AFG CEO reflects on big week of acquisitions

Last week saw one of the big names in the broker channel buy out two key players – here is the reaction

AFG CEO reflects on big week of acquisitions


By Mike Wood

Last week was a huge one for aggregator AFG. The broker channel giant first bought Fintelligence, a bespoke asset finance aggregator, before also confirming the purchase of BrokerEngine, a backend platform for workflow management.

With such a big week in the books, Australian Broker spoke to AFG CEO David Bailey to chat about the moves, and where they leave the more than 3,000 brokers who use the aggregator.

Bailey said that the timing was not intentional, but more a function of the market.

“Both came about via an information memorandum,” he said. “Both entities were touching base with the market to see if there was any interest, and you can't dictate when those things arise.”

“Both of them had similar close dates in terms of the NBIO process, and it evolved from there. As a listed company, once we've executed transactions, particularly the Fintelligence deal, we had to inform the market. That's how it evolved and made for busy few weeks.”

Despite the coincidental timing, the moves can still be seen as a big investment in the future of the channel and the growth that is expected to come in 2022.

“What underpins our business strategy is that broker share will grow,” said Bailey. “Good brokers will get busier, and they'll be looking for means to both increase the level of additional products they have available for their clients, and also looking to bring efficiencies into their business.”

“The business has been built on the success of a broker needs How can we encourage the success of the broker? For me, that is continuing to invest in different revenue lines and different possibilities for brokers to generate revenue, and also the technology to make their life simpler.”

“As we look forward into where the world may turn with Open Banking, it is underpinning how customers would look to interact in the future with open banking.”

AFG CEO speaks on major market moves

The big news was the Fintelligence and BrokerEngine buys, but they come fresh on the back of significant investment in tech too, with a deal freshly inked with Open Banking partner Frollo.

“That’s where our Frollo and Volt investment comes into play,” said Bailey. “Fintelligence has built its business on on consumer asset finance, and they’ve got a technology platform which facilitates the comparison and execution of consumer asset finance.”

“That is something a broker should be providing their clients as a part of our whole of client experience.”

“If you follow our if you follow our strategy, it's been about having the distribution and and starting to include our own manufacturing, which provides choice to the consumer and to the broker, but also helps underpin the success and the financial strength of the aggregator.”

“It’s about providing additional services for our brokers to provide to their customers in the area of consumer asset finance.”

“I think our overriding thesis is that brokers will continue to grow, but they’ll looking to their aggregator to continue to invest to keep them competitive, and that’s what AFG is doing.”

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