, that you hope to achieve before the end of the year?
A: What’s one thing, personal or professional, that you hope to achieve Growing a boutique, diversified financial services business is an ongoing process that is both rewarding and challenging. We are currently working to launch our new-to-industry broker program and double our broker team in Perth and Melbourne. Developing an integrated financial planning and mortgage broking practice is about recruiting and developing the right people. We know we have one of the best client service teams and effective processes to support our brokers; now we need to build a national business that delivers professional, passionate service and advice to existing and new clients.