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3 Daniel Zadnik

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#3 DANIEL ZADNIK
HAWTHORN FINANCE
(BENTLEYS GROUP), HAWTHORN, VIC


After 18 years at ANZ, Daniel Zadnik joined professional services firm McLean Delmo to establish its finance division. Now part of the national Bentleys Group of independent accountancy fims, Hawthorn Finance’s relationship with other professional ​service firms is a key part of their offering.


MPA: What distinguishes you from an average commercial broker?
We treat all our clients in a professional manner, whether they are large or small. Relationship managers come and go at banks, but we are always there for our clients, and if we do our job well, we ultimately become the ‘relationship team’ for our clients. That is, our clients ring us first for advice, and we negotiate the deal with the bank on their behalf. Being part of the national Bentleys Group provides us with access to financial information and some incredibly knowledgeable accountants in the fields of tax, property, industry specialisation, etc. We stay involved with our clients at annual reviews, etc., so we don’t just write the deal and forget about the client.

MPA: Do you focus on any particular area of commercial lending? Why?
We provide a wide range of commercial lending, ranging from working capital and cash flow solutions, property investment lending, as well as construction and development finance. Our asset finance business has continued to grow, and we can offer our clients a wide range of options in this highly commoditised space. Our commercial lending expertise also has really assisted our residential lending business. Once our commercial clients are completely satisfied with the solution we have found for them, we then assist the directors and employees with their residential lending needs.

MPA: From your experience, is it essential to have run a business in order to succeed in commercial broking?
I don’t think it is absolutely essential to have run a business in order to succeed in commercial broking. I ran regional businesses for ANZ with large sales teams and high revenue targets; however, in banking, you are largely insulated from the cost side of the business, being part of a publicly listed company. 

When you run your own business, you learn very quickly that every expense incurred comes straight off the bottom line. That said, it is largely common sense, and the commercial and residential broking models are extremely attractive businesses when you get the model right.

MPA: Do you see opportunities in your area of broking over the next 12 months, or is it time to consolidate?
We see the opportunity to continue to grow organically through the Bentleys network; however, the commercial broker segment does seem to be an ageing demographic. We would definitely consider acquiring or consolidating the business if we found the right business partners. At the end of the day, this business is all about having the right people.
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