Leading trail book merchant and former Vow Financial boss Jeff Zulman has slammed allegations that broker trail books are no longer seeing the multiples they once were.
Mr Zulman contacted The Adviser after reading comments from Pepper Money’s Mario Rehayem regarding broker trail books.
“When we look at the trail book today it is not getting the multiple it deserves or the multiple it was getting previously. You need to really understand what drives that multiple, or the purchaser’s behaviour, when they are assessing your trail book,” Mr Rehayem said. “At the moment, we are in a refinance market. That’s great, as long as borrowers are not refinancing from you.”
Mr Rehayem was speaking to more than 400 brokers at the Pepper Money Insights Roadshow.
According to Mr Zulman, who served as CEO of Vow Financial between 2009 and 2010, and has been helping brokers buy and sell trail books for the last five years, Mr Rehayem’s remarks "could not be further from the truth".
“There is absolutely no evidence in the marketplace for what he is saying. In fact, on the contrary, trail book prices are as strong as they have ever been if not stronger. I challenge Mario to show us where the trail books are that are selling for lower multiples,” he said.
“We have hundreds of buyers registered and trying to buy trail books all the time. If there are books out there [selling for lower multiples] we would love to know about them.”
Mr Zulman says people are now paying higher prices for broker trail books for exactly the opposite reason Mr Rehayem believes they are being discounted.
“We are seeing people paying higher prices for trail books. What Mario is saying is just not supported by the market. It’s scaremongering,” he said.
“Ask any broker and it has become much tougher to settle loans. The banks are lowering LVRs, they are making it harder for the broker channel. Therefore, loans aren’t being refinance as easily because you can’t refinance them.”
According to Mr Zulman, trail books get hammered when trail runs off because people refinance or have paid out their mortgages – “that’s not happening,” he said. “Ask any broker any they will tell you the number of reworks and how many loans are actually going to settlement.”
Mr Zulman says he is currently seeing six or more buyers interested in every trail book for sale.
Interestingly, he noted that the major banks make up around 80 per cent the mortgages on broker trail books: “It is not uncommon to see upwards of 80 per cent of a broker’s book with the big four and their subsidiaries. That is more normal than abnormal. Within that they often have a preferred lender, which would have 40 to 50 per cent of the mortgages.”
Mr Zulman is the managing director of Book Buyers Brokerage - The Brokers' Broker (BBBSA). The group's core service is assisting, advising, facilitating and purchasing the trail income books of mortgage brokers who want to gain liquidity or exit the industry.
James Mitchell has over eight years’ experience as a financial reporter and is the editor of Wealth and Wellness at Momentum Media.
He has a sound pedigree to cover the business of mortgages and the converging financial services sector having reported for leading finance titles InvestorDaily, InvestorWeekly, Accountants Daily, ifa, Mortgage Business, Residential Property Manager, Real Estate Business, SMSF Adviser, Smart Property Investment, and The Adviser.
He has also been published in The Daily Telegraph and contributed online to FST Media and Mergermarket, part of the Financial Times Group.
James holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and an MA in Journalism.
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