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MFAA Prosper : Mortgage and Finance Brief 06
What is the story behind Beneficial Home Loans? Before starting Beneficial Home Loans I held a number of bank and finance roles here and in London. Around 20 years ago I was an area manager for Challenge Bank, andmywifeandIdecidedtogototheUKon a “working holiday”, so we went to London, with a young child in tow. During my time in the UK I presented my employer, Beneficial Bank, a business plan to open a subsidiary in Perth. The Bank decided against the plan so I launched the operation independently in 1996. The business has grown steadily since then, and today the Beneficial Financial Group offers our own competitive home loan, brokered loans, insurance and financial planning. We also manage our own investment fund. How important is it to have more than one string to your bow? I agree with Steve Weston [General Manager of Advantedge], there isn’t enough brokerage commission for the average brokerage to survive without supplementing your income. We’ve survived long-term because we have other profitable areas, like our own home loan, financial planning and income from clever long-term investment of retained profits. What’s a typical day for you? It usually involves anything and everything, from business planning and monitoring results to investment and compliance management. Being a financial planner and holding your own AFSL licence, you’ve obviously had experience of going through a process of regulation before. What insight has that given you with regard to compliance? ASIC are good people to deal with, they appreciate companies with a commitment to compliance. We’ve had a random field visit from ASIC and they quickly established we were compliant, engaged with us in a friendly, helpful manner and left. The NCCP regulations are a good thing for the industry; they have made everybody focus on the longer-term vision of our businesses, and that in turn will help make them a better operation. It is something that every company needs someone to be responsible for, though, as there is a lot of work to be done. How’s business in Perth? Improving. We’re increasing the volume of our own loan rather than the bank products. This is reversing the trend of the last two years. The volume of borrowers generally is picking up and we’re getting more Yellow Pages business and people off the street, which is a good sign for us, but a bad sign in some respects as it suggests the brokers they used to deal with aren’t there anymore. We’ve been here for 14 years; we look after the customer, so repeat and referral business maintains a reasonable level of business for us. And how is Perth treating you? It’s a great place to live and work, it offers a great lifestyle and good business activity too. I spent a few years living and working in the UK, and loved a lot about it, particularly the history of the place, but Perth’s home now. How do you spend your free time? I like to spend as much of my spare time as possible with my wife and children. I had to sacrifice some of that time for further study over the last few years, which was tough. I still play basketball and enjoy playing piano and guitar with mates. Our children are all grown up now; one finishes university in a few weeks, one is studying and playing college basketball in the US and our youngest is studying costume design. Most of all, I enjoy sailing with my family. We regularly sail to Rottnest Island to spend quality time together. Turning the tide Mortgage & Finance Brief talks diversification, licensing and sailing with John Casey, Director of Perth-based Beneficial Home Loans. Interview Mar tin Wanless 64 | Mor tgage & Finance brief Live&Lear n
Mortgage and Finance Brief 05
Mortgage and Finance Brief 07