First Name: Duncan
Last Name: Jones
Location: Based in Leicester, responsible for North & West division
Current Job Title: Financial Services Director, Just Mortgages
What was the reason you wanted to join haart?
The area manager approached me and I liked the idea of working for a business that allowed you to be creative & express yourself by implementing ideas that you knew would make the business a success. I loved the idea that Spicerhaart was a business that wanted to reward its staff who were prepared to work hard which I hadn’t had anywhere before. I have always believed that where earnings are concerned the most important motivator was my overall earnings, not just my basic and this is the philosophy of Spicerhaart.
What is your background (previous employment)?
I had been a life writer at countrywide for 8 months after three years as a self-employed MC. They promoted me to sales manager of Bairstow Eves East Midlands (NOTTM) and i had been there for 3 years of which just of 2 were as a manager.
How long have you been in your role?
I have been FSD for 2.5 years but was a Divisional Sales Director for 10 years with Spicerhaart. I did leave for 9 months as I wanted to do the role I currently have which wasn’t in existence. I went to MAB from September 2005 to July 2006 and couldn’t get back fast enough. It made me appreciate how good a company Spicerhaart was to work for.
How does your current role compare to previous jobs you have had?
As a DSD I was responsible for my team so could influence them directly whilst building and maintaining relationships with my EA colleagues. I now have the responsibility of influencing the DSD’s to manage their teams which is a new challenge but one that I have enjoyed more and more the longer I have done it. When I was a DSD there was no FSD role in place so one of the best things about working for just mortgages in both roles for me has been being able to influence the future for just mortgages. In the 12.5 years I have worked here the management team has always been involved which clearly means that they are totally bought in to any new direction but feel valued. They also have some excellent contributions to make.
What are the key benefits of working in the Company?
As I said above – to have a say in the direction the business goes is very important to me so having a voice that can be heard. This is rare when working for corporates.
Remuneration & reward – when I joined I was aware of the incentives and trips but had no idea that by now I would have been to New York twice, Miami, South Africa and Abu Dhabi.
Working for an independent company with a ‘flat’ hierarchy means that decisions can be made quickly without lots of red tape.
As I said above, I love the fact that if you have an idea Just Mortgages is a business that will allow you to show how this will benefit the business as opposed to not doing it because ‘this is the way we’ve always done it’. I also love the fact that the business invests in its employees with regards to developing their skills. In my time I have benefitted from the day with Sir Clive Woodward, the input from Adrian Webster and most lately the Stephen Covey course.
One of the best things about the company is that we are encouraged to bring new blood in to our industry through the school of excellence program. This for me defines real managers as the reward that a manager gets in seeing their ‘blank canvass’ grow to be a top adviser is second to none and epitomises a real influencer and coach.
What one thing has made working at haart worthwhile?
A real sense of belonging. You spend so much time at work that you need to love the company you work for. You need to feel valued and as a business this has been something that I feel the company has strived to do. Strategy and the 7 core beliefs is an example of this. I have worked in the industry for 25 years and I feel only fairly rewarded for half of it – all at Spicerhaart! I snapped my achilles tendon in January 2008 and the company were fantastic with the fact that I couldn’t drive for 6 months – just as we had acquired Haybrook.
What does a typical day look like?
I’m not sure there is a typical day as an FSD but my best days are those that I spend in the branches. I love being around successful people but I also enjoy working with those that have real potential and helping in any way possible to help them to fulfil that. This may be with a DSD, a MC or a negotiator or and DMA loader. I am happy to share my experience with anyone as it is key that we all remember where we were at a similar stage in our development. I can be in Cardfiff one day, Welwyn Garden City the next, Plymouth the next and Bransley the next. I’m not daft enough to do that but that’s spread of the branches that I cover so there is plenty of opportunity to be in the branches.