The portal, which is the first fully automated commercial mortgage enquiry system to be available in the UK, was the winner in the 'Innovation in the delivery of financial products' category of the Financial World Innovation Awards 2012.
Collecting the award from host Tony Hawks at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London last night, Aldermore Commercial Mortgages Managing Director Rob Lankey, said: "Acumen represents a step-change in the commercial mortgage market; for the first time brokers can submit an enquiry online and receive a heads of terms document immediately, without the need for any human intervention.
"The development of Acumen has taken considerable commitment and dedication from a team of experts at Aldermore and winning this award is testament to all their hard work. We're now working on the next phase of enhancements to ensure Acumen continues to be a cutting-edge system."
Aldermore launched Acumen in March this year and the new system has quickly won critical acclaim within the commercial mortgage market. Here's what just a few brokers have to say about Acumen:
"I've been using Aldermore's online portal Acumen since the launch and it has proved to be a great way to 'fast-track' our commercial enquiries to indicative offer stage. It enables us to key on a case and then the system initiates a credit search and online ID checks. Assuming nothing adverse is found, it produced a heads of terms document, which enables us to go back to the introducing broker or client with indicative terms very quickly. The fact that we can transact with Aldermore 24/7 is a great USP for Aldermore and helps strengthen our own proposition."
Kit Thompson, Brightstar Financial.
"Acumen is not an evolution, it's a revolution in the commercial mortgage market. Until now the perceived wisdom has been that it's impossible to develop an online system which provides genuine decisions, because of the complexity of commercial mortgage deals. Aldermore has turned conventional thinking on its head.
"The appeal of Acumen is that it fast-tracks straightforward loan applications, letting brokers and their clients know immediately if it's worth progressing with a deal, without needing to wait for an answer.
"I certainly found the system easy to use and it was good to know that I'd still have direct access to lending managers if I needed to check criteria or talk about specific aspects of a deal."
Doug Hall, 3mc
"Acumen is a great tool as it credit searches the applicant and checks that the application meets Aldermore's criteria without the need for a full pack of paperwork. From a broker perspective, it is extremely professional as it provides us with accurate pricing and produces a heads of terms for the customer. Moreover, it is a quick process which means that we are able to exceed client's expectations of timescale and are not relying on third parties. And finally, it provides the broker with an online tracking system, meaning we can monitor progress without the need for phone calls."
Diana White, Kingswood Associates Ltd
"Acumen is a really useful tool for brokers to get a quick Decision in Principle. It also produces Heads of Terms which can be put in front of the customer as a detailed illustration of the deal. We've found it easy to understand and very user-friendly. In the long term it will definitely save us valuable administration time."
Mike Freeman, Mortgages for Business
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