Boutique aggregator recruits former eChoice GM

Blake Buchanan, the former GM of aggregation at eChoice, has joined the executive team of boutique aggregator Specialist Finance Group.

"Buchanan was instrumental in the growth of eChoice in recent years but was not required as a part of CBA’s recent acquisition of eChoice, a decision that left many scratching their heads," said a statement from Specialist Finance Group.

SFG's managing director William Lockett said this gave the firm an opportunity to procure Buchanan's services.

"It became quickly apparent that Blake’s ideology around the broker channel, depth of knowledge and reputation would complement the current SFG strategy now and into the future," he said.

Buchanan said he is thrilled to be part of the team at SFG.

"There are simply too many synergies, particularly around the systems, support and opportunities of growth at SFG to ignore," he said in the statment.

The firm also announced a number of other changes to boost its investment in the broker market, including a new corporate office that will open in the Sydney CBD's financial district in May. It will house a broker support team and will become a centralised hub for brokers needing CBD meeting rooms, the firm said.

Another familiar face from eChoice also joined SFG in February. Joshua Cheers was appointed NSW state manager.

As one of the few aggregators left without part or complete bank ownership, Lockett said "it was an important time for SFG given the current market conditions and the opportunities to brokers (being independent of bank ownership), to grow its presence in the Eastern states and more".

The operating assets of eChoice and 13 subsidiary companies were sold to Finconnect, a subsidiary of CBA at the end of December.

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