Tell us about what a central business development manager does
It’s a new role that we’ve created to support brokers around the country. There are two main parts to it.
First, I help smaller broker firms and independent brokers with their clients’ commercial mortgage needs. This means I can provide them with the kind of dedicated and specialised support that brokers might expect when part of a larger organisation.
Second, I work with brokers of all sizes to help them grow their business. If we notice that a broker isn’t bringing as many of their clients to us as usual, then I’ll work with them to find out what Allica can do to help more of their clients.
What is it that led you to this role here at Allica?
Prior to this I was a completions officer in Aldermore’s property development team. My job was to do anything and everything to get a deal over the line in time. That meant writing reports, getting valuations done, ensuring pre-completion conditions were in order. I’d work with brokers and lawyers, as well as the lending team.
I enjoyed it but I’d always wanted to work in sales. I read about Allica in the industry press and their story sounded so exciting. At the time, they were a new bank that was only just getting started. Even then it was obvious they were going to grow fast and it was the kind of opportunity I just couldn’t say no to.
How have you found the opportunities to grow and develop?
It’s been fantastic for my own career development. Allica took me on as its first assistant business development manager. After six months I’d proved myself and was promoted into my current role.
In a traditional bank you have to pay your dues for a couple of years before you’re even considered for promotion. Here, if you’re ready, you’ll be given a chance.
What is it you enjoy about working with brokers?
I get a thrill out of providing an excellent service and delivering on a promise. We’re able to build relationships and help our broker partners look good in front of their customers.
There’s also such variety in the people and companies I work with. The brokers and their customers come from different backgrounds and you need to find different angles to make our offering relevant. It certainly keeps you on your toes and makes things exciting.
What made you decide to join Allica Bank?
In the midst of Covid, most banks were understandably focused solely on their existing book of loans. Because Allica didn’t have this backlog, we were able to keep our doors wide open for new customers and brokers. That’s why we’ve grown so quickly over the past 18 months.
When I heard about a new bank that was out in the marketplace lending new money to businesses, I had to get involved. It was one of those moves that ticked all my boxes. In the context of Covid, it seemed too good to be true!
What’s something you’re most proud of?
I was really chuffed when my boss tapped me for a promotion after just six months in my first role. I’m an ambitious guy and I work hard, so I took it as a real statement from Allica that they’re prepared to reward people so quickly.
Why do I think I was promoted? During Covid it would have been really easy to keep your head down and do just enough to keep out of trouble. I tried hard to do the opposite – to actively develop internal relationships, ask questions, put my hand up for work that went beyond my day-to-day responsibilities.
Tell us more about your team
I love the fact that everyone’s in it together. We win and lose as a team, no matter how ‘senior’ you might be.
The business development team was hand-picked to build the bank up from scratch. Just to be in the same group as that calibre of person is an inspiration to someone like me just starting out. If there’s something worth knowing, someone in the team will have the answer.
And no one’s too busy to help out. I’m able to quiz them on anything, whether it’s a simple project-related question or advice on career development. There’s an infinite wealth of knowledge at the end of the phone.
Also, there’s very little separating people like me on the front line from the key decision-makers throughout the bank. There’s a streamlined, open channel to senior management who can get us what we need to succeed. It’s so unlike other banks in that respect.
Anything you’re looking forward to?
I can’t wait to get back into the office more regularly. I’ve worked hard to get to know the people in my team but working from home it’s hard to build relationships with colleagues who are one or two steps removed.
There’s a whole company of skilled, experienced individuals out there. Being in the office exposes you to other parts of the bank you wouldn’t have been introduced to otherwise.
In the longer term, I’m excited to see whether the bank is able to build on its growth potential. There are products and other developments in the pipeline that will see us go from strength to strength.
What job did you want to have when you were growing up?
That depends when you’re talking about! Early on I was convinced I was going to be a rancher in Texas (I was obsessed with cowboys). And for a long time I wanted to be a professional footballer like my heroes Ronaldo and Thierry Henry. Not too different from a lot of boys I should think!
You’re given a week off and can do whatever you want. What are you doing?
For the first few days I’d go skiing in Mayrhofen. I love to ski, but I also love Austria as a country. I studied economics and that place is the epitome of efficiency! I’d then fly somewhere hot – probably a Greek island – for some sun and R&R.
What would you say to someone considering a role at Allica?
I’d stress what a great place it is to be, especially right now. Everyone you come across shares the same mindset: they’re pushing hard to get the bank to next stage in its growth journey.
People here are hungry for success and driven by growth. I feed off that kind of energy – it pushes me to go that extra mile.
Fancy joining the Allica Bank team? We'd love to hear from you! Check out our careers page to find out how.