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Pepper Money names 1st NZ country head

by ssimpkins11 minute read
Campbell Smith

Pepper Money has recruited a new leader for its New Zealand business, as its gears up to expand further across the Tasman.

Campbell Smith has commenced as Pepper Money’s new country head for New Zealand, after being a director and country manager at car lease company LeasePlan.

He has a reported 20 years’ experience in banking and financial services, having previously worked with organisations including Turners Automotive, Westpac, Deloitte.

He had also been an executive committee member of the Financial Services Federation, a Kiwi non-bank industry body and lobby group, during 2018 to 2021.


In line with Mr Smith’s appointment, Michelle Sargeant, who is currently national sales manager in New Zealand, is set to relocate to Australia, after helping establish the Kiwi arm and working out of Auckland for four years.

She will take on the position of head of sales operations upon her return to Australia.

Pepper Money chief executive Mario Rehayem said Mr Smith had been hired after accelerated growth across the New Zealand market.

“This newly appointed role marks an exciting new chapter for Pepper Money and I look forward to working with Campbell to ensure we continue to grow our presence and extend our reach in the New Zealand market,” Mr Rehayem said.

The CEO added that the new leadership role has fallen under additional investment in Pepper Money’s capabilities.

“We want to continue delivering great outcomes for our Kiwi customers, advisers and our partners, so we’re persistently investing in our people, products and digital capabilities to keep up with the needs of the market,” Mr Rehayem said.

Barry Saoud, general manager of mortgages and commercial lending at Pepper Money echoed Mr Rehayem on the evolving needs of the market.

“Following the events of the past two years and the increasing pressures on Kiwi families, our real life approach to lending is needed now more than ever, with customers looking for loan options that have been built to suit their circumstances,” Mr Saoud said.

“We’ve built a great brand that our Kiwi customers and advisers trust, with a relentless focus of quick turnarounds and very high-quality products and exceptional service.”

Mr Smith added that he is excited to be taking on the role.

“With the support of the board, Mario Rehayem, Barry Saoud and the wider team, I am absolutely committed to helping Pepper Money continue to build on the strong progress achieved under Michelle’s leadership and continuing to deliver rewarding outcomes for our advisers and customers alike,” he said.

“Pepper Money is in great shape and I look forward to leading us through our next strategic growth phase, delivering real life solutions and the best possible experience for all who work with us; so we can help more Kiwi borrowers succeed.”

In April, Pepper Money bought a 65 per cent stake in asset finance broking platform Stratton Finance, with plans to bolster its existing asset business.

In November, Mr Rehayem told The Adviser about Pepper Money’s plans to expand its broker presence, with new mortgage products and additional technology investments in 2022, aiming to reach real-time payments, digital identification and settlement within minutes.

[Related: Pepper joins Lendi’s Approval Confidence panel]

campbell smith ta



Sarah Simpkins is the news editor across Mortgage Business and The Adviser.

Previously, she reported on banking, financial services and wealth management for InvestorDaily and ifa.

You can contact her on [email protected].


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