EasyBiz finance director Dominic Lambrinos used his accounting and entrepreneurial background to redefine commercial broking
At first glance, it might seem as though Dominic Lambrinos had stumbled on a gold mine when he developed his unique commercial brokerage, EasyBiz Finance, a few years ago (just take a look at his recent milestone in the News section of Australian Broker). However, the reality is that more than 30 years’ worth of finance and entrepreneurial experience have gone into the project.
“I started life as an accountant [age 17] … Part of my accounting work was talking to banks and looking into different avenues into finance. I left accounting at 34 and owned some business myself, so I … found out first hand how hard it is for someone to borrow money,” says Lambrinos.
“In the course of all this work, I’d find all these lenders who didn’t have their shops on the main street, the ones that would specialise in particular forms of lending. You know, lender A would do commercial loans; lender B would just do trade finance; another one would just do debtor’s factory. I just collected them like stamps.”
The GFC brought it all ‘‘to a head’’, according to Lambrinos, who set up EasyBiz shortly after.
“We’ve got 29 lenders on our panel at the moment, and they offer something like 24 products. What I guess sets us apart is, yes, it’s great to have all those loans and all that, but we were able to approach business finance with an accounting hat on.
“Being accountants, we’re good with numbers. As a commercial broker, one day [the loan] might go to a funeral parlour, the next day it might be a guy who sells meat wholesale – you don’t know what’s going to come tomorrow. But one thing which is consistent in that is the numbers – and that’s what we’re good at. That’s where we stand out.”
Furthermore, Lambrinos and his team specialise in supplying customers with multiple highly tailored loans. “If you went to a major bank … they would want to make sure they’ve got your house and all your business tied up in one place. If something goes wrong, you lose everything. In our situation, you connect lenders up, but nothing’s cross[ed over]. So the fellow who’s lending you money to buy stock in China is different to the fellow who’s lending you money for when you sell it to Harvey Norman or wherever. So all the risks are sort of pigeon-holed – if something goes wrong, you don’t have a domino effect.”
Lambrinos likes to jokingly compare his company’s strategy to a McDonald’s classic, saying they’ve effectively restructured a commonplace set of financial ingredients and made it better.
“When they invented the Big Mac [hamburger], I guess they put a lot of work into it and they’re still selling it now… We’ve picked up our Big Mac.