The three members which have recently gone into administration – Hamptons, Cobalt and Chase – will be very much missed for their significant contribution to the group and general camaraderie. But Concordia will live on. It now comprises the two biggest members, which did three-quarters of the business anyway, and we will continue to work together, where we can, for our mutual benefit. To ensure we do not get too lonely, we will look to add members if suitable options arise.
Why are we bothering? Critics have been asking that question since Concordia was formed at the end of 2006 to get distribution and exclusives without members losing their autonomy. For members, the value of the association has been evident from the start. There is safety in numbers, particularly in this economic climate, and lenders seem to like our distribution model, so welcome working with us.
Clubs and networks may have been able to guarantee quantity of business but lenders cannot be sure of the balance of quality and quantity. Our model enables lenders to know exactly where business comes from and as relationships develop between lenders and Concordia members, lenders can be guaranteed of the quality of applications. Concordia has enabled lenders to understand more about our individual businesses and how we work. We have gained key account status with some lenders and improved remuneration, as well as enjoying better support from business development managers.
There are benefits from working together. It makes us attractive to lenders with our enhanced service and leverage. For Concordia, it is business as usual. We continue to work with lenders, share best practices, use our collective buying power and consider expansion. Concordia will continue, without some much respected colleagues, but it will survive.
Mark Harris is managing director at Savills Private Finance