Pepper Money has announced that it will be officially launching into commercial real estate lending in the coming weeks and has appointed Malcolm Withers as its first head of commercial.
The specialist lender, which has historically focused on mortgages, car loans and personal loans in the Australian market, has announced that it is currently piloting a commercial real estate (CRE) offering and will provide more details of the new product offering through its established broker network in a formal launch in the coming weeks.
According to Pepper, the segment of the market that the CRE offering will target is growing and is estimated to be worth in excess of $11 billion a year.
The lender said that this segment is currently “underserved” by existing lenders.
Pepper, part of Pepper Group and majority owned by global investment firm KKR, already offers commercial property finance in some of its overseas markets.
In Ireland, Pepper offers commercial property finance ranging from €250,000 (approximately $396,000) through to a maximum loan size of €9,950,000 (approximately $15.76 million).
It is not yet publicly known what the loan range for the Australian CRE offering will be.
Mal Withers’ appointment
To help develop and drive the CRE offering, Pepper has hired St. George Bank’s head of commercial broking, Malcolm (Mal) Withers, to spearhead the strategic direction of Pepper’s new business segment.
Mr Withers has held a number of senior roles at St. George Bank over the past decade, including head of commercial broking most recently, and has also previously worked as a business development manager for BankWest’s commercial business banking division along with several other roles at Suncorp, RAMS Home Loans and Preferred Financial Solutions.
Mr Withers will start in his new role at Pepper in mid-March.
Announcing the news, director of sales Aaron Milburn said: “Mal’s experience in commercial loan acquisition via the broker market is unmatched.
“He’s the right person to lead our new commercial lending offering with his strong working relationship with leading brokers around Australia.”
Mr Withers commented: “I am very excited about joining Pepper Money and further developing its offering to customers.
“Pepper has always provided great solutions to help customers across their lending needs whether it be personal loans, home loans or asset finance, and to be able to join the team to bring to market some amazing solutions to support customers and businesses with their commercial lending requirements is truly a great opportunity.”
He continued: “I look forward to being able to continue to support brokers and their SME clients to grow and thrive in an increasingly evolving market place.”