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Coulson set for 500 firms in multi-tie mortgage network

Ex-Zurich Advice Network director Richard Coulson is planning to launch a multi-tie mortgage network called Home of Choice by June, with former Zurich colleagues joining him in the venture.

Coulson says the network has 270 applications for membership and aims to have 500 members at launch and 1,000 by the end of the year. Coulson will head the network as managing director while Keith Baldwin will be chief executive and chairman. Gerry O’Brien takes the role of sales director while Paul Adleman, a former colleague from Zurich Advice Network, will be in charge of risk assessment.

The emphasis of the network will be on IT. Coulson hopes to cut the time it takes to submit an application by eliminating the need for rekeying data. An external IT firm has been appointed and packages have been piloted with mortgage intermediaries.

Home of Choice will be privately owned with some investment from a financial services company which is currently remaining anonymous. Coulson is negotiating the lender panel and confirms four life offices make up the life panel.

He says: “We want to give brokers the ability to do business effectively, allowing them to grow their businesses profitably.”

The network plans have been in the pipeline for six months but board members wanted a post-regulatory set-up to avoid being burdened with legacy technology systems. The new firm has 27 full-time staff and a head office in Chippenham.

The company’s legal team is in talks with Zurich negotiating Coulson’s departure from its network.

Coulson says he found himself without a suitable position following the merger of ZMN and ZAN into the new Zurich Openwork structure.


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