Boutique aggregator eChoice has said goodbye to its general manager of aggregation, Blake Buchanan, and is losing a number of brokers following its sale.
The Adviser can confirm that eChoice general manager of aggregation Blake Buchanan was made redundant following the sale of the aggregator to CBA-owned Finconnect late last year.
A number of eChoice’s high-profile brokers, who have requested that they remain unnamed, have also told The Adviser that they are in the process of leaving the group.
Sources close to the situation explained that their reasons for leaving the group stem from key personnel changes, the loss of Mr Buchanan and the group’s new ownership by a CBA subsidiary.
One broker, who confirmed he would be leaving eChoice, told The Adviser that he was not accredited with CBA and did not wish to operate under a CBA-owned aggregator.
Brokers confirmed that they are already in discussions with other major aggregators, including Connective.
On 27 November, eChoice confirmed that Geoffrey Reidy and Andrew Barnden of Rodgers Reidy have been appointed as voluntary administrators of eChoice Limited and 13 subsidiary companies, pursuant to Section 436C of the Corporations Act.
The appointment was made by the secured creditor, Welas Pty Ltd, which has supported eChoice for many years but reached the view that it could no longer continue to support the aggregator in its current form.
Welas took the step to appoint the voluntary administrators to enable eChoice to assess its options on how to secure and sustain the future viability of the business.
On 15 December, Rodgers Reidy confirmed the sale of eChoice’s operating assets, including its intellectual property and platform and its digital home lending solutions, to Finconnect (Australia) Pty Limited, a subsidiary of CBA.
The administrators said that the sale does not include eChoice-related lender or broker agreements as these are held by eChoice-related entities, which are not under the control of the administrators.
“Our understanding is that the lender and broker agreements will not be affected by the sale and will continue to operate in the normal course,” the administrators said.
“Under the terms of the sale, it’s expected that the business of the group will continue to trade in the normal course. The sale to CBA provides an opportunity for further growth and investment in the eChoice platform. Most employees will be offered employment with the purchaser. It will also offer suppliers the opportunity to continue to trade with the group in the future.”
[Related: CBA to introduce major accreditation changes]
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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