What are the main risks and challenges facing the mortgage and protection industry over the next 12 months? 

That was just one of many questions posed to our panel of industry experts at the annual Cornerstone Conference held at the ICC in Newport in November.

Over 200 guests, including economists, lenders, property professionals, leading technology specialists, digital marketing experts, along with our Network members, gathered together to engage in insightful discussions about the future of the mortgage and protection industry. The conference provided a platform for networking, sharing expertise, and exploring innovative strategies that will shape how our members take their mortgage and protection businesses into 2024.

As we reflect on the remarkable moments and future-forward strategies discussed, we can’t help but feel compelled to share some of the invaluable insights that our Network members were fortunate enough to experience firsthand.

Over 30 lenders joined us to showcase their products and talk directly to our Network members.

Essential insights

Let’s delve into the crux of our conference, meet some of our keynote speakers and understand more about the topics that shaped the day. 

Stuart Hutchinson (Investment Director - Brooks MacDonald)

Economic outlook for 2024

We began with a thorough look at last year’s predictions – an exercise that proved remarkably accurate. Delving into the intricacies of economic forecasting, we examined GDP growth projections shaped by market interest rate expectations. Likewise, scrutiny extended to CPI inflation projections, aligned with market interest rate expectations. Drawing on the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Report data, we analysed global base rate paths. The conference provided a comprehensive forecast summary, offering valuable insights into the trajectory of rates in the coming years.

Hamish Simmie (Associate Director - Savills)

UK Housing Market review

We examined property price forecasts and addressed the continued supply and demand imbalance. Discussion around market activity indicators, average homebuyer affordability, and new home consumer profiling, providing a nuanced perspective on evolving trends. We delved into the challenges posed by UK planning problems and contemplated the potential impact of an impending general election on the housing landscape.

Gareth Morgan (Director - Imperial Wealth) & Jamie Murphy (Managing Director - Odyssey Pensions)

Pensions and property

We delved deep into the more innovative side of property funding that is often overlooked, and explored ways of maximising these opportunities by asking clients the right questions and potentially earning several referral commission fees from one client transaction.

Navigating mortgage challenges

With an outstanding number of homeowners due to come off super low 5-year fixed deals in 2024, our experts discussed the importance of reaching out to provide peace of mind and strategies to do so.

Using Consumer Duty to your advantage

We uncovered the power of leveraging Consumer Duty when it comes to your client communication, and learnt how to initiate meaningful dialogues and gain a deeper understanding of client needs. The role of protection in these uncertain times became a key aspect of our discussions.

Niche advisory services

The mortgage landscape is evolving, and ‘vanilla’ offerings are a thing of the past. Our conference highlighted the necessity for specialised advice in a market flooded with niche and varied products, and discussed ways in which advisors can prepare to market services effectively in this changing landscape.

Opportunities in family finance

We explored the opportunities presented by the ‘Bank of Family’ and ways in which conversations around financial stability can safeguard family members and lead to more client referrals.

Addressing the rise in divorce rates

With divorce rates increasing among the over-60s, our conference shed light on the importance of professional advice and explored intuitive ideas on increasing your visibility to this client demographic.

Chris Cassidy (Strategic Account Manager - Legal & General)

Equity Release and changing perceptions

The equity release market is on the rise, driven by the older generation’s active lifestyle and changing views on inheritance. We explored predictions and strategies to tap into this growing market.

Revolutionising advisor efficiency

We explored Acre’s innovative mortgage and protection platform that is the backbone of our Network and its integration with Simplify’s interface, consolidating every aspect of case management, and discussed how its integrated services empower advisers to deliver better outcomes in line with Consumer Duty.

Robin Hyndley (Head of Business Development - Acre)

AI revolutionising the moving experience

We examined the ways in which AI is revolutionising how people move home, empowering better conversions rates, providing customers with enhanced control and resulting in more favourable outcomes. What sets this apart is not just the efficiency but the reduced stress for advisers.

Daniel Lewis (Strategy Director - Spindogs)

Marketing through storytelling

We delved into the art of crafting narratives that resonate with audiences, emphasising the profound impact a well-told brand story can have on conveying complex information and creating lasting connections.

Gala dinner and celebration of excellence

The evening saw our venue transform, and amidst the elegant ambiance, we recognised and honoured outstanding achievements within our Network. It was a night filled with camaraderie, laughter, and applause, underscoring the spirit of collaboration and success that defines Cornerstone.

Do you want to get ahead in 2024?

Imagine sitting with us at our next annual conference, gaining the same insights that have empowered our Network members.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to shape your future success.

Connect with the Cornerstone Network today.