NMB brokers split on Aussie sale

by Adam Smith04 Apr 2012

Market-leading mortgage brokers who aggregate through National Mortgage Brokers are split on the implications of Aussie's acquisition of the business announced yesterday.

MPA Top 100 Broker Jeremy Fisher of 1st Street Home Loans has lamented the loss of boutique aggregators, while acknowledging they are finding it more difficult to survive.

“A lot of people joined NMB – and I’m one of them – because it was a boutique," Fisher said.

"My business started with nothing 10 years ago and they played a part in my growth. I believe I would have just been a number in one of the larger organisations. Now it looks like I’ve become a number again,” he said.

Fisher said he did not begrudge NMB for selling to Aussie, but that many brokers joined the aggregator specifically for its boutique status.

Fisher said he would now keep his options open in the wake of the deal.

“There’s no question the brokers who joined for the reasons I joined will be looking to see what’s out there, because the loyalty will no longer be there,” he said.

However, MPA Top 100 Broker Gerard Tiffen of Tiffen & Co said the increased scale will provide better benefits for NMB’s brokers.

“From a broker’s perspective, you hear about the things the AFG guys do for their top 20 brokers, and I think, ‘Wow, how awesome is that? How do we get some of that?’ I think that’s another thing that might change. The level of opportunities will get better,” Tiffen said.

Tiffen called the acquisition a “100% a good thing”, and said it could provide options for both Aussie and NMB brokers.

Aussie brokers may be saying, ‘Hang on. Why am I paying Aussie for this when I could do it myself?’ They could move over to NMB. Likewise, there could be NMB brokers saying, ‘Boy, it’s tough out there. I’d love to have a name like Aussie behind me and get some leads.’ They can flip over to Aussie,” he said.

Aussie announced its NMB acquisition yesterday, saying that it would keep the aggregator under its own brand and management.

Executive chairman John Symond told Australian Broker that the purchase was only the beginning of a larger aggregator acquisition path, and that the move was indicative of the continuing consolidation of broker groups, where costs were becoming prohibitive for boutique aggregators. He predicted that rationalisation would continue across the broking industry.

Related stories:

Aussie's NMB buy just the beginning


  • by Noel 4/04/2012 9:05:04 AM

    As yesterdays commission cuts bite hard today and larger compliance cost set in, sadly most "boutique" aggregators will struggle to survive and I don't want anyone who has control of my trail fee "struggling to survive". My aggregator was bought by NAB and it has not changed the experience I offer my client one bit!
    Mr Tiffen is spot on!

  • by ChrisC 4/04/2012 10:23:31 AM

    That's all well and said but again we see the 4 majors market share and areas of control and dominance getting even bigger. The smaller ones may not be able to survive because the majors are squeezing them out one by one but by gosh we need them for competition. Speak of trails - we may be getting paid these for now but the majors have previously muted nil trails in the future. The more dominance the majors get, the more at risk our income and loan book become.

  • by Country Broker 4/04/2012 11:12:54 AM

    This can only be a good move in the end , Gerard Foley is a great operator but like all smaller operators it is about cost ratios and so on , he may not have needed to sell but it is great move.
    I am now in with an aggregator who is owned by the NAB , I am still independant and I sleep at night because i am not worried aboutmy upfronts and trailers . I can understand the concerns of some brokers about care and attention , it will be overcome when they see not much has changed except big brother is now there.