From banker to broker: Overcoming self-doubt for success

A new broker's journey to improving 1% each day

From banker to broker: Overcoming self-doubt for success


By Ryan Johnson

Transitioning from private banker to broker, Todd Iljasov found the biggest hurdle wasn't financial knowledge, but his own mindset.

Iljasov said the biggest challenge was overcoming these mental hurdles, or what he calls “the one-percenters” – the small, self-imposed limitations that hold us back.

“I believe in continuous improvement,” he explained. “If we improve by just 1% consistently, those small gains will result in exponential personal and professional growth over time.”

Banking to broking: Choosing the shiny side of the same coin

While banking and broking might seem like different worlds, Iljasov highlighted the strong overlap in relationship management and building trust with clients.

“My decade-long experience in commercial and private banking across several of Australia’s traditional ‘Big Four’ banks, combined with the relationships I've built, positions me perfectly to help clients achieve their financial goals, whether it's growing their wealth, managing it, or protecting it,” he said.

Like many who've made the switch from banking to broking, Iljasov was motivated by the chance to empower clients with a wider range of loan options.

“I’ve always been an advocate for helping clients, having often referred friends and family to brokers in the past when being unable to assist them at one of my previous banks, whether that was due to policy or process,” he said.

This experience solidified his belief in the client-centric approach of broking, which helped him decide to join the “booming” third-party channel. 

Challenges and opportunities for new brokers

Iljasov's move also reflects a broader trend. The mortgage broking industry is rapidly gaining ground on traditional banks, having grown its market share of residential home loans to 71.5%.

This shift coincides with a significant improvement in the broker industry's reputation. The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) received only 332 complaints against brokers last year, compared to a staggering 36,888 complaints against banks.

On a more personal level, one of the biggest differences Iljasov observed between working in a bank and working as a broker is the autonomy brokers are afforded.

“As brokers, we get to shape our respective businesses and build a brand which resonates with our core values and beliefs,” he said.

And while he still had his challenges with transitioning to broking, they also acted as key motivators for Iljasov to apply his “one percent rule”.

“Transitioning from employee to business owner, you forego stability, financial and otherwise, with the hopes of building something of your own, “ he said. “And it is this goal, the desire to build a business and a brand, which is at the forefront of the competitive finance broking industry, that motivates me.

“In addition to this, I have my wife who has been supporting me wholeheartedly throughout this journey and her belief and unconditional support are just some of the reasons why failure is not an option – I want to continue to make her proud of me.”

How brokers can choose their aggregator and niche

For any broker starting out, choosing the right aggregator is crucial.

After consultations with several aggregators and experienced brokers, Iljasov said Loan Market Group (LMG) stood out for him.

“I was a huge fan of their CRM tool and felt their partner model had a vested interest in my business and was best equipped to allow me to be successful in my transition from banking to broking,” he said.

Iljasov also said he plans to leverage this expertise to carve out a niche in the competitive mortgage broking industry.

“In terms of my specialty, my previous roles in commercial and private banking allowed me to work with a variety of clients from high net-worth individuals to business owners, medicos and professional services, helping them to manage and grow their wealth and achieve their goals and objectives,” he said.

For Iljasov, bidding farewell to his corporate career and launching his brokerage, Klutch Finance Group, was the right move.

“It is this experience that I intend to leverage as a point of differentiation in a highly competitive broking industry.”

See LinkedIn post here.

What do you think of Todd Iljasov’s journey from banker to broker? Comment below.

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!