The owner of MoneyQuest Wollongong has sold his franchise and will begin a mentoring role with the brokerage in 2022.
MoneyQuest Wollongong franchise owner and mortgage broker Paul Wright has sold his franchise to departing Liberty Network Services adviser, Dino Di Donato.
The contract of sale was signed by the two Wollongong-based brokers in early September, with settlements taking place on Wednesday (13 October).
Mr Wright has decided to sell his franchise after 20 years in mortgage broking, stating that “it was time for a change”.
He says he has planned to take a break, after which he will commence a mentoring role with MoneyQuest in the new year in an effort to “give back to the industry” that has served him for the past two decades.
Educating others to grow business
Commenting on his decision to sell his franchise and his future plans, Mr Wright said: “I reached a stage where I realised that I needed to get out there and do something a little bit different, from a personal and professional development point of view.
“Being 47, I’m not ready for retirement, and the reality is there is still more I want to contribute to this industry. I’ve learnt a lot over the course of my career, so after I have enjoyed a few months off, I am excited about moving into an area that I think has a lot of opportunity, which is helping other brokers with growing their businesses."
He continued: “I genuinely enjoy assisting and educating others, so I’m looking forward to sharing my knowledge with the MoneyQuest network in a more official capacity. I’m excited to share the systems, processes, and little tweaks here and there that worked for our business, which will hopefully propel MoneyQuest franchisees – both in the larger cities and in regional areas – to where they want to go.
“I’d also love to help improve the average dollar value of settlements that each broker writes and see MoneyQuest lead the market in terms of settlements per broker.”
Mr Wright – who won the Regional Broker of the Year Award at the 2020 Australian Broking Awards – began his career at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia where he spent a decade as a mobile lender and business analyst.
When he switched to mortgage broking in 2002 (with a focus on residential lending), he operated as an independent mortgage broking business under Choice Aggregation Services for several areas.
He took on the Choice Home Loans brand in 2012, before joining the MoneyQuest network as a franchise owner in December 2017.
Mr Wright recently reached $1 billion in paid settlements after having secured $100 million in paid settlements annually for the last three years, and a total of $132 million in the 2021 financial year (a 28 per cent rise year-on-year).
He told The Adviser’s Elite Broker podcast last year that an indicator of good customer service is when clients are willing to refer their network of acquaintances to the broker.
MoneyQuest Australian managing director Michael Russell commended Mr Wright for his career and his service to clients. He noted that Mr Wright’s monthly submissions have exceeded $20 million in recent times, which he said would augur well for Mr Di Donato.
He said: “Paul’s contribution to the people of Wollongong and the broader mortgage broking community over the past 20 years has been enormous. He’s been an incredible mortgage broker who has always cared greatly for his customers and staff.
“We are thrilled that Paul is going to remain a valued part of the MoneyQuest family as he steps into his new mentoring role. We have no doubt that our franchise owners will benefit immensely from his wisdom and experience.”
New recruit to work in 2 offices
Mr Di Donato – who has been at Liberty for approximately six years – initially intended to purchase a loan book to maintain the “exponential growth” of his business, but revealed he changed course when the opportunity arose to tender for MoneyQuest Wollongong.
He will have an office in Windang, which he will rebrand as MoneyQuest and open by appointments only, and he will also work from Mr Wright’s office in Wollongong.
Mr Di Donato said he is aiming to expand his team, grow the business further (especially in the commercial space) and service the Illawarra community.
“Paul is well known in our local area and has built a very strong business, and I am excited to maintain the incredible work he has been doing in the residential space,” he said.
“But I also saw a great deal of growth potential in his book, especially on the commercial side of things, and that’s what I’m most excited about.”
Speaking about his drive behind the purchase Mr Di Donato said: “I enjoyed my time at Liberty. They helped to kick-start my career and provided me with the support and guidance I needed to get my business going, which I’ll always be grateful for.
“But when I looked at Paul’s business and learned more about MoneyQuest, I thought, I don’t care if I have to throw in everything but the kitchen sink, I’m doing this.”
He added that he chose MoneyQuest because wished to stay with a boutique group that would provide support and focus on building sustainable businesses.
“They have an experienced head office team in Melbourne that I can lean on and learn from… It all feels really good,” he said.
Speaking about MoneyQuest’s newest recruit Mr Russell said: “Dino is a seriously impressive broker who has achieved a great deal in a short period of time. We couldn’t be happier to be welcoming such a talented and highly regarded finance professional to our group. MoneyQuest Wollongong is in great hands.”
[Related: MoneyQuest launches broking graduate program]
Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.
Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.
After its management restructure, Loan Market Group will continue...
The chairman and chief executive of Heritage Bank have addressed ...