22 May 2024

Darlington Building Society has invested in strengthening the team dedicated to helping people achieve their dreams of buying a home.

The Society has made two appointments in the Darlington Intermediaries team, which liaises with brokers to help find the right mortgages for house-buyers across the country.

Kiale Sheret has been recruited as Business Development Manager, bringing a wealth of experience in the mortgage sector.

And Kiale has been joined in the team by Jen Littlefair, who has been appointed as Business Development Support Officer after working for the NHS in a data quality and audit role.

Kiale, who was born and raised on Tyneside, studied Business in Finance at the University of Northumbria before starting his career in sales roles with BT and EE.

He was then asked “out of the blue” by a recruiter if he would be interested in becoming a mortgage broker, and that resulted in him working for London & Country.

From there, he joined Virgin Money at the company’s head office in Gosforth, working on intermediary operations, before a stint as a telephone business development manager.

That was followed by two periods working in the mortgage network for Quilter, with a spell as an equity release adviser for Age Partnership sandwiched in between.

It has all led to Kiale’s current role with Darlington Building Society, which he sees as an important career step.

“Being a business development manager is something I’ve wanted to do for years because I enjoy building relationships with mortgage advisers and brokers,” he says.

“The end goal is to help people find a mortgage, so they can buy the house of their dreams, and that’s really satisfying.

“Darlington Building Society has a manual approach to lending, whereas some of the bigger names don’t have that autonomy and flexibility. That means we can help people get mortgages that they can’t get elsewhere.

“The vast majority of our mortgages come through brokers, and my job is to nurture existing relationships with intermediaries while also building new ones, so we can grow that side of the business.”

“I’m really enjoying working for the Society because it’s so community focused, with a naturally friendly culture.”

Jen Littlefair grew up in Richmond, North Yorkshire, and spent 19 years working for Orange, first in a HR admin role in Darlington, and then in a support role in Banbury, before returning to the North-East.

After being made redundant from Orange, she joined the NHS, working at Darlington Memorial Hospital for seven years, before moving to Darlington Building Society.

Her role involves providing administrative support for Darlington Intermediaries, and she is undergoing training so she can become more interactive with brokers.

“It’s a really busy role, with a lot to learn because I’m not from the finance sector, but I love a challenge and the days whizz by,” she says.

“What I love about Darlington Building Society is the friendliness, and the fact that people are willing to listen and offer guidance. It’s just great to be part of such a professional team.”