Rupi Hunjan – CEO and Founder

Rupi Hunjan, CEO & founder of Censeo Financial, discusses his route into the industry and his day to day role

Serendipity played a huge part in me joining the industry. During a chance encounter with a neighbour, who headed Genesis Housing Association, we discussed the need for a specialist mortgage company, and he asked if this would be something I would be interested in. The path was set to establish Censeo, which was initially founded purely as an in-house mortgage broker for Genesis. Sixteen years down the line, and it is now one of leading and dominant specialist mortgage brokers in the shared ownership sector.

My background is in wealth management, and I was not intending to diversify at the time. However, I did see an opportunity to apply my skills and knowledge in wealth management to the mortgage business, and to build something very different to what was already out there.

We set about vertical integration into our client and brought the market to the product instead of pushing a product to market, which was the traditional way financial services have been distributed.

The process of the house buying journey is what we concentrated on over and above the financial products, which were incidental to the emotional journey that the customer was going through. Hence, we don’t feel we are in the mortgage business, but more in the ‘getting people a home’ business!

That is really our purpose.

The day-to-day role as MD has fundamentally always been the same, as I have overall responsibility for our clients, customers and employees and feel that at any one time I can’t let them down.

However, over the years as the company has grown, I have obviously had to delegate many of these functions to trusted colleagues.

At the start the day, we have early update meetings with the team, where we discuss what needs to be done, what progress has been made and any particular issues.

Then I spend the rest of the day doing anything that’s needed of me. This obviously varies, but usually entails meetings and focusing on business development. I like to spend my time on the business and not necessarily in the business.

We haven’t really changed what we do in terms of who we work with over the years, this has just got bigger.

We work with affordable housing providers and haven’t really ventured away from this. Now that shared ownership is becoming the bona fide fourth tenure, we are busier than ever, and the business is still on a growth trajectory.

I believe that retail financial services industry, namely mortgages, is one of the last bastions of where you can build a profession based on a merit. There are ample opportunities for the next generation to build a fantastic career. 

There are no specific education or university degrees required, as for some vocations. This means that someone can come into the sector, and with hard work, determination and a thorough understanding of the regulations, go all the way!

At Censeo we have a culture of zero politics, and everyone is measured on performance.

Colour, creed or class shouldn’t matter, and I am very proud to be part of a sector where I, and many of my colleagues, can put their hand on their heart and say that the opportunity that we were given years ago, is still available today.