I was introduced to the life insurance industry by my brother Chris who was a tied agent with the then National Mutual. I was appointed an agent in Hastings with the same company in October 1990. Chris and I worked loosely together but kept individual agencies. National Mutual formed an alliance with mortgage broking company Mortgage Express in the late ‘90’s and I developed a working relationship with broker Mike Murray. We joined our businesses together and Cole Murray Group was launched in 2004. Mike by this time had resigned from Mortgage Express and became non-aligned.

Over time our company has grown to include 18 individuals comprising brokers, advisers, full- and part-time staff. Our business includes mortgage advising, life insurance, investments, KiwiSaver and general insurance. We cross sell within the base as much as possible with the idea that clients should have at least three products each with us. We have bought a number of insurance and investment bases over the years including my brother Chris’ base when he retired in 2007.

I was on the board of the then AXA Advisers Association in the mid to late 2000s. Both Mike and I are Authorised Financial Advisers. The majority of our advisers are also AFAs or have at least attained the Level 5 qualification.

On a personal note, my wife Gail also works in our office and we have two adult daughters. Exercise and fitness are important to me and I am an enthusiastic tramper and long-distance walker. My other passion is environmental care, and I belong and volunteer to various groups and clubs in our local area of Hawkes Bay.