Hot Seat: Stuart Styles

by AB18 Jan 2017
Who or what inspired you to become a mortgage broker?
I was in car sales originally and bought and sold vehicles whilst also arranging finance for purchasers as a way of ensuring the sale. The finance side of the business really piqued my interest and I found that part of the transaction much more satisfying than the actual sale of the motor vehicle.

I then left the motor trade and embarked on a career in financial planning with Westpac, then circled back to working in the motor trade before eventually being offered a role as a mortgage broker with Faraday & West. I jumped at the chance and loved it immediately.
What will be the biggest innovation in the broking industry in 2017?
I think it will be the digital disrupters. This also includes the electronic titles system and e conveyancing, which is changing the way we do business presently. It is difficult to gauge the extent and how we will be affected by the digital platform disrupters; however, we are currently seeing reasonable-sized corporations invest in this area. There is going to be natural pushback by the traditional broker community (which includes me!). However, it is up to us as brokers to take that challenge on and provide even better service to our customer base.
What was your most memorable client experience?
There are many which I am grateful for, but handling family and friends is always a challenge as there seems to be more on the line because of that close relationship. It is always a great day when you get those loans formally approved. I have recently received an approval for a friend of many years to purchase their new home. The file and application was akin to unravelling an onion, in the sense that what was thought to be a simple situation turned out to be more complicated than the client actually realised. Fortunately, all’s well that ends well and we will be settling this in the coming days.
What has been the toughest or scariest decision you have made in your life?
My life decisions always seem to come at junctions when everything is happening at once. When I decided to leave the car industry, my wife had just become pregnant with our first child and I was currently taking a 12-month sabbatical, or so I thought! It was then that I decided to change career direction and enter financial planning with Westpac.

When I decided to start Arthurmac & Co in 2005, my wife had just gone on maternity leave with our second child for 12 months. Starting my business, especially with the timing, was definitely the biggest decision I had to make. That took a bit of negotiating with Mrs Styles!
If you could have dinner with any three people (dead or alive, excluding family or friends), who would you invite and why?
Firstly, Gerry Lopez – Mr Pipeline – to get some tips on surfing and lifestyle. To this day he is a bit of an enigma and lives a well-planned life of surfing, snowboarding, yoga and meditation, and has a unique outlook on health and wellbeing. Plus, it would be interesting to see if he eats anything other than brown rice! I also surf and kitesurf/windsurf, so getting some tips from Gerry would be invaluable.

Secondly, James Hunt, F1 driver, as he is the epitome of a life well lived, albeit short. I believe he would be the most entertaining of dinner guests and would provide endless stories of debauchery and excess, not to mention getting the inside run of his exploits on the race track.

Lastly, Albert Einstein, as he would, no doubt, provide great conversation, but I might also finally get an understanding of his famous theory of relativity!