The managing director of an award-winning boutique aggregator has confirmed that “a couple of familiar faces” will be joining the group.
Specialist Finance Group (SFG) has announced that former eChoice general manager Blake Buchanan has joined the group while a former eChoice BDM started with SFG in February as the newly appointed NSW state manager.
“Blake Buchanan was instrumental in the growth of eChoice in recent years but was not required as a part of CBA’s recent acquisition of eChoice — a decision that left many scratching their heads,” SFG managing director William Lockett said.
“An opportunity arose that fits in neatly with our timeline to procure the services of Blake. It became quickly apparent that Blake’s ideology around the broker channel, depth of knowledge and reputation would complement the current SFG strategy now and into the future,” Mr Lockett added.
Mr Buchanan confirmed that he is thrilled to be a part of the team at SFG as “there are simply too many synergies, particularly around the systems, support and opportunities of growth, at SFG to ignore”.
The Adviser understands that at least 30 brokers have moved from eChoice to SFG over the last month.
The boutique group, which is owned by managing director Will Lockett, prides itself on being one of the few aggregators in the industry that is not owned by a bank.
Earlier this year, Mr Lockett told The Adviser that he has an obligation to tell brokers his intentions for the company, given the prevalence of bank ownership within the third-party channel.
“We have clearly identified our business model as having no institutional ownership. We respect all the other aggregators, but their business model is their business model and ours is ours. Not seeking any institutional ownership is our point of difference. It is our view that banks shouldn’t be owning aggregators at all. We will never sell to a bank,” the managing director said.
The Adviser understands that, in addition to more than 30 former eChoice brokers joining SFG, the aggregator has been steadily losing brokers to rival aggregators since it was acquired by CBA late last year.
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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