Major aggregator Australian Finance Group is set to become the joint venture partner of mortgage network Mortgage Advice Bureau in a new agreement.
Under the partnership agreement, subject to approval from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board, AFG would become the joint venture partner for Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB) in Australia (MAB Broker Services Pty Ltd).
The 50/50 joint venture would see MAB leverage AFG’s infrastructure while integrating MAB’s technology platform and service offering (focused on lead generation, customer nurturing, and open banking) to expand its service offering to elite brokers in Australia.
Mortgage Advice Bureau, one of the UK’s largest mortgage broking brands and the only one listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) launched in Australia several years ago, initially through a joint venture with Australian broker Mortgageport.
Darren Cantor, Mortgageport’s former director, now heads up the Australian arm of the broking network as managing director.
Speaking of the JV agreement, Mr Cantor suggested that the move was a “real step change in MAB’s Australian operations,” adding: “The joint venture will leverage the market-leading expertise and specialism of both MAB and AFG and will be ideally positioned to support brokers in these areas as well as maximise growth opportunities.
“Combining the strength and experience of UK’s and Australia’s leading mortgage broking group is very exciting for the Australian broking industry,” said Mr Cantor.
“With our UK model now adapted, tested and proven in this market, we are so pleased to be able to leverage AFG’s existing proposition to scale our presence in Australia.”
Commenting on AFG’s decision to become a JV partner with MAB, AFG CEO David Bailey stated: “AFG is investing in the broker channel because we believe in it.
“MAB operates a highly successful operation in the UK, and we are very pleased to be able to invest in their business as they seek to grow their footprint here in Australia.”
Mr Bailey continued: “As a company that successfully operates in a jurisdiction different to Australia, we also see the mutual benefit of identifying best practice between the companies, which will ultimately improve both organisations and the overall broker proposition.
“As they do in the UK, MAB will focus on partnering and supporting forward-thinking brokers and broker firms looking to achieve strong growth,” Mr Bailey said.
The AFG CEO concluded: “I have no doubt that MAB’s strategic partner approach will generate a great deal of interest from brokers and will be very well received, and we look forward to being a part of it.”
Looking to the future, Mr Cantor said that MAB hoped to attract and support brokers and broker firms “wanting a genuine, strategic partner relationship”.
Highlighting the network’s technological, training and partnership support, the MAB MD added that the partnership was opportune given that the mortgage broking industry is “undergoing significant change”.
“Whether dealing with the upcoming best interests duty, increased compliance, open banking or rapid technology advancements, being a successful mortgage broker today has its many challenges,” he said.
“We’re looking for firms that fully embrace our model to join us to achieve our desired market share,” Mr Cantor stated.
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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