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After over a decade of being an international track and field runner achieving the highest level of performance, Sean Wroe wanted his next profession to satisfy what inspired him as an athlete — something that was highly competitive, futuristic, and provided help to others and promoted endless learning.
The 2008 Beijing Olympian, two-time 4x400m relay Commonwealth Games gold medallist, and 2009 400m bronze medallist world champion found what he was looking for in mortgage broking, and launched a Melbourne-based agency called Sakura Finance, a name that pays tribute to his Japanese mother. Sakura means cherry blossom in Japanese. Saku means blossom and Ra means good, virtuous and respectable.
Wroe, a double degree holder in finance and Japanese from Melbourne’s Swinbourne University, came upon mortgage broking through his friend Andrew Morello, the head of business development at Yellow Brick Road. Since starting Sakura Finance, Wroe has been mentored by a mortgage broker named Ben Marsden.
“It’s the perfect profession for me,” Wroe said in a statement. “Broking is very competitive but there’s also a great sense of achievement when you help a client get the best possible deal. To me that’s just like winning an athletics event or achieving a personal best. With Ben Marsden’s guidance, Sakura Finance has been very successful for me.”
Wroe mostly writes home loans for first time buyers and personal loans. He also does assets and commercial financing.
It started with retail
In 2012, Wroe began to think more about what he wanted to do post athletics after he backed out of representing Australia at the London Olympic Games due to appendicitis.
For a time, Wroe took a store manager position at Japanese retail store UNIQLO and became part of a team that introduced the brand to Australia. He also worked for UNIQLO Tokyo and Singapore.
Wroe soon realised that although his experience in retail was “a steep learning curve”, it still supported someone else’s dream and not his own. That all changed when he decided to become a mortgage broker and launched his own business.
“Being a track and field athlete can be a bit like running a small business, you have to manage a lot of your own affairs such as securing sponsorship and your race program,” he said. “The determination and discipline harnessed during my athletics career is now helping me build Sakura Finance.”
When Wroe was still playing professionally, he was able to purchase his first investment property — a studio warehouse in Richmond, Inner Melbourne.
“Getting onto the property ladder was something I had always been determined to do,” he said. “Now I am a broker I am able to help people achieve their property dreams. So that’s something I take great pride in.”
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