Broker merger to create regional giant

by Miklos Bolza28 Sep 2017
A merger between two South-Australian brokerages is set to shake up the regional market through the creation of a one-stop finance shop for local client needs.

Oracle Finance and Afirm Financial are merging to form the new business, Financia. It will be spearheaded by the managing directors of the respective firms, Angelo Benedetti and Leon Spadavecchia.

Plans for Financia have been in the works for the past five years on an ad-hoc basis with real progress on the merger commencing at the end of November last year, Benedetti told Australian Broker – the aim being to create a new footprint within the South Australian broking space and become the local choice for home, investment, commercial, car, business, and equipment finance.

“We’re both in our peak in terms of our working career, the staff we’ve got are perfect, and the team we’ve got is great so we’ll hit the ground running.”

The hard launch of the firm will occur next Tuesday (3 October) from Financia’s new offices in Kent Town.

“We’re going to be targeting very, very key areas within the South Australian market that haven’t been touched before in terms of key referral partners.”

Benedetti said that most of the state’s existing broking firms have missed out on these areas due to their old-fashioned methods and refusal to embrace technology.

“We’re a young, vibrant team that has got lots of experience and is well connected throughout South Australia.”

The benefits of the merge were in terms of scalability, he said, with both bringing in databases of over 7,000 strong.

“We’ve got 15 people as opposed to two smaller businesses so there’s a lot more scale. We can go out and take on a lot more work from our key referral partners. We’ve been given a lot of opportunities between our firms to be able to take on a lot more work and tap into certain areas of expertise that we couldn’t do on our own.”

The Financia team consists of seven brokers, one financial planner and seven support staff with plans to hire two more brokers in the next month or so.

While the firm will implement a range of technological solutions in future, the focus has so far been on the merger which took priority during the past year, Benedetti said.

“One of the first things on the agenda will be to see what we can do from a technical point of view to give us an advantage. We’ve invested a fair bit of money with certain people but we’ve just had to wait until we move in and bed down a couple of things behind the scenes.”

Both Benedetti and Spadavecchia are mortgage brokers under the Australian Finance Group (AFG) network. Oracle was founded in 2005 while Afirm was founded in 2008. The two firms have each brought in an annual broking volume of $130m and $150m respectively.

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