Nemo Personal Finance managing director Phil Jones stepped down earlier this month after nine years at the secured loan lender.
Jones, who established Nemo in 2005, has been replaced by Guy Thomas who has taken on the role of chief executive officer.
He talks to Loan Introducer about his new role and the lender’s plans.
Q, Are you excited to be taking on the role of CEO?
A, Yes. I’ve been a member of Nemo, having sat on the board, since the business started out in 2004. I’ve always had a keen interest in the business and I am now looking forward to having more of a hands on role as CEO to help drive our strategy forward as a business.
Q, Do you feel like you have some big shoes to fill?
A, Phil has a wealth of experience in the secured lending market and leaves me with a very strong and capable management team. We are all looking forward to driving the business forward and meeting the challenges that new competition and regulation will bring.
Q, What can brokers expect from Nemo in the next 12 months?
A, Nemo will continue to provide excellent service to its brokers. As we see confidence returning to the sector and house prices increase, Nemo is in a great position so we’re very much looking forward to working with our brokers to help get the right solution for their customers. We plan to get colleagues out into our broker network more in the next 12 months giving them an opportunity to share their packaging expertise.
Q, You had a number of high profile departures from the firm last year, how has that affected your business?
A, With good succession planning in place, the departures provided an opportunity for some very competent staff to move up the ladder. With most of the vacancies being filled by the existing Nemo team, this has ensured very little has changed at Nemo; we’re still working hard to deliver excellent customer service to our brokers and customers alike, and with the business having the continued support of its parent company, Principality Building Society, it really is a case of ‘business as usual’.
Q, How do you think FCA regulation will change the second charge mortgage market?
A, Any change of regulator is going to have an impact, but Nemo is no stranger to working with the FCA. As part of the Principality Building Society, we’ve been under the FCA umbrella since inception, so we’re well placed to understand what it means to be regulated by the FCA and to meet these challenges.
Q, You have remained a constant fixture in the market, even through turbulent times, why is this? Does being part of a building society help?
A, We pride ourselves on being a prime lender and always having a prudent approach ensuring that customer risk is measured carefully in creating products for our customers. We have always put the customer at the heart of our business. We’ve therefore always looked to have products that are right for them.
Q, How do you juggle your role at Nemo with your other role within the society as the chairman of Peter Alan, the society’s estate agency subsidiary?
A, I’ve only been in place for a few days so you might want to ask me that question in a month or two. Nemo is my primary responsibility at the moment but I will continue to work with Peter Alan as I always have done. Working across all the businesses is a great advantage as they all have an important role to play in the Society’s overall strategy and although they are very different businesses they also have common challenges that we can work to overcome together.
Q, What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
A, Sport is a key interest of mine. I am a 12 handicap golfer and I enjoy tennis, although nowadays tennis is more of a spectator sport for me. I also love travelling.
Q, What one item could you not live without and why?
A, My iPad. It keeps me in touch and answers questions quickly.
Q, Which three people would you most like to be stranded on a desert island with?
A, I would say my wife and two children. We have travelled a lot together over the years.