Private banker makes career switch to become broker

A private banker moves towards a new career

Private banker makes career switch to become broker


By Ryan Johnson

The prospect of becoming a mortgage broker can be both exciting and overwhelming. The field is brimming with opportunities, but the initial steps can feel like navigating a labyrinth.

For newcomers like Luke Hanlon (pictured above), the decision of which brokerage and aggregator to partner with is critical to building a successful career.

Hanlon, transitioning from private banking to the third-party channel, exemplifies the challenge faced by many new brokers.

“There are a lot of options for new brokers,” he said. “Ultimately, the best fit will be unique to each individual, shaped by past experiences, long-term goals, personal strengths and weaknesses, and the time investment required to get established.”

To lead from scratch or be part of a larger system?

The Australian mortgage broking scene remains dominated by small businesses, according to the latest MFAA Industry Intelligent Report. The report highlights that a significant majority (61%) of brokerages operate with either a single broker or just two brokers.

Hanlon said he understands the desire to start from scratch under one’s own self-generated company name.

“Many brokers want a high percentage of their commission or may have ambitions to build their own brand and business with employees,” he said. “This is not a bad idea if you have the experience, good existing referral relationships and a bit of time and money behind you.”

On the other end of the spectrum are the large broker franchises, whether they be public or privately owned.

Franchises can often provide the streamlined support that independent brokers might lack, with CRM, compliance, responsiveness, and IT being among the top features brokers value among franchise networks.  

“Franchise brokers may start on wages with lower commission splits but have the support of admin teams, experienced brokers around them and an established brand that has already been built,” Hanlon said.

Hanlon’s choice: A balance between the two extremes

With 14 years navigating the private banking world at CBA, ANZ, and most recently Westpac, Hanlon wasn't new to the financial services industry.

However, For Hanlon, the ideal brokerage needed to strike a balance between independence and support.

“Ultimately for me, I chose Lending Loop as I feel it was a good balance between the two options,” he said.

The Victoria-based brokerage, which aggregates through NLG, a boutique aggregator part of Loan Market Group (LMG), allowed Hanlon to specialise in professionals, particularly the premier and private banking markets.

“I receive a steady flow of new customer enquiries from the core Listing Loop business (pre and off-market property marketplace) while having access to the group’s full-service end-to-end property ecosystem, which include expert property buying support and conveyancing services,” Hanlon said.

“This allows me to truly support and add value to my clients with a holistic approach.”

Due to having property and debt himself, Hanlon needed to get up and running quickly.

“The Lending Loop business is a fantastic platform for new clients while I do traditional business development to further build my own referral networks,” Hanlon said. “This may be through social media or meeting new potential clients.”

Hanlon said his new brokerage is still relatively small and nimble, and he felt he can “grow with the business”.

“Who you work with is also important to me and having the guidance of Lending Loop CEO Stephen Watson – who is one of the fastest moving new brokers around – means the transition from banking to broking is happening quickly.”

Why this private banker became a broker

While his background lies in private banking, Luke Hanlon's career path took a purposeful turn towards mortgage broking. The driving force behind this shift? A desire to make a wider impact.

“Ultimately, I became a broker because I wanted to have an impact on the greatest number of people possible,”  he said.

Still, Hanlon's private banking experience wasn't without its rewards. He had the privilege of working with successful and influential clients, witnessing their growth journeys firsthand over a decade.

These experiences not only instilled valuable knowledge about what makes entrepreneurs and investors successful, but also ignited a passion to share this knowledge with a broader audience.

“I have already seen how different a client outcome can be from one bank to another depending on the client’s circumstances (serviceability, suitable policies, etc) which is an eye-opener to my clients,” he said.

“I have an entrepreneurial spirit but wanted to channel my energy into a business where my skill set lies, give it 100%, and challenge myself.

“As a broker you are ultimately responsible for your own outcomes, and the profession really gives you the opportunity to build your own business.”

Have you made the journey from banking to broking? Comment below.

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