Liberty-owned personal lender MoneyPlace has appointed Alf Vasta as its new head of broker as the lender looks to make the third-party channel its dominant source of business.
Personal loan provider MoneyPlace has appointed Liberty Financial’s business development manager for NSW/ACT, Alf Vasta, as its new head of broker.
The broker channel had previously been under the remit of Mathew Santosa, who looked after marketing and corporate development at MoneyPlace but left the company in January to take up a new role at Equifax in Sydney.
Since Mr Santosa’s departure, MoneyPlace had undertaken an external search for a dedicated head of broker that “knew the broker space inside out”, MoneyPlace CEO Stuart Stoyan told The Adviser.
“Broker is an incredibly important channel to us, and while we previously had someone who had oversight of broker, it made sense to carve out specifically with someone who was from industry, who knows the broker space inside out and in a senior appointment.
“We ran an external process to find the best person who would help us grow personal lending through the third-party channel. While we didn’t specifically set out to find someone from Liberty, Alf, hands down, was the best candidate,” he said.
Mr Vasta took up his new role on the MoneyPlace leadership team and head of broker on 15 April and has been tasked with growing the broker channel into MoneyPlace’s dominant channel.
Currently, broker-introduced loans make up 40 per cent of MoneyPlace loan, with online channels such as online aggregators and referral sites driving 60 per cent of its volume.
However, Mr Stoyan said that the broking industry was its “number one single channel” and that he was looking to increase its flows to 60 per cent broker (and 40 per cent online) in the next year.
Speaking to The Adviser, the CEO said: “We expect to see more than 50 per cent of our volumes each month coming through from broker. And I would expect that, within the next six months, broker would be our dominant channel, not just our number one channel.”
He added that he expected the personal loan market at large to replicate that of the mortgage segment so that “in 10 years’ time, we expect that the majority of personal loans come through a broker.”
Mr Stoyan said that the culmination of technology offerings “making it easy and efficient for a broker to write a personal loan”, along with an increasingly varied personal loan market, was playing into the hands of the third-party channel as “it can be confusing for people to figure out if they need a loan, the type of loan they need, the length of the loan, whether it is secured or unsecured, or variable or fixed... and brokers can deliver the same sort of value that they currently do in the mortgage space in the personal loan space.”
He added that Mr Vasta will therefore focus on “getting out and speaking to brokers and helping them to understand how a personal loan can be used for customers and how easy it is for brokers to write a loan on the platform”.
Speaking of his new role, Mr Vasta said: “Personal loans are a sleeping giant for Australia’s brokers tackling a challenging market following the royal commission and tightening of residential housing market.
“MoneyPlace was founded by former bankers who wanted to give Australians a better deal than the big banks. We now want to help brokers do the same for their own clients.
“My first priority is to get out there talking to brokers to help them really understand the huge personal loan opportunity and make it fast and simple for them to diversify their income and grow their business.”
Liberty group sales manager John Mohnacheff added: “Liberty has been at the vanguard of product diversification for finance brokers for many years, and our investment in MoneyPlace and Alf moving across is another example of our commitment to the third-party channel.
“He has been an integral part of our drive in the mortgage broking market in NSW/ACT, and we’re looking forward to his next chapter leading and reinforcing Liberty’s core values within the MoneyPlace broker team.”
It is expected that MoneyPlace will expand the broker team with more appointments in the coming months.
Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.
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