Kick-start your mortgage career with Academy training

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12 Apr 2016

Kick-start your mortgage career with Academy training

Author: Robert Wheeler

Robert Wheeler successfully passed Mortgage Advice Bureau’s Academy programme in 2015, and he now practices as a financial adviser with Romans Mortgage Services. Here he shares his journey from plumber to mortgages…

Robert Wheeler, Financial AdviserI was always interested in numbers and imagined I’d end up working in the city in stocks and investment. However, when the time came to find a job it was 2008, the heart of the recession, and practically the worst time to enter the financial industry.

I decided to learn a trade instead, it wasn’t my passion but I thought it was something I would always be able to fall back on. I spent a few years working as a plumber and set up my own successful business, but there was still something missing and I was still drawn to the financial sector.

Rather than investment banking I started to look at different options, and a friend recommended I talk to some banks and financial advisers. This led me to Romans Mortgage Services, and I met Greg May, the Mortgage Director, for an interview for a mortgage adviser role.

At this time I had no experience and no qualifications so it wasn’t meant to be.

Study time

When I met Greg he explained a lot about the industry and recommended I look into studying towards a Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP); a qualification nearly every mortgage adviser holds.

Many advisers study for this course on a part-time basis so it can fit well alongside an existing job, whether that’s related to the mortgage industry or not. However, I knew this was the career I wanted so I decided to enrol myself in the CeMAP course and finish it in one go, in a one month intensive course.

The importance of hands-on experience

Once I had the qualification I was ready to seriously start applying for mortgage adviser roles, but I still felt I needed some hands on experience. I spoke to Greg again and he gave me the opportunity to work alongside one of Romans’ Mortgage Advisers in their Sandhurst branch. I learnt a lot during this ‘shadowing’ process and it’s something I would highly recommend to anyone thinking of entering the mortgage market.

I was then given the opportunity to take part in Mortgage Advice Bureau’s (MAB) new Academy programme with the support of Romans Mortgage Services. I began my training in MAB’s telephone service centre in Derby, and then moved on to a four month intensive programme with Romans.

The hands on experience I’d had prior to the Academy course was invaluable, so it was fantastic to be able to gain more experience by learning on the job with the support of Romans and MAB.

I was never treated as the ‘new guy’

The Academy programme allowed me to not only learn about all the key areas of the job, such as buildings and contents insurance, and life insurance and protection, but also to build my confidence by working alongside experienced advisers on a daily basis.

The support from Greg and his team of advisers was great from the word go; I was never treated as the ‘new guy’ and I was trusted to work with new clients as soon as I successfully completed the Academy course.

Mortgage Advice Bureau Top Referral Award

Thinking of become a mortgage adviser? Here are Robert’s top tips:
  • I highly recommend gaining the CeMAP qualification before you join a company; it gives you a great overview as to what’s involved, helps to build your confidence, and demonstrates your commitment to the job, especially if, like me, you had a change of career.
  • Gain work experience at a bank and also a mortgage advice company such as Romans, who are not restricted to just one lender’s products. They are vastly different and it’s good to try both so you know what sort of role you’re looking for.
  • If there’s an opportunity to take a course like MAB’s Academy definitely do it. It gives you the opportunity to study while learning on the job; an unbeatable way to start your career as a mortgage adviser.
  • Choose the company you want to work for wisely. A large part of the job is building up your client base so you want to avoid moving around too much.

Romans is continuing to grow and enter new markets meaning there are always opportunities for mortgage advisers to join its award-winning team. If you’re serious about developing your career with a UK Best Company visit

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

There will be a fee for mortgage advice. The actual amount you pay will depend upon your circumstances. The fee is up to 1% but a typical fee is 0.3% of the amount borrowed.

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