In conversation with... Bryan Kidd and Jodie White

Danny Belton, Head of Lender Relationships, speaks to Bryan Kidd, Transformation Director and Jodie White, Mortgage Transformation Product Owner at Legal & General about how their team are meeting the demand of creating frictionless mortgages, and the role of tech in the industry.

Tell us about yourselves

Bryan: I lead the Mortgage Transformation Programme in Legal & General Partnerships. My team is responsible for the build and management of SmartrFit, our mortgage research tool. It’s my job to develop new and existing products to provide a return on investment, and lead transformation programmes that span digital deliveries and cultural change to bring commercial success. 

Jodie: I’ve been at Legal & General for 16 years across multiple roles within Surveying, the Mortgage Support Services, Operations and now I’m Product Owner of our mortgage tools, SmartrCriteria and SmartrFit. Prior to that, I worked in conveyancing and for Barnsley Building Society.

What have been your highlights of 2021?

Bryan: We were able to quickly deliver our bespoke software products to market at regular, predictable intervals. We’ve also been able to coach and mentor people within the business in agile methods, scrum delivery and provide opportunities for people to progress their careers. Overall, we’ve built an environment of continuous improvement where everyone has a role and contributes to success.

Jodie: Highlights for me have been an increase in lenders on SmartrFit, the addition of products, the launch of buy-to-let and not to forget SmartrFit’s very first award! I’ve also enjoyed getting back out on face-to-face events and listening to the feedback from advisors on how they are using our mortgage tools to save time helping their customers.

Where do you see tech for the industry going?

Bryan: I see technology as a background factor in the future and as a facilitator to the industry. Tech alone doesn’t do the job of the people in the industry. But if it’s delivered correctly and adopted easily it will bring benefits to brokers, lenders and customers by reducing costs and wastage. It can only be successful if it allows for better, more meaningful conversations by saving time and cost for everyone.

Jodie: I see the launch of new, useful solutions but advisors need to decide for themselves what is useful for their business. They can streamline existing processes or they can look to adopt tech and exponentially grow. Tech solutions are more affordable and more available for all. This will grow the intermediary market and give a customer more upfront information and more touch points at their convenience.

What are you most excited about for 2022?

Bryan: I’m looking forward to building on this year’s product rollout to bring more quality deliveries to market as part of our exciting and challenging roadmap to meet our vision of frictionless mortgages. I’m also excited to work with our partners for further business benefits, as well as looking for new opportunities to coach and mentor our people as we expand and transform our capabilities.

Jodie: I’m really excited about collaborating with our brokers and lenders and creating and designing new tech. Collaboration is key for the tech to succeed so, this will truly fulfil the frictionless journey that we’re keen to achieve.