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Melbourne, Australia

Succession planning with Mortgage Choice franchise

An Australian Franchisee Case Study


Soon to turn 60, Vincent Camilleri, a successful Mortgage Choice franchisee in Altona, Victoria who works with his four children, Carl, Luke, Glyn and Sarah, has a succession planning strategy that’s top of mind.
Owning a highly profitable franchise since February 2000, Vince is focused on ensuring the smooth handover of his business to his family within five years.
“At this stage in my career having a succession planning strategy in place is critical,” Vincent says. “Key to a successful approach is ensuring that I develop my franchise as a business – not a family business.”
“You need to turn your business into one that is a highly marketable and saleable asset in the future – regardless of whether you are planning to sell to a family member or to another entity,” he says. “If you commit to a strategic plan you can effectively plan for its development.”
Vincent, who plans to gradually withdraw from the business, has a view, in the medium term, to taking on a more managerial role, away from loan writing commitments towards a three-day working week.
“I’m still writing property loans, but I’m working towards a more managerial focus.”
The handover process is well underway. Earlier this year, at a company conference, Vincent assigned his eldest son Luke to the newly created role of deputy director. Vincent also assigned other family members and staff to new roles within the business: son Carl heads marketing, Glyn finance and Sarah as settlements clerk. Each family member is being given 18-months in various company roles, giving them valuable insights into all facets of the company’s operations.
“Luke and Carl have each been involved with the business for seven years so they understand its workings very well,” he said.
One of the greatest challenges facing the business is the lack of formal qualifications of his children, Vincent says.
“It’s a challenge, certainly, but not one that is insurmountable,” Vincent says.
“If your family has an average intelligence coupled with motivation they can acquire the necessary skills.”
Conversely, Camilleri says the loyalty that family members have to the business is an invaluable asset. “I think loyalty is the cornerstone of a business,” Camilleri says. “You can’t buy people’s loyalty. People are loyal according to their own personal objectives. Family, however, go the extra step.”
The business has come far since its humble beginnings in the garage of Vincent’s Altona home in February 2000, becoming one of the top three performing Mortgage Choice franchises in Victoria. Sons Carl and Luke joined the business in December 2001 and soon after, son Glyn joined as a loans consultant. Vincent’s youngest child Sarah came onboard as a settlements clerk in 2007 after leaving high school.
Vincent has successfully transitioned the business into a shopfront operation, which became three, in partnership with Mortgage Choice franchisee Eddie Borg. Following the dissolution of the partnership earlier this year, Vincent consolidated the Mortgage Choice operation into a single shopfront in Altona, employing three staff in addition to his four children.
Reflecting on his short term goals, Vincent is looking to engage a business coach to review company performance and forge longer term development directives.
“Key to a successful succession planning strategy is to give your business the structure and disciplines of a much larger organisation… you cannot run your business like it’s a corner store,” he said.
“It’s critical to structure departments with reporting and control structures, while ensuring you have a business plan that everyone in the business fully understands and is working towards.”
Top tips
  • Think corporation, not corner store.
  • Utilise the services of your franchisor as much as possible to help you further your plans for growth.

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