The REA Group has confirmed changes to the Mortgage Choice-Smartline network leadership team.
The REA Group has announced key leadership appointments within its broker business following the completion of its Mortgage Choice acquisition.
Susan Mitchell, currently CEO of Mortgage Choice, will lead the combined Mortgage Choice and Smartline network (which currently has around 900 brokers under it) as CEO, broker, effective from 2 August 2021.
Ms Mitchell will be responsible for the ongoing recruitment of brokers and fostering strong engagement across the broker network to drive increased submissions and settlements. Her immediate focus will be on bringing together the Mortgage Choice and Smartline teams, while maintaining the momentum of both businesses.
She will report into Janelle Hopkins, REA Group CFO and CEO, financial services.
Sam Boer, currently Smartline CEO, will assume a newly created role as general manager, partnerships and product development – financial services.
In this role, he will be responsible for developing emerging products and services and key account management, while supporting Ms Mitchell in the transition period.
He will also report into Ms Hopkins.
Speaking of the change, Ms Hopkins said they were an important step in delivering its ambitious plans to create a next-generation financial services marketplace.
“Leveraging REA’s strong digital foundations and our extensive Mortgage Choice and Smartline broker footprint, we have an excellent opportunity to outpace the competition and create the leading broking business and financial services marketplace.
“The leadership appointments being announced today will support the continued delivery of market-leading solutions and services that provide superior value to our franchisee network, brokers, clients and business partners,” she said.
She added: “REA is delighted to have both Susan and Sam in key broker roles, working closely with our broader financial services leadership team. We look forward to sharing key milestones, such as the brand for our combined broking business, in the months ahead.”
An REA spokesperson told The Adviser that "a comprehensive research exercise is underway" regarding the future brand direction for the business, however no decisions have yet been made regarding the future business set up and broker services.
They added that the group does not expect to see any immediate operational changes as a result of the leadership appointments, concluding that the group "remains focused on integration planning, with our focus on bringing together the best aspects of both businesses to deliver more value to our franchisee network and clients".
[Related: Mortgage Choice officially joins REA Group]
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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