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Where Will she go?

This week has seen the shock announcement that Linda Will, managing director at Accord Mortgages, has left the lender. The move – which took many brokers in the mortgage market by surprise – has led to speculation over where her next role will be.

Talk in the industry has focused on the suggestion Will might have landed herself a top job at Cheltenham & Gloucester. C&G has yet to appoint a replacement for intermediary sales director John Champion who announced he was leaving back in September after 20 years at the lender.

Another job coming up for grabs – again at C&G – is a replacement for Mark Blackwell who is set to join Alliance & Leicester in January as its new director of intermediary sales. Blackwell was head of corporate and specialist intermediary sales at C&G so that role could be an option for Will.

Accord parent company Yorkshire Building Society’s announcement on Tuesday night that Will is leaving the firm in order to pursue other career challenges did not provide much information other than that YBS national branch and agency network manager Charles Canning will be her replacement.

But for many in the mortgage market the news of Will’s departure has left them wondering about how Accord will continue without her, with several commentators pointing out that she was Accord in their eyes.

The Mortgage Practitioner sole practitioner Danny Lovey sent me an email saying: “That is a huge blow to Accord I think, she was Accord Mortgages as far I was concerned and I have the utmost respect for her. She understands the needs of intermediaries and how lenders and intermediaries can work together for the common good.”

Alexander Hall chief operating officer Andy Pratt adds: “Linda’s a fantastic lady. It’s always a challenge to build a small lender from scratch and to do innovative things but she’s done it really well and is respected by the industry. She will be greatly missed.”

John Charcol senior technical manager Ray Boulger also expressed his surprise at the announcement. “I have no doubt she will be missed at Accord. She’s built an intermediary lender which now out lends its parent company in the space of a few years.”

Boulger also points out Will has been a very good managing director in intermediary terms. “She’s always taken the time to talk to intermediaries to find out what they want and what will work. Accord was one of the first to introduce proc fees on product transfers and was the first to share information with brokers.”

There’s no doubt that the mortgage industry will be watching with interest where Will ends up as with her PR brain and respect from brokers any lender that snaps her up will no doubt be getting a good catch.

Other news this week has seen the Bank of England’s MPC decide to maintain base rate at 5.75 per cent with many in the industry disappointed by the news.

If you have an opinion or any comments to make on the topics discussed in this blog then please email me at: tanya.powley@centaur.co.uk.

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