One of the UK’s largest mortgage players has partnered with an established local brokerage as it readies to launch into the Australian third-party channel.
Last month Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB) announced its intention to launch in Australia and today CEO Peter Brodnicki has exclusively revealed his detailed plans to The Adviser.
MAB – which listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2014 and has a network of over 900 brokers in the UK – has formed a joint venture with Australian broker Mortgageport, to form a new broking group that will start trading this month as Mortgage Advice Bureau.
“As with the UK, our model in Australia is all about the customer experience, and providing consumers with the choice of how they receive information, advice and transact,” Mr Brodnicki told The Adviser.
“Average property prices and mortgage sizes are higher in Australia than in the UK, with procuration fees also higher and with trail procuration fees currently payable.
“Fee charging and cross sales are far less common than in the UK, which is an opportunity for the new business, and the intermediary sector in Australia is soon to experience regulatory change that could well impact on the sector, creating the ideal opportunity to disrupt the current market status quo.”
Mr Brodnicki has been working with ex-Barclays CEO of mortgages Steve Weston to research the opportunity for MAB in Australia and identify potential joint venture partners. Mr Weston has joined the firm as non-executive board director.
The Adviser understands that the UK-based group met with a range of Australian broker businesses before deciding to partner with Mortgageport.
Established in 1998 by Michael McKelvie and Glen Spratt, the co-founder of Wizard Home Loans, Mortgageport is a direct-to-consumer mortgage manager, mortgage lender and mortgage broker. The group has a strong referral model and works with a range of business partners including accounting firms, builders, estate agents, financial planners and property developers to provide tailored mortgage lending solutions to their customers.
Mortgageport director Darren Cantor, who will head up the joint venture as managing director, said the opportunity to work with one of the UK’s largest and most successful brokers is a great win for Australian consumers.
“MAB brings proven technology and processes to ensure customers have the flexibility to interact in a variety of ways, whether that be face-to-face, phone or digital. Whereas most of the current market participants specialise in one channel, MAB has been successful in delivering customer-focused solutions on all fronts,” he said.
“The new entity will leverage Mortgageport’s unique market positioning as a broker, mortgage manager and a lender, to provide Australian customers with access to the widest range of products and lenders, disrupting the current market and providing something truly different.”
MAB’s Peter Brodnicki told The Adviser that the group’s success has been underpinned by a successful lead generation strategy. Strong referral relationships with real estate agents have been a core part of the UK business.
In Australia, the new venture will see MAB partner with disruptive real estate group Purplebricks, as they have done in the UK.
“This is yet another memorable milestone for MAB, albeit some 11,000 miles away! Both MAB and Purplebricks carried out extensive research before entering this market, and we both saw a big opportunity to bring a very new and customer-focused proposition to the Australian market,” Mr Brodnicki said.
“Against this backdrop finding a partner of the quality and ambition of Mortgageport, our partnership with Purplebricks, who are a superb and forward-thinking firm to work with, together with Steve Weston’s continued involvement, means that the timing to test our expertise overseas couldn’t be better.”
Industry veteran Steve Weston said he was delighted to be teaming up with Mr Brodnicki and MAB.
“We have both driven significant innovation in our respective markets, particularly via the use of technology and the leveraging of big data, and we will combine our expertise with that of the team at Mortgageport to deliver a new, exciting and highly scalable new business,” he said.
[Related: UK broking giant to enter Australian market]