Two leading brokers unite to launch Flint

New brokerage to disrupt mortgage market

Two leading brokers unite to launch Flint


By Ryan Johnson

Two prominent brokers, Christian Stevens and Chris Bates, have joined forces to launch Flint, a new comprehensive financial services brokerage.

With decades of collective experience and more than $3 billion in settled loans, they aim to disrupt the mortgage market by offering a wider range of financial products and a tech-driven approach.

Speaking to Australian Broker about the reason for the move, Stevens (pictured above left) said the ability to scale offered Flint opportunities that would not have been possible individually.

“What excites us is to be part of the new era of super independent, tech-driven brokerages that can provide a safe home for brokers to grow exponentially and settle numbers not seen as possible until recent years,” Stevens said.

“While we may have helped thousands of clients each as individuals over the years, we now want to, as a collective, help 10,000-plus Australian families make great property and finance decisions no matter what stage of life they are at, the location they live or the wealth they have.”

Flint: Expertise at every step

While Stevens and Bates (pictured above right) may be steering the ship, there are many hands onboard to ensure smooth sailing from day one.

Flint has launched with a team of 50, featuring 19 founding brokers and a plan to double the headcount in the next 12 months.

And a large team is needed, given the brokerage has key staff running multiple divisions, including UHNW/family office, digital/tech, real estate, advice (financial planners and accountants), foreign income (expats), professional investors, SMSF, medico, legal, first home buyer, and construction.

The brokerage also boasts a dedicated support team of 30, ensuring a thorough experience for clients.

This includes customer service, credit analysis, back-office support, and post-settlement assistance. Additionally, all senior credit staff are certified accountants, providing clients with expert strategic guidance.

“We are in conversations to close some critical brokers and support staff. The entire team will be up and running by July 1 for FY25,” said Bates. “The best brokerages are a collection of individuals all striving and supporting each other to be the best they can be and live the lives they wish for.”

“Our offering is growth-focused, values-driven and talent-first. We all want to make the pie bigger to share rather than a smaller pie for a few.”

Building a trusted brand

The team at Flint has ambitious plans to become Australia's leading and most trusted financial services provider. Their three key priorities for the next 18 months are:

  1. Investing in technology: Automating processes, improving customer experience, and prioritising data security.
  2. Expanding niche offerings: Building expertise in various financial sectors and developing targeted strategies for each.
  3. Building brand awareness: Attracting clients, brokers, and referral partners through effective branding initiatives.

Both Stevens and Bates have extensive experience in building successful brands within the mortgage industry.

Bates has been consistently recognised as a top broker, featuring in MPA's Top 100 Brokers list since 2020 and securing the sixth position last year.

Stevens is a two-time winner of the FBAA Broker of the Year – Residential award at the Australian Mortgage Awards, most recently in 2023, surpassing Bates for the top spot.

They attribute their success to their "secret sauce":

  • An advice-driven approach to mortgages
  • Client-first education
  • Playing the long game by building a business that attracts top talent

“We have grown from scratch to become Australia’s leading individual brokers and we are passing down everything that got us here, scaling our support team and collective knowledge to grow a team across many new niches,” Bates said.

Meet the Flint team

Flint boasts a team of experienced professionals with diverse expertise across various financial sectors. Here's a closer look at some key members:

  • Alex Pagonis - senior broker and head of digital. Pagonis has eight-plus years of experience at KPGM in developing customer, product, and digital strategies to drive growth for flint.
  • Adam Mastrosa - senior broker and head of real estate. Mastrosa brings 15 years of experience in executive sales and accounting, along with his own extensive property portfolio, to enhance flint's real estate offerings.
  • Craig Bigelow - head of advice partnerships. Bigelow has 20 years of experience running a financial planning practice to build strategic partnerships with top financial advisors.
  • Salvador Huetos - a senior broker and head of UHNW/family office. Prior to joining Flint, Huetos was a private banker for 14 years and has spent the last three years working at a large brokerage running the wealth division. He will also lead the private banking division.
  • Alicia Van Der Pluym – head of customer experience. Stevens said Van Der Pluym leads a team focusing on onboarding clients, providing sustainable, personalised ongoing service, and constant client experience innovation.
  • Ben Sum - COO, shareholder, and director. Bates said Ben Sum’s role was to ensure the support and strategists’ team of over 30 - from start to finish - was running the best it could.
  • Jon Sum - head of advice, director, and shareholder. Leads the strategy team.
  • Ariane Rose – head credit analyst. “Ariane was my first employee and has remained by my side since then, building a team underneath her,” said Stevens.
  • Tisha Pradham – head of strategy support. Leads the overseas team.

“We also have several leading consultants working in critical roles across marketing, technology, cybersecurity, HR, leadership, and partnerships, which we are investing in to add value to our offer,” Stevens said.

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