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MFAA Prosper : Mortgage and Finance Brief 05
"By my late teens I realised I wasn't going to be a football star," says D'Alessandro. "I got a job in a finance company and while I was working there, I thought to myself: I can do this! I can do it better." So at 19, the young man from blue collar Italian immigrant parents left the security of his job and "pounded the pavements" of Melbourne, offering to broker mortgages through real estate agencies. Advertising through local newspapers and picking up business by knocking on the doors of real estate agencies, D'Alessandro's business gradually began to evolve. "Twenty years ago when I started, regulations were not as strict as they are now. I didn't need bank accreditation back then. "I had a good understanding of customer service, a commitment to providing a product, low business overheads, limited competition and a strong understanding of the value of clients," he says. "This is something that should never be underestimated. Without a growing clientele, there is no business." As time passed, and many hours were spent developing it, the business grew. D'Alessandro completed a Diploma in Financial Planning through Deakin University, his brother Frank left his job in financial services to become an integral member of the team, Frank's wife and son joined the business and, over 10 years ago, the South Melbourne-based business diversified into financial services. Required is now a fully integrated financial services company that specialises in mortgages, financial planning, risk insurance and superannuation advice. "Diversification has been the key to to our growth and business success," D'Alessandro says. "From mortgage broking, we moved into financial planning because a couple of our clients passed away and we saw this area as an important advice gap needing fulfilment. We are now a fully-fledged fee-for-service practice offering holistic financial advice to our diverse clientele." Required also manages client investments which comprise equities, managed funds, cash and property-based investments. "My biggest challenge has been managing staff and keeping growth on track without the luxury of a layer of middle management," D'Alessandro says. "We have achieved year-on-year measured growth for the last 10 years and worked hard to differentiate ourselves from our competition. "On the mortgage broking side, competition is in the form of other mortgage brokers, however, maintaining a large active client base, we generate a large amount of repeat business and in house client referrals. "It's not just about the cheapest rate. We analyse the circumstances of our clients and offer them a holistic approach to achieving their desired goals." D'Alessandro may not have become a soccer star, but that hasn't stopped him from taking his young sons on an annual pilgrimage to the UK to watch his favourite team, Liverpool. Kicking goals in business Football may have been his childhood dream, but running a finance business became the destiny of Required Finance director and MFAA member Anthony D'Alessandro, who built his business from the pavement up. Words Rosy Mobbs Photography Shannon Mor ris 32 | Mortgage & Finance brief InProfile
Mortgage and Finance Brief 06