Ex-Pepper CEO talks new mortgage consultancy

by Miklos Bolza30 May 2017
Former Pepper Group co-CEO Patrick Tuttle has discussed life after leaving the firm, including growing his own finance and mortgage consultancy.

The business, Specialty Mortgage Consulting, was established in 2007 prior to Tuttle becoming chief executive at Pepper in Australia as a way to hedge his bets in the lead up to the global financial crisis.

“I had no idea whether we’d make it through because it wasn’t clear just how difficult the global financial crisis might get for the non-bank sector in Australia,” he told Australian Broker. “In reality, I went on to become Pepper’s CEO and then the co-group CEO of the global business for nearly ten years. My conservatism back in 2007 wasn’t needed.”

The structure of Specialty Mortgage Consulting remained dormant until Tuttle’s departure on 31 March after the firm decided to consolidate the co-group CEO role.

“Thinking about what I was going to do next, one of the first things I thought of was to reactivate Speciality Mortgage Consulting,” he said.

With gardening leave conditions in place, especially around non-compete clauses, there are restrictions around what clients he can work with, at least until these conditions expire in October, Tuttle added.

“At the moment, I’m restricting the activities of my advisory work very much to leveraging my broader commercial knowledge of the Australian mortgage lending market, including the non-conforming mortgage market and also the consumer finance space.”

Tuttle said he is currently running the consultancy with several colleagues of around 20 years who have backgrounds in securitisation, debt structuring, and consumer credit.

In the short term, gardening leave restricts the consultancy’s clientele to those abroad making general enquiries about the market.

“Typically, offshore clients will be looking for more general advice about the state of the Australian housing market. They often read the headlines in global publications that the housing market is a bubble waiting to happen so they’re looking for a more local, granular explanation of whether this is true.”

Once the non-compete comes off, there is the potential to broaden this advice to more local clients including those in the fintech sector who want to come in under a restricted banking licence regime, he said.

“I can provide a lot of help, not only to potential players looking at the Australian market, but also even to the regulators and governments around how those types of licencing regimes might be established.”

Still in early days since his departure, Tuttle said he could not confirm exactly what his next steps would be whether this was expanding out his current business, taking up a senior management role at another financial services firm, or starting a new venture altogether.

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