JLife speaks to Maxim Cohen, Chief Executive of The UK Adviser, to discover how a trusted mortgage advisor can help you find the right mortgage at the best price.
Hi Maxim, so where did it all start?
I’m originally from Hale in Cheshire and a partner of the family business, Royce Cohen Accountants, based in the centre of Hale. I worked with my father for a number of years and this is where I started to see clients who struggled to find good mortgage advisers, so I decided to become qualified in this area and set up a mortgage arm of Royce Cohen Accountants.
From this, I came up with the idea of a franchise model which would help train and develop mortgage advisers to better serve their clients, boosting the standard across the profession. And so, The UK Adviser, a unique franchise business for mortgages and finance professionals, was born and I now have more than 15 years of financial industry knowledge and experience as an award-winning mortgage adviser.
Tell us how you became the first UK mortgage company to acquire a British Franchise Association (BFA) accreditation.
The financial crash left people with a lack of trust in advisers and uncertain in the market, which is why I wanted to create a credible and nationally-recognised brand which would disrupt the industry.
The shift to becoming a franchise was a no-brainer, as I utilised the knowledge and experience I’d gained over the past 15 years to support others in pursuing their business goals. We wanted to bring back a high level of personal service to customers and have given other advisers a platform to do so.
We worked closely with the BFA during the accreditation process, which involved help setting up the franchise and testing the business model. The BFA is the gold standard of trusted and ethical franchising – wherever you see the BFA logo, you can be assured the business is reputable.
What services can your firm offer our readers?
We offer invaluable advice for purchasing your first home, as well as searching the market for the best remortgage deals. We also provide assistance in entering the buy-to-let market, supporting landlords of all portfolio sizes. We help customers to make informed decisions about equity release and provide expert advice around secured loans and bridging loans. We also handle commercial and business finances, helping businesses across the Manchester community.
Equity release sounds like an exciting prospect, tell us more…
Equity release has earned a bad name for itself over the years but as a proud member of the Equity Release Council, we’re committed to providing high standards of conduct and practice in the provision of and advice on equity release which has consumer safeguards at its heart.
Like any financial product it is not right for everyone, but for those who have a large proportion of their wealth tied up in property, it can be an excellent way to enjoy a better standard of living or to help children get on the property ladder.
When choosing the right mortgage, what are the advantages of using an independent adviser?
The main benefit of using a mortgage adviser is that they have access to the whole market, meaning they can secure better rates than if a customer was to go it alone. Customers have a higher chance of being accepted when going through a mortgage adviser, as we make sure all the paperwork is in order and that the mortgage is the right deal for the customer.
Going it alone can be difficult, especially for first-time buyers with no prior knowledge of the process, we make the experience as seamless as possible, leaving customers more time to enjoy their new home.
What’s your ethos when it comes to client relationships?
Advice is at the heart of our business. We want to share our experience of the market and its best products to help our customers reach the best outcome, whether that’s a dream home or a holiday. In order to deliver a great service to our clients, we ensure all advisers receive regular industry training and informal learning sessions to share knowledge and tips on best practice.