Founder and managing director of Global Financial Services (GFS), Ajay Kumar, was the recent winner of the 2016 Professional Advisers Association (PAA) Excellence Award for Mortgage Adviser of the Year, presented at the National Advisers Conference in July.
“It was unexpected to me,” Kumar told NZ Adviser
. “I never thought that in the whole New Zealand I could be mortgage adviser of the year.
He says it was a great recognition of the work they have been doing for the last 17 years and their focus on going beyond the loan process itself.
“We also educate and support them - how to repay faster by saving interest and reducing the number of years and all within their capacity,” says Kumar.
The award was based on three criteria encompassing volume, quality and customer service and nominated by industry partners with nominees scored across a range of criteria by an independent panel of judges.
“I thank more than 4,000 customer families and well-wishers for their support since 1999,” said Kumar when he accepted his award. “It is their confidence in me and belief in my expertise that has motivated me to keep improving our quality of advice and customer service.
“We have to listen carefully to the needs of the customers and keep learning all the time to be able to deliver good advice.”
“Ajay realised many years ago that the value he could add over and above getting a client a mortgage was helping them pay it off faster,” the judges noted in their comments.
“He designed his own Interest Saver Plan (17) years ago and started using it with great success. Since then he has built his own IT platform to run it and all his processes and still today is using it himself to help clients achieve their dreams.”
“That technology is helping us to save millions of dollars in interest for thousands of clients in the last 17 years,” Kumar told NZ Adviser
“If we will not adopt the latest technology and we will not update our current technology we cannot fulfill the needs of the customer and we cannot manage our business.
“If you are determined to achieve something, you will achieve it.”
He said the company is exploring at a global level the kinds of technology being used by large financial advice companies with 1000-2000 advisers and will incorporate their findings into the next upgrade of their in-house platforms.
“We are thinking of what will be the future of the industry in the next five to ten years and what technology we need for that.”
Kumar started in the industry in 1976 and clocked up 20 years in banking before becoming a mortgage adviser. GFS now has a team of 22 mortgage and insurance advisers and Kumar says the company is writing one billion dollars per year in loans. It has arranged mortgages and insurance for over 3,500 families since 1999 and won 30 prestigious awards in recognition of its services.