Non-banks ultimate round-up: Part 4

The key players in the non-bank sphere on their plans for the year ahead.
Our Year Ahead: Jonathan Street, CEO, Thinktank

The 2015 year for Thinktank is shaping up to be a busy one. The ­firrst half will see a number of projects come together, including a variety of product enhancements, marketing initiatives in the digital space and, signi­cantly, the opening of our ­first interstate office in Melbourne. We have been working closely with our funding partners to introduce a broader range of eligibility to our commercial products, and the ­first stage of that process is nearing completion.

With that and the Thinktank brand beginning to appear more universally across the year, it will set us up well for the opening of our Melbourne office, where we have responded directly to a signi­ficant uplift in demand for our products and CPD-accredited commercial lending training workshops and mentoring programs. 

With current and projected growth in our loan book, the second half of the year will see us turning attention to our next foray into capital markets, with preparations for a second small-ticket commercial securitisation following the success of our ­first transaction in the middle of last year. Notwithstanding the difficulty of forecasting the direction and health of the Australian economy over the year ahead, we see considerable opportunity and great potential for growth in 2015 for both our business and the non-bank sector more broadly.

Our Year Ahead: Murray Cowan, Owner, Better Mortgage Management

As winner of the 2014 MPA Non-Bank award, BMM has a strong reputation for delivering better products, rates and services. Since our core business is focused on distributing loan products to borrowers solely via our broker network, in 2015 we plan on offering competitive ‘outside the square’ solutions to our broker partners. We will be broadening our presence to those brokers who utilise non-banks/mortgage managers for full-doc, alt-doc and specialist lending solutions, and increasing our education and support for those brokers who may not have a mortgage manager on their list of preferred lenders, a situation which BMM is well positioned to capitalise on. 

BMM has access to over 10 different wholesale funders and over 40 different loan products that are not widely distributed by other providers, delivering better solutions for BMM’s broker network. With only one application form for all products, and manual assessment of each application, we provide a ‘one-stop shop’ solution to our broker partners. With BMM about to enter its 16th year of operation, I am confi dent BMM will have many more achievements to celebrate this year.
Our Year Ahead: Barrie Gaubert, Director, Iden Group

We are reinventing ourselves in all areas, from online submission to paperless workflow, {with a} brand new broker portal already up this month and new websites to come, to new broker relationships along with new broker training tools and solutions. Our average loan term is now five years four months, and that has been built upon many years of consistency in our back-office service and communications to the customers of the brokers. Here they can still call the managing director. Try that at a bank.

Our Year Ahead: Iain Forbes, Director, Australian First Mortgage
In the year ahead we will focus on national growth and product innovation. You are likely to see additional funding lines complemented by a broader BDM footprint. The idea is to increase our reach in our established markets, as well as increase our in uence in new markets.

Our Year Ahead: Ray Hair, General Manager Sales, Homeloans

Just over six months into my role as general manager sales at Homeloans, I am very focused on ensuring we get the basics right, people and processes, in conjunction with my colleague James Hardiman, our general manager credit. There are still a couple of roles we need to ­fill to complete the sales and credit teams across the country, but we are very well placed for growth in 2015. 

As a non-bank lender, we know that brokers will only recommend us where they have con­fidence in our products, our people and our processes. If we fail to deliver, we tarnish the reputation of the broker. We will therefore work to improve how we are positioned on the larger broker software platforms and improve our own website and tools to make it easier for brokers.

Our Year Ahead: Royden D'Vaz, National Manager Sales, Marketing and Distribution, Bluestone Mortgages

In 2015 we will continue to build on the platform created over the past 18 months since our re-emergence as a specialist lender in the Australian lending market. We are busy re-establishing past and new contacts with aggregators and brokers and we have been overwhelmed by the goodwill that still exists for the Bluestone Mortgages brand and its products.
To assist with this growth we will be exploring innovative ways we can expand our product range and service niche groups that may be otherwise unable to secure ­ nance. To facilitate this, our sales team will continue to expand, and in 2015 we will be adding new BDMsn Queensland and SA, with others to follow.

Providing market intel and tools to assist brokers in growing their own business is one of our goals, and our BDMs across the country will be tasked with this as part of their own roles. We have always had strong relationships with our brokers, and this is something we want to leverage oof, creating a WIN, WIN, WIN for Bluestone, brokers and their clients.
After all, providing a solution so more consumers can secure ­ nance and realise the dream of homeownership when others continue to say no and won’t help is why we started out and is also a big part of why we are back!

Our Year Ahead: Cory Bannister, Vice President and Head of Distribution, La Trobe Financial

We have so many great plans for the new year, many of which have been in place for some time, so we are really looking forward to 2015 on the back of a record-breaking ­ nish to 2014.
Some of our plans for 2015 include the release of three new products in the ­first half of the year, as well as making several enhancements to our existing range: an upgrade of our online loan lodgment system, and unique Virtual Settlement Room technology; launch of a new advertising campaign; and expanding both our credit and sales teams to further improve our reputation as a leading credit specialist lender.

Our distribution team made signi­ficant inroads in terms of brand awareness last year, increasing our broker footprint by more than 20%. However, we know we still have more work to do in this area, and will continue to meet more brokers not yet familiar with our capabilities this year. One of the challenges we have identi­fied that needs addressing this year is to better articulate our offering and capabilities to brokers in order for them to better understand when and how we can assist their clients. Having one of the broadest product suites in the market means we can cater for almost any situation. How we communicate that in a succinct and focused manner is our challenge.

We are set for an exciting year ahead!

Our Year Ahead: John Mohnacheff, National Sales Manager, Liberty Financial

We’ll continue to deliver ­first-class customer service to our business partners and customers through our highly skilled, experienced and knowledgeable team. We are also rolling out some exciting enhancements to our motor business this year. Through our partnership with LFI, one of Australia’s newest insurance companies, we will offer a broad range of innovative credit insurance solutions, including Mortgage Protection Insurance, Loan Protection Insurance and Vehicle Equity Insurance.

We will also be able to offer general insurance options, including LFI’s Home and Motor Vehicle Insurance products, through their partnership with CGU. These additional offerings will be provided seamlessly to reinforce our commitment to ­ rst-class service. Offering insurance will be another means for brokers to keep in touch with their customers.

Our Year Ahead: Mario Rehayem, Director of Sales and Distribution, Pepper
In 2015, Pepper plans to continue to lead the way in product innovation, broker education and support, and service o ering. This will see us take further improvements to some of our current products, as well as introducing brand-new products to market. With already one of the largest specialist lender sales support teams, Pepper is looking to further increase broker and white-label partner support this year to ensure that we continue to uphold our satisfaction rate at an all-time high.
Our commitment to delivering quality education to brokers will continue this year. We are planning to further enhance our Better Business e-learning hub by launching new online educational modules that will be developed in conjunction with top-tier law firms, accounting ­firms, as well as Australian entrepreneurs, to provide content that will assist brokers in best practices to grow their business. This will include content to help brokers better understand complex ­ nancials, hints and tips when assessing an alternative-documentation client, and much more.

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