In the hot seat: Grace Munro

by Antony Field06 Nov 2020

Q: What was your very first job? Did you enter the finance industry right away?

A: Prior to my first role in the finance industry, I completed an Advanced Certificate in Hospitality at the Northern Metropolitan College of Tafe in Melbourne, which is where I developed a love for food and cooking. I worked in the hospitality industry for many years, including some time spent running the breakfast shift in a hotel restaurant, as well as working in the banqueting department at Crown Melbourne. Perhaps one thing many people don’t know about me is that I also worked at the Coles deli counter for more than seven years!

Q: How did you end up in your role today as broker relationship manager at MyState Bank?

A: My first role in finance was actually as a retail loan writer at a local branch of the Advantage Credit Union, approximately 21 years ago. Over the years, I have worn many different hats in the finance industry, including as credit assessor, senior lender and mobile lender manager, which has helped strengthen my qualifications, relationships and experience. I have always loved relationship building and business development – a crucial component of my current role at MyState Bank, which I have been in for the past three years.

Q: What has surprised you most during your career in finance?

A: With a background in the retail space for so many years, it was a pleasant surprise to work with brokers for the very first time. Like the brokers I work with day in and day out, I wear my heart on my sleeve and am always striving to do right by the end customer. At the end of the day, we all have our clients’ best interests at heart when it comes to achieving their financial goals, both big and small.

Q: What is one thing you wish everyday borrowers knew about brokers?

A: The big thing I wish borrowers knew about brokers is how quickly we can adapt to ever-changing policies and procedures, and even new environments. No one could have predicted what we have all experienced in 2020, but we have firmly demonstrated, as an industry, that we can still be available for our clients and do what we do best, albeit remotely.

Q: If you could change anything about the broking industry, what would it be?

A: What I would change is the perception some clients may have of brokers. From time to time, I have heard from my clients that brokers must justify the way they are remunerated for the ongoing service they provide their clients. Together, BDMs and brokers work hard to get the best outcome possible for customers. We recognise that no two customers are the same, and oftentimes lateral thinking is needed to get a deal across the line, particularly if a client doesn’t fit perfectly within current lender appetites or policies.

Q: If you weren’t in your current role, what would your ideal career be?

A: I’d probably be a chef – not only do I enjoy eating, but preparing a great meal is my happy place. My favourite meals to cook are the traditional dishes my mum has taught me over the years. My love of food and enjoying quality time around the table whilst eating a hearty meal stems from the love and passion my mum has shown, and the smell and taste of particular dishes definitely evokes so many childhood memories.