The Diversifiers:Gord McCallum

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Gord McCallum
First Foundation
Edmonton, Alta.

Mortgage brokering may be their focus, but these players are winning with a host of sidelines. CMP is shedding light on those alternative revenue streams

When eating a fancy dinner would you be satisfied with just a big piece of steak, regardless of how delicious, seasoned and filling it is? Of course not. Because it should be complemented by sides; mashed potatoes, green beans, a salad, gravy.

Well, these industry leaders view their business in the same light. 

Most may have started in the mortgage broker industry, but they have each branched out into other areas of financial services to complement their business. Whether it’s insurance, bank products, syndicate mortgages, lending or financial planning; each one has found a unique way to diversify and include alternative revenue streams to help boost their bottom line. Of course, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all diversification strategy. That’s why we’ve rounded up a number of unique perspectives to see how and why they chose a specific diversification approach. And we have even caught up with two of the diversifiers featured last year to see what sort of progress they have made.

So sink your teeth into the insights of your fellow brokers. Who knows, you may find some inspiration for the next stage of your own business.

CMP is checking back in with this member of last year's diversifiers list

New developments since we last spoke:

We’ve continued on largely the same path since the original article. Recently we’ve added additional life insurance and group benefit options for our personal and commercial clients. We’ve recently entered into negotiations to acquire an existing general insurance agency which would act as a base for a second location in Edmonton, and we’re exploring other financial services. Basically the business model is to offer everything that a bank offers, and more, in-house - with the key differentiation that everything is brokered.

Which area is the main driver of cross-selling?

Because our mortgage business had a 10-year head start on the other lines of business, it still drives the majority of the leads for general and life insurance. At some point, however, due to book growth and client retention, we can see a day when general insurance drives a lot of leads in the other direction as well. Mortgages may always have a bit of an advantage because it’s the natural first-step in the process, with insurance products coming afterwards.

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