Franchisee bid a prime Refund contender

by Adam Smith15 Mar 2012

A favoured bid for Refund Home Loans under a newly-incorporated Independent Mortgage Professionals company has been revealed to be that of a franchisee group headed by Sydney-based Nico Wiering.

A serious franchisee bid was first revealed in December when Australian BrokerNews obtained a letter from the bid's representative, Double Bay-based franchisee Nico Wiering.

However, Australian BrokerNews has now learned that Independent Mortgage Professionals, one of the parties that Refund administrator SV Partners confirmed it was in negotiations with, is a business set up by Wiering and fellow franchisee Jan Gomola.

Wiering purchased his Refund franchise in August 2009 after having worked for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. ASIC documents show Wiering and Gomola incorporated the company on 27 January 2012.

Previous communication showed that Wiering's bid  sought to see Refund brokers own their own trail books, decide on their own branding and set their own business models. The bid would also mean Refund brokers would no longer be required to offer commission refunds.

The news comes after SV Partners warned franchisees the impending sale to State Home Loans looked unlikely to proceed due to State Home Loans' inability to satisfy prerequisites of the purchase contract. SV Partners confirmed in the letter that it was negotiating with Independent Mortgage Professionals for a sale of the business as a going concern.

"An amended draft contract was forwarded to IMP's lawyer on Monday 5 March 2012 encapsulating the terms [under] which we understand IMP are willing to purchase the business, and we are awaiting their confirmation of whether they can proceed on the terms proposed," the administrator said.

When contacted by Australian BrokerNews, Wiering confirmed that the franchisee bid was moving forward.

"Things are still moving in the right direction, and we're hoping to confirm the bid soon," he said.

Related stories:

Refund sale scuttled as franchisees face the rocks


  • by ex-refund franchisee 14/03/2012 12:52:57 PM

    I would like to add that this IMP is only set up to assist the Franchisee's that have trails, it in no way supports the many people whom purchased franchises in the months leading up to the administration. These franchisees are in effect out of pocket up to 75K, one would asumme there would not be many of the existing franchisee's that have trails adding upto that amount of money. Would have been nice to have rated a mention, from my understanding Nico Weiring was not one of RHL top mortgage writers, it would appear that he is looking to set himself up as CEO of a company with only two years experience.

  • by ozboy 14/03/2012 1:52:49 PM

    If you're a franchisee I think the writing has been on the wall from the start, you are more like a football getting kicked from post to post with no one really caring about you just what they can get. Feel sorry for you guys having to learn a business lesson the hard way and not sure that any of the solutions offered by the administrator will help you. Sounds like another GAL gone but not forgotten.

  • by Refund Broker 14/03/2012 2:19:08 PM

    What you've got to understand is that businesses looking to purchase Refund's Assets are making commercial decisions. There is no way there is going to be any commercial value in somehow compensating people for money spent on purchasing a franchise. That money is gone, whether we gave it to Refund 6 months ago or 6 years ago. Be thankful you have only lost $75k and not $75k plus the proceeds of many years hard work which is the risk established franchisees face if a sale does not eventuate.
    Back to the realities of the Sale, and why it benefits some more than others: The value of the business derives from taking over Refund's right to a share of commissions and it's agreements with active brokers. That is just the reality. There's no point blaming the buyer.