Expansion amid convergence: The new mortgage brokers

by Mackenzie McCarty10 Aug 2012

For the diversified Rhino Money business, expanding outside of mortgage broking into a range of related business ventures was a combination of 'future proofing' and realising new financial services opportunities.

Based in Victoria and once running under the moniker Donation Home Loans, when the business donated a portion of trail commission to a charity of client choice, Mark O'Donnell told Australian Broker Online the business changed its model following GFC commission cuts.

The business has since rapidly grown its footprint in a number of areas. It now boasts an accounting and bookkeeping business, a property development project management business and a short-term lending business, which markets its services to brokers.

It has also recently launched property trust, which will hold $10m worth of assets, and even a recruitment JV based in Brisbane focusing on fly-in-fly-out mine workers and engineers.

Of course, the business is still maintaining and growing its core business in both commercial and mortgage finance, though O'Donnell is unsure what the future holds.

“I think our business will become more of a holistic type of business where clients can have all their financial solutions met,” O’Donnell said.

“I think from a business point of view it is necessary not to have to rely on one side of the business, where you are at the mercy of lenders paying commission. Things may eventually go to fee-for-service. It’s a matter of future proofing our business, because things could go either way.”

Rhino Money is not alone. Many mortgage broking businesses are now aggressively looking outside of pure mortgage broking for new opportunities, across industries as varied as accounting, financial planning, insurance and property, among others.

That's why Australian Broker thinks it is critical readers are kept up to date with the latest developments in these sectors, to inform this process of expansion, and diversification.

This is the first of our Australian Broker Online Financial Services Update newsletters, which will be coming conveniently to your inbox every Friday afternoon.

For followers of Australian Broker Online TV, you can expect our regular in-depth interviews and multimedia reports on the industry's topical issues on Wednesdays over lunch.

Readers can look forward to being kept at the cutting edge of business across the full range of financial services disciplines, helping you propel your business in new directions.


  • by Scopher 17/08/2012 12:58:33 PM

    Jack of all trades, master of none...

  • by Brisbane Borker 17/08/2012 2:01:12 PM

    i'm advising all of the mortgage brokers to move into financial planning because you will have a better conversation with your clients and you will make a much more money. I done that 4 ears ago and I'm not looking back.

    Scopher, I can tell you this "You can be specialist and I'll make money".

  • by Karen 17/08/2012 2:32:10 PM

    Actually, the Rhino Group consists of unique and dedicated professionals for each service offered and is not a case of one person wearing all the hats.