Mark Middleton, head of third party distribution at Teachers Mutual Bank Limited, discusses some of his top survival tips for working in finance, and his ambitions for the year ahead
Q: What attracted you to working for one of Australia’s largest mutual banks?
A: I spent 28 years at a major bank and then decided I wanted a new challenge; I wanted to assist a financial institution that had strong values and a focus on sustainability with its overall growth and ambitions. Over my career, I had developed a large variety of skills as I took on a wide range of projects, including developing, implementing and leading the industry specialisation unit as well as the commercial broking arm. I knew I wanted to use these skills in my next role, which led me to Teachers Mutual Bank.
Q: What are your top survival tips for working in finance?
A: Having diverse skills, not being afraid to ask questions, and reading daily – that keeps you in touch with what’s happening in the market. But, lastly and most importantly, having a sense of humour.
Q: How important is it to support key workers and their families, and what can brokers do to help more in this area?
A: We have four brands that represent key worker groups in our community – Firefighters Mutual Bank, Health Professionals Bank, Teachers Mutual Bank for the education sector and UniBank for the university sector. These people do amazing work, and it’s important they are represented. Having these four brands provides an opportunity for brokers to grow in these niches by offering solutions designed for their clients’ workforces. It’s important brokers are aware of niche opportunities, as well as how we reinvest profi ts to provide competitive products and services, and understand that this is very attractive to the communities represented by our different brands.
Q: What’s one of your recent career highlights?
A: Honestly, it’s working in the broking industry right now – I really enjoy coming to work every day. I enjoy the people I work with in my team, as well as the brokers, aggregators and industry groups I’m interacting with. It might be corny, but it’s the truth!
Q: What’s one thing, personal or professional, that you hope to achieve in 2020?
A: I’d really like to get back to work after recently rupturing my Achilles. I’m looking forward to working with my team to review and implement changes for the benefi t of both brokers and their clients.