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‘End of an era’ for Homeloans Ltd

by Reporter11 minute read
Retirement, leaving the door

The co-founder of non-bank mortgage provider Homeloans Ltd, Robert Salmon, has retired from the board, 32 years after establishing the company, while Chum Darvall has taken the helm as chairman.

As a founding director, Mr Salmon has been involved with Homeloans since 1985 when he and Timothy Holmes established International Financing & Investment (IF&I), which later evolved into WA Homeloans. 

After launching state brands nationally in the 1990s, the company listed on the ASX as Homeloans Ltd in 2001 and last year announced its merger with RESIMAC.

Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting on Monday (13 November), outgoing Homeloans chairman Robert Scott said that the retirement of Mr Salmon marked the “end of an era”.


He said: “He and Tim were pioneers of mortgage management in this country. They noted the potential in the 1980s and subsequently saw the industry blossom in WA and then around the nation. They were a perfect union, with Rob’s conservatism providing balance to Tim’s flamboyance and entrepreneurialism.

“Rob has been at the forefront of the brand’s progression, building a company from the ground up to what it is today — a dynamic lender with a loan book in excess of $10 billion and distribution access to more than 85 per cent of the mortgage broker market.”

Mr Scott continued: “Following the company’s most recent significant milestone, the merger with RESIMAC, Rob feels that the time is right for him to move on. He leaves a huge legacy and we wish him well in his new ventures.” 

Mr Salmon has reportedly elected to retire to “pursue private interests”.

Chum Darvall becomes chair 

As well as the retirement of Mr Salmon, the AGM revealed that recently appointed director Chum Darvall has become the new chairman of Homeloans, replacing Robert Scott (who will assume the position of non-executive director).

Handing over to Mr Darvall, the outgoing chairman said: “I have been honoured to have been your chairman over the last three years. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow board members, past and present, for their contribution and support during my tenure as chairman. I look forward to continuing to work with all of you in my new role on the board, and I wish everyone the best for the next exciting chapter of the Homeloans story.”

Mr Darvall was previously the non-executive chairman of Deutsche Bank, and prior to that, the CEO of Deutsch Bank Australia and New Zealand from 2002 to 2011. 

He was also formerly the chairman of TransGrid, appointed by the NSE government, until its sale in December 2015.

Mr Darvall also sits on the board of Port of Portland, Online Media Holdings and the Financial Markets Foundation for Children, and is a council member of Macquarie University. 

The AGM also welcomed the appointment of Duncan Salville, who has previously been the alternative director for Warren McLeland (representing majority shareholder, Somers Limited), as non-executive director. 

‘Ongoing validation’ of broker channel a ‘positive message’

Shareholders also heard that the year had been a “major milestone” in the history of Homeloans Ltd, noting the merger between Homeloans and RESIMAC as well as a “healthy” 20 per cent increase in settlements, a 14.6 per cent rise in assets under management and a $15.8 million net profit (after tax).

Mr Scott commented: “Aside from the activities that we can control, the market has also served us well during the last 12 months.

“We have seen strong market conditions from which we have benefited. The ongoing validation of the third-party broker channel and its viability has been a positive message for us supporting our distribution strategy.

“In addition, our move towards prioritising the customer experience supports our decision to continue to invest in our digital capability and operational efficiencies.

“As a result, we are very well placed to take advantage of these market conditions now and into the future.”

[Related:  ‘Overwhelming shift’ in consumers wanting alternatives: Homeloans]