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.
Aussie's NMB buy just the beginning