Aggregator grows broker support team

by Miklos Bolza15 Jun 2017
National aggregator Connective has welcomed three new members to its broker support staff through a hiring spree that looks set to see the team continue growing in the future.

Mark O’Shaughnessy joins as head of wholesale, a new role designed to reinforce the aggregator’s focus on best practice broker support services.

O’Shaughnessy comes into the aggregator with 16 years of experience from retail market players such as Medibank and Flight Centre, bringing a wealth of operational and sales leadership capabilities with him.

“Mark will provide an integrated level of support and focus to our broker support team,” general manager for sales and distribution Gingkai Tan told Australian Broker.

“We recently restructured our national resources to ensure we continue to provide industry-leading broker support and additionally enable us to enter new business initiatives confidently and seamlessly as we grow the business.”

As the second new hire, Sandra Ascenzo has stepped into the role of broker relationship manager team leader, taking over from Andrew Piltz who has moved into a business analyst role in sales and distribution.

Ascenzo is well known at the aggregator and has worked with member brokerages for a number of years. She joins Connective from My Local Broker where she worked as Lead Broker Support.

“There are a number of new and exciting projects underway at Connective and Sandra will play a key role in helping us deliver a best-in-class on-boarding capability. When a broker joins the Connective community, it’s crucial they enjoy a positive and seamless integration into our business,” Tan said

With the aggregator currently re-engineering this business function, Ascenzo will help lead this change through her plentiful experience and knowledge.

Finally, Keerthi Damera joins the Mercury Helpdesk and will bring fast, efficient support around this CRM system to new brokerages coming on board. She comes from National Australia Bank (NAB) where she worked on the service desk for five years.

“Keerthi will join a very successful helpdesk team. Our helpdesk is currently sitting at a 99% satisfaction rating with our brokers and we want to retain that. As we’re growing the business, Keerthi is a great addition to the team,” Tan said.

Over the past 12 months, Connective has doubled its Mercury development team and hired more staff in broker facing roles, including broker support managers and compliance support managers.

Tan said his division had grown from 10.5 (including one part-time role) to 14 broker support managers over the past six to nine months – by adding one in Queensland, two in New South Wales, and moving a part-time support manager into a fulltime role in South Australia.

Additionally, Connective has gone from three to seven compliance support managers over the past year, including one vacant position the aggregator is still recruiting for.

“We recognise that compliance is placing a growing obligation on brokers who just want to run an efficient and compliant business. Feedback from our brokers is that managing this is an increasing challenge for them.”

The aggregator is currently seeking industry professionals to fill a number of different roles. One of these vacant positions is head of iConnect, Connective’s national mortgage franchise which has grown to 39 franchisees since its official launch in May last year.

“That will be a key role which will be essential in driving our business strategy and our growth in this area. Sometimes brokers need or would like a little more support in running a brokerage and iConnect is a great way for them to leverage our strength and expertise in the industry,” Tan said.

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