Q&A with Group Business Development Director, Phil Emanuel

Phil, can you tell us about your career in the industry so far?

My career started in 1988, where I had a great introduction to the industry working for Pearl Assurance. I then went on to work as a Regional Sales Manager for Personal Touch Financial Services before being promoted to their National Account Manager, and I look back at my time there fondly.

What is your current role?

Earlier this year, I joined the Cornerstone Finance Group as Group Business Development Director. My role prioritises developing the Network proposition for the group and growing our team of AR’s and RI’s.

Who is the Cornerstone Network?

The Cornerstone Network was born out of the organic growth of the Cornerstone Finance Group. Additionally, the Group’s reputation for recruiting and retaining staff led to a number of advisers transitioning to AR status. So, building our own network was a natural progression for us, and we’re excited to continue building on our success.

In your opinion, what support features are crucial for brokers when they look to join a network?

Technology is becoming really important in today’s market, where the time to write and ad-minister a case seems to be getting longer. Having the right technology in place can help you with future plans, whilst ensuring your current service is robust, is key in our industry. Secondly, the current market has challenged how BDM’s may have operated several years ago, making the right support through technology and robust communication vital.

How does the Cornerstone Network differ from other networks?

Aside from being competitively priced, we have three main differentiators that set us apart from our competitors:

  1. We pride ourselves on our technology infrastructure and how we use that to support our advisers.
  2. We’ve developed our own Insight system, giving our AR’s all the information and data they need to manage and build their own business at the touch of a button.
  3. Through the wider Cornerstone Finance Group, we’re able to offer four different in-come streams, all under one roof. Not only do we offer traditional mortgage, protection and general insurance products, we also offer commercial finance and insurance, wealth management, and we lend our own funds in the bridging market.

What advice would you give brokers entering the market now?

Focus on what you want from your chosen network and prioritise the support you require from them. Technology will play a significant role in the financial services industry as we advance, so consider joining a network that looks beyond today.