Get to know...Gerry Leonard

1. How long have you worked in the mortgage sector for?

I joined the industry in April 2000, so over 18 years now! I started with Intelligent Finance and joined Nationwide in 2008 as part of the original Business Development Management team covering Glasgow and the west of Scotland.

2. Which mortgage accounts and firms do you support?

I look after the relationship with Sesame Bankhall Group, Openwork and Intrinsic accounts as well as MCI Club and Mortgage Force.

3. Day to day, what does your role as Corporate Relationship Manager (CRM) involve?

My role as a Corporate Relationship Manager is really varied. My main responsibilities are keeping in close contact with my accounts, updating them on any news or changes we make, and working closely to help develop business and relationships within the account and through the key firms.

4. What do you enjoy most about your role?

I enjoy the variety in the role from the relationships across each account, working with key firms, supporting the accounts with webinars, roadshows and conferences and working to continue to improve packaging and quality.

5. How has your experience as a BDM for Nationwide and TMW helped you as a CRM?

It definitely helped coming from the BDM role working with intermediaries and understanding the relationship brokers want to have with a lender. It also helped knowing our systems and processes. However, when I became a Corporate Relationship Manager it did surprise me how different the role was to what I expected, but all in a good way!

6. What is a common misconception about your role?

I think a common misconception is that the role appears easy! There are so many areas that you are involved with as a CRM, from gaining a real understanding of the accounts, their culture and requirements, to how they want to work with us at Nationwide and TMW. Day to day things come up that can’t be planned for, which adds to the many different aspects of the role.

7. What key improvements from TMW are you communicating with your accounts right now?

There have been so many enhancements made to TMW over the last 12 months. It’s important to keep the communication going with my accounts and summarising these to ensure advisers are fully up to speed with what we have implemented and what’s to come. Recently we have announced key changes to our BTL products and policy including reducing our stress rates on 5 and 10-year fixed products and on like for like remortgages between 65% and 75% LTV.

We’ve also changed our evidence of deposit requirements to simplify the process for brokers and reduce the number of proofs requested. I continue to promote both TMW’s Portfolio lending and Limited Company lending propositions and also remind them that TMW Online updates every 10 minutes, making it the most effective way to track a case. I always remind my clients about the useful tools TMW offer, for example our recently introduced Further Advance calculator. We also have our BTL Barometer overview of the Buy to Let market which is updated quarterly and is such a useful tool to help know what landlords are thinking.

8. What challenges do you think 2019 will bring for brokers and how can we support them?

With the introduction of product transfers in the market last year, brokers need to be planning ahead and contacting their clients so they can deliver the best service to them. With TMW, the broker can switch their clients deal online in a matter of minutes by comparing their current mortgage with our latest offers, shortlisting the mortgages they’re interested in and comparing rates, features and monthly payments. Technology developments in the market continue to evolve so we all look forward to the improvements this will bring to the broker and customer journey.