MFAA Excellence Awards 2021 Finalists

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It’s been another outstanding year for AFG brokers nationwide with an impressive number of state finalists in the MFAA Excellence Awards in 2021. See the list of finalists below:


NSW 2021 Finalists

COMMUNITY CHAMPION AWARD
Nathan Smith, Birdie Wealth

NEWCOMER AWARD
Nathan Moore, Shore Financial

REGIONAL FINANCE BROKER BUSINESS AWARD
Ashleigh Pakis, Panache Financial Mortgage Specialist

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL AWARD
James Jabbour, Smartmove 
Joel Wyld, Peasy

CUSTOMER SERVICE BUSINESS AWARD (BUSINESS)
Birdie Wealth
Peasy

DIVERSIFIED BUSINESS AWARD
Birdie Wealth


QLD 2021 Finalists

COMMERCIAL FINANCE BROKER AWARD
Nick Smith, Red10 Finance

LOAN ADMINISTRATION AWARD
Jay Spyve, Ramsey Property Wealth

RESIDENTIAL FINANCE BROKER AWARD
Ewan Ramsey, Ramsey Property Wealth

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL AWARD
John Sinatra, Ramsey Property Wealth

DIVERSIFIED BUSINESS AWARD
Ramsey Property Wealth


SA 2021 Finalists

COMMUNITY CHAMPION AWARD
Kanwaldeep (KD) Singh, Money Merchants Financial Services

CUSTOMER SERVICE AWARD (INDIVIDUAL)
Pallavi (Avi) Laroia, Excel Mortgages
Kristin Tunbridge, Rise High Financial Solutions

NEWCOMER AWARD
Pallavi (Avi) Laroia, Excel Mortgages

RESIDENTIAL FINANCE BROKER AWARD
James Schulze, Rise High Financial Solutions

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL AWARD
Pallavi (Avi) Laroia, Excel Mortgages
Richard O’Grady,  Rise High Financial Solutions

CUSTOMER SERVICE BUSINESS AWARD (BUSINESS)
Rise High Financial Solutions

DIVERSIFIED BUSINESS AWARD
Money Merchants Financial Services

FINANCE BROKER BUSINESS AWARD
Rise High Financial Solutions


VIC 2021 Finalists

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER AWARD – AGGREGATOR
Foti Apostolidis, AFG

NEWCOMER AWARD
Grant Arbuckle, GA Finance Solutions Australia
Brandon Hudich, Doolan Finance

REGIONAL FINANCE BROKER AWARD
Paul Nelson, Nelson Financial

FINANCE BROKER BUSINESS AWARD
Loan Gallery Finance


WA 2021 Finalists

CUSTOMER SERVICE AWARD (INDIVIDUAL)
Kerri Buurman, Buurman Finance Solutions
Michael Harris, The Perth Mortgage Specialist
Narinder Singh, Indoz Finance Australia

LOAN ADMINISTRATION AWARD
Megan Kelly, Blackburne Mortgage Broking

NEWCOMER AWARD
Nicole Williams, Freedom Financial Solutions

RESIDENTIAL FINANCE BROKER AWARD
Michelle Towner, Towner Finance

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL AWARD
Janine Leafe, PKF Perth Financial Services
Zhe Pan, Prospar Finance
Narinder Singh, Indoz Finance Australia

CUSTOMER SERVICE BUSINESS AWARD (BUSINESS)
Towner Finance

FINANCE BROKER BUSINESS AWARD
Elite Finance Australia

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER AWARD – LENDER & SUPPORT SERVICE PROVIDER
Sevim Isikli, Beyond Bank (now with AFG)

The Adviser Better Business Awards 2021 Finalists

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It’s a testament to our brokers’ hard work and dedication that so many are nominated as state finalists in The Adviser Better Business Awards in 2021. See the list of finalists below:


NSW 2021 Finalists

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE (INDIVIDUAL)
Fane Levy, Shore Financial
Joel Wyld, Peasy

BEST FINANCE BROKER
Fane Levy, Shore Financial

BEST LENDER BDM (NON-BANK)
Joseph Khal, AFG Home Loans

BEST LOAN ADMINISTRATOR
Amanda Christmann, Peasy

BEST NEWCOMER
Justin Picker, Picker Financial Solutions

MENTOR OF THE YEAR
Katrina Rowlands, Mortgage Success

BEST RESIDENTIAL BROKER
Joel Wyld, Peasy

RISING STAR
Fane Levy, Shore Financial

BEST BRANDED OFFICE
Shore Financial (North Sydney)

BEST COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM
Birdie Wealth
GCK Financial Group
Kooyong Group

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE (OFFICE)
Birdie Wealth (Miranda)
Peasy (North Sydney)

BEST INDEPENDENT OFFICE (5 BROKERS OR LESS)
Peasy


QLD 2021 Finalists

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE (INDIVIDUAL)
John Sinatra, Ramsey Property Wealth

BEST FINANCE BROKER
Nick Smith, Red10 Finance

BEST LENDER BDM (NON-BANK)
Samantha Rolfe, AFG Home Loans

BEST LOAN ADMINISTRATOR
Lauren Conde, Home Loan Connexion

BEST NEWCOMER
Jonathon Scaroni, SMS Finance

BEST REGIONAL BROKER
Karen Hall, Action Finance Solutions
Jai Hobbs, Evolve Loans (Noosaville)
Nick Smith, Red10 Finance (Reedy Creek)

BEST RESIDENTIAL BROKER
Karen Hall, Action Finance Solutions

RISING STAR
Kirsty Best, Living Home Loans
Nick Smith, Red10 Finance

BEST INDEPENDENT OFFICE (5 BROKERS OR LESS)
Evolve Loans
Ramsey Property Wealth

BEST REGIONAL OFFICE
Action Finance Solutions (Mackay)
Evolve Loans (Noosaville)


SA 2021 Finalists

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE (INDIVIDUAL)
KD Singh, Money Merchants Financial Services
Evan Sourbis, Henley Home Loans
Kristin Tunbridge, Rise High Financial Solutions

BEST FINANCE BROKER
Karina Burke, FINANCIA
Evan Sourbis, Henley Home Loans

BEST LOAN ADMINISTRATOR
Todd Davies, MBA Financial Strategists

BEST NEWCOMER
Pallavi (Avi) Laroia, Excel Mortgages

BEST RESIDENTIAL BROKER
James Schulze, Rise High Financial Solutions
Leon Spadavecchia, FINANCIA

RISING STAR
Richard O’Grady, Rise High Financial Solutions
Maggie Wan, MBA Financial Strategists

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE (OFFICE)
Henley Home Loans (Henley Beach)
Money Merchants Financial Services (Thebarton)
Rise High Financial Solutions (Prospect)

BEST INDEPENDENT OFFICE (5 BROKERS OR LESS)
Henley Home Loans

BEST INDEPENDENT OFFICE (MORE THAN 5 BROKERS)
Rise High Financial Solutions


VIC 2021 Finalists

BEST AGGREGATOR BDM
Foti Apostolidis, AFG
Richele Janjatovic, AFG

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE (INDIVIDUAL)
Sadish Visvalingam, Premier Financial Advocates

BEST FINANCE BROKER
Michael Taipi, MT Loan Solutions

BEST LENDER BDM (NON-BANK)
James Tran, AFG Home Loans

BEST LOAN ADMINISTRATOR
Adrian Bandaratilleke, Premier Financial Advocates
Noelle Deieso, Inovayt

BEST NEWCOMER
Grant Arbuckle, GA Finance Solutions
Luke Oxenham, Empower Wealth

MENTOR OF THE YEAR
Therese O’Neill, Therese.Co
Pauline Ryan, Mr Mentor

BEST RESIDENTIAL BROKER
Josh Bartlett, Mortgage Advice Bureau

RISING STAR
Grant Arbuckle, GA Finance Solutions
Wing Kei Ho, JKK Solutions
Benjamin Robinson, Inovayt

WELLNESS ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR
Sadish Visvalingam, Premier Financial Advocates

BEST COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM
Loanworx Group
Premier Financial Advocates

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE (OFFICE)
Premier Financial Advocates (Mount Waverley)

BEST INDEPENDENT OFFICE (5 BROKERS OR LESS)
JKK Solutions
Premier Financial Advocates

BEST INDEPENDENT OFFICE (MORE THAN 5 BROKERS)
Empower Wealth
Inovayt
Loan Gallery Finance
UFinancial

BEST NEW OFFICE
Premier Financial Advocates


WA 2021 Finalists

BEST AGGREGATOR BDM
Jia Jia Wong, AFG

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE (INDIVIDUAL)
Brodie Brown, BH Brown Property Finance
Adam Donald, Capita Finance Solutions
Michael Harris, The Perth Mortgage Specialist
Narinder Singh, Indoz Finance Australia
Leonie Stratton, Boutique Finance Perth

BEST FINANCE BROKER
Raphael Fernandes Cidra Andrade Reis, Facto Financial Group

BEST LENDER BDM (NON-BANK)
Paul Eckermann, AFG Home Loans

BEST LOAN ADMINISTRATOR
Debra Donald, Capita Finance Solutions
Phoebe Nguyen, Initiative Financial Solutions

MENTOR OF THE YEAR
Matthew Posselt, Elite Finance Australia

BEST RESIDENTIAL BROKER
Adam Donald, Capita Finance Solutions
Narinder Singh, Indoz Finance Australia
Michelle Towner, Towner Finance

RISING STAR
Janine Leafe, PKF Perth Financial Services
Reece Sacino, Equitas Mortgage & Finance
Narinder Singh, Indoz Finance Australia
Gareth Ward, Elite Finance Australia

BEST BRANDED OFFICE
Capita Finance Solutions (Leederville)

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE (OFFICE)
Elite Finance Australia (Stirling)
PKF Perth Financial Services (West Perth)
Towner Finance (Winthrop)

BEST INDEPENDENT OFFICE (5 BROKERS OR LESS)
Base Home Loans
Equitas Mortgage & Finance
PKF Perth Financial Services

International Women’s Day

At AFG, we’re celebrating this year’s International Women’s Day theme of #ChooseToChallenge by highlighting the achievements and challenges overcome by women in finance. 

Get to know some of our industry’s best and brightest and how they started building their careers in finance – their wisdom and advice is sure to inspire you.

IWD 2021

Katrina Rowlands – Owner and Managing Director, Mortgage Success
Shirley Elliot – National Compliance Manager, AFG
Gill McLean – Director, Dream Freedom Financial


Meet Katrina Rowlands – Owner and Managing Director of Mortgage Success.

There is a saying on a magnet I have in my home – “Well behaved women rarely change history”. Do I want to be well behaved, or do I want to change history?Katrina Rowlands

With 36 years’ experience in finance, Katrina is a leader, mentor, and stalwart to her industry with a generous spirit that gives back at every opportunity.

Here’s how Katrina answered our questions on this year’s theme for International Women’s Day, #ChooseToChallenge.  

What is one challenge you faced early in your career, and how did you overcome it?

At the beginning of my career as a broker, there was a lot of after-hours appointments in homes and this was non-negotiable. I felt guilty at times that I challenged my priorities and didn’t always get it right. I worried that my attention needed to be so focussed on my clients that I was neglecting my family.

I realised that I was so busy thinking of how I felt that I didn’t actually ask my family for their input or understanding of what I did and why.

I took time to explain to the whole family what I did and how they were benefiting from this career and life choice too, and they actually really understood. We decided we should ALL be more involved together with clearer communication – I have to say that my husband has always been my biggest proudest supporter.

What advice do you have for others in the finance industry?

Know you are a professional and act like it – intentionally. This covers a plethora of responsibilities and accountability in your career, as well as to your own education and industry involvement.

Challenge yourself from the front and head on and laugh a lot. Use “why not” instead of “why”. Say ” I don’t know yet, but I would love to learn”.


Shirley Elliot is our National Compliance Manager at AFG.

Compliance in our industry requires innovative thought to ensure that change is handled practically in a way that enables growth without compromising quality. I enjoy the challenge of regulatory change or reform.Shirley Elliot

With 23 years’ experience in finance, Shirley is the Co-Stream lead for the CIF Mortgage Broking Industry Code and President of the MFAA Compliance and Regulatory Forum.

Her compliance experience has also given her the opportunity to sit on the WA Women’s Football Board for the last 5 years (she loves football and is the mother of an aspiring AFLW star!)

Here’s how Shirley answered our questions on this year’s theme for International Women’s Day, #ChooseToChallenge.

What is one challenge you faced early in your career, and how did you overcome it?

At the time when I was starting a family, I was worried about how I would juggle my career and be a good parent and role model for my daughter.

Since becoming a Mum and returning to work after maternity leave, I have learnt that achieving my career goals is still possible – I just need to find the right balance between my personal and professional commitments, so that I don’t spread myself too thin.

Having a good support network is also important, and I am grateful for the many people that have supported me over the years.

What advice do you have for others in the finance industry?

Pick a company that has leadership and values that resonate with your own – these will both play an important part in your career’s development.


Gill McLean has a passion for building new businesses.

Don’t be afraid to challenge the norm with respect, dignity, and an open mind.Gill McLean

She was first introduced into the broking world after years of experience working in banking with the teams at Challenge Bank, Bank Of Melbourne, and Macquarie Bank.

Gill went on to lead Moneyquest Australia as Managing Director for 6 years and Capita Finance Solutions as General Manager, growing both of these businesses from the ground up.   Today, she runs her own business and has not looked back since!

Here’s how Gill answered our questions on this year’s theme for International Women’s Day, #ChooseToChallenge.

What is one challenge you faced early in your career, and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge in the early stages of my career was being taken seriously as someone who can contribute and make a difference. I realised that I needed a mentor to find the courage to stand up, be bold, and do things differently.

What advice do you have for others in the finance industry?

Believe in yourself, be true to your personal values, and always look for opportunities every day to improve yourself and contribute to other people’s lives.  

The announcement that stops the nation, cash rate decreased to 0.1%

As the country tunes in for the 2020 Melbourne Cup, the cash rate decision for November has been announced and rates have been cut.

In response to the economic impact being caused by the COVID-19 crisis, the RBA reduced the cash rate by 0.15% to a new record low of 0.1%.

In making this change the RBA has confirmed the views of many analysts that further stimulus is required to aid Australia’s recovery post COVID.

It had previously stated that it sees a cash rate of 0.25% as a floor however it has softened its stance on a reduction more recently.

In the lead up to its next meeting our central bank will continue to monitor world events such as the second round of European lockdowns and the US election, while closer to home it will be hoping the easing of restrictions in Victoria and the opening of state borders will provide a lift to the economy.

As you’re probably aware, lenders review rates independently of the RBA and some may decide to pass this rate decrease on to customers at different levels over varying time frames.

An AFG broker can help review your situation to ensure you have the right loan for your circumstances, drawing on a wide panel of lenders offering loans with great features, low fees and competitive interest rates.

If you’d like to chat about the best way to manage your mortgage as the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with an AFG broker.

RBA’s cash rate for October unchanged at 0.25%

Reserve bank of australia sign

The Reserve Bank of Australia has today kept the cash rate at 0.25% for the 7th straight meeting in a row.

The RBA was widely predicted to reduce the rate further in October or November, although with the Federal Budget due today, the majority favoured a Melbourne Cup rate cut in November.

It has previously stated that it sees a cash rate of .25% as a floor but may need to consider the merits of a further reduction against other stimulus options, if signs of a recovery fail to emerge.

Rates are at a record low and lenders continue to offer very competitive rates. An AFG broker can answer your questions and look at your circumstances to make sure you’re prepared for what could be coming next. This could mean refinancing or approaching your lender for a better rate. Because an AFG broker does this type of work every day, and has a pretty good idea what lenders can do to win or keep your business.

If you’d like to chat about the best way to manage your mortgage as the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with an AFG broker.

2020 MFAA Excellence Awards: National Finalists

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Congratulations, and best of luck to all our National finalists for the 2020 MFAA Excellence Awards.

To be recognised as a finalist speaks volumes of your exceptional practice and professionalism in the mortgage and finance industry.

Finalists

Nick Smith (Red10 Finance) – Commercial Finance Broker Award

Rise High Financial Solutions – Customer Service Award – Business

Rise High Financial Solutions – Finance Broker Business Award

Michelle Towner (Towner Finance) – Customer Service – Individual

Michelle Towner (Towner Finance) – Residential Finance Broker Award

Gerhard Sifkovits (Elite Finance) – Newcomer Award

Elizabeth Arche (The Practice) – Loan Administrator Award

Rebecca McIlwain (Birdie Wealth) – Loan Administrator Award

Josh Bartlett (Mortgage Advice Bureau) – Residential Finance Broker Award

Foti Apostolidis (AFG) – Business Development Manager Award – Aggregator

AFG – Aggregator Award

HomeBuilder Program

Homebuilder

If you have been thinking about building a new home or carrying out an extension or renovation, now might be the time to meet with an AFG broker and work through your options.

The Federal Government’s new $680 million HomeBuilder program announced on 4 June 2020 makes available $25,000 grants to help build or substantially renovate your home.

How does the HomeBuilder program work?*

  • The scheme is only available for contracts signed between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020
  • Construction must commence within three months of the contract date
  • It is means-tested
  • Only available for principal place of residence
  • Limitations on the kinds of renovations (sorry, no tennis courts) and subject to a total value cap

If you’re a first home buyer, there are a range of first home buyer and state government grants, stamp duty concessions, and rebates as well as the federal First Home Loan Deposit Scheme and First Home Super Saver Scheme that are available and work in conjunction with the HomeBuilder grant.

Our brokers are here to help.

Still have questions?

Contact your AFG broker for more information or get in touch and we’ll have a broker in your area contact you.

* The information provided on the HomeBuilder program is a selection of information taken from Australian Government sources and is current as at the date of this post. It does not contain all information that may be relevant to you.