Just appoints MD for mortgages and protection

Just appoints MD for mortgages and protection
Ben Allkins, incoming MD of Just's self-employed mortgages and protection arm

Just Mortgages has appointed a managing director to lead its self-employed division, an arm of the business which has grown its adviser count to nearly 400.

Ben Allkins will take on the newly created role, which oversees both mortgages and protection, after working as a regional director for the firm.

Just said Allkins’ appointment was part of “ambitious growth plans” for the brokerage firm’s self-employed division.

The division grew by 60 brokers in the first three months of 2021 and is now close to 400, having launched in 2016 with just three brokers, according to a statement published by Just today (October 25).

In total, Just employs more than 560 mortgage advisers which work on either an employed or self-employed basis. The employed minority are either based in Spicerhaart estate agents or at home.

But the broker has already announced plans to double its overall headcount to 1,000 by 2023/24.

The incoming MD will oversee a £1m investment into upgrading the business's support and systems over the next 12 months.

“The self-employed division only succeeds if our brokers are successful, so my role is to ensure we invest in areas that make tangible differences for our team,” said Allkins.

“While the self-employed team at Just Mortgages already receives industry-leading support, we will look at all the pinch points where we can improve and make changes to make our brokers' lives easier.”

He added: “We will certainly continue to grow in the next few years, but one of our key aims is to make sure our team is working as efficiently as possible. 

“From admin support to developing state of the art CRM [customer relationship management] systems, we work closely with our brokers to help them maximise their time advising clients.”

To fuel its growth, Just has hosted a number of academy training schemes. Its third, four-week academy cohort started on July 19, focusing on the new build sector.

In June, Just said it had more than tripled the number of self-employed brokers in its Scottish network, from four to 15 since the beginning of 2021.

As well as growing its mortgage advisory business across the UK, Just also announced the launch of its wealth management business, Just Wealth, in January.

Led by David Magee, the wealth outfit intends to join up a full financial offering for Just’s clients. The lender has partnered with advice network Openwork to deliver the service.