​Lender announces commission hike, white label push, new appointments

In an aggressive start to the New Year one lender has announced a raft of changes designed to place them at the forefront of the broker channel.



In an aggressive start to the New Year one lender has announced a raft of changes designed to place them at the forefront of the broker channel.
Non-bank lender Australian First Mortgage yesterday revealed to Australian Broker it plans to increase trail paid to brokers to 0.25% from day one, putting the lender in the top commission bracket.
AFM managing director David White says the commission hike, combined with the rollout of “a host of new product initiatives” over the coming year will take AFM’s market positioning with mortgage brokers to “a whole new level”.
“[We will] continue to provide a flexible range of products, with extremely competitive rates and paying the brokers top commission, which is what they deserve, including our recently released product with high LVR and lo doc with no mortgage insurance required,” said White.

There are also unconfirmed plans in the pipeline for investment loans with tax advantages and the return of the equity mortgage, says White.

One key focus area for AFM this year will be expanding its white label offering, says White.

“Many brokers have approached us requesting either special discounted rates and a branded product or a combination of both,” says White.

“For the correct broker we see it as a way to attract new brokers that have a solid business plan and a great way to strengthen relationships and provide niche products to the market. We would like to have numerous white label programs by years’ end, which will grow our volumes and build stronger relationships.”

As part of this strategy, AFM yesterday announced the appointment of Melanie Davis as strategic broker relations manager - a new role focused on supporting large broking firms to sub-originate their programs under the AFM white label offering.

Davis says there exists a substantial opportunity in this section of the market. 

“We intend to have 10 firms sub-originating with AFM by the end of the year, with three groups already signed up,” she says.

Davis's previous experience includes stints at National Mortgage Corporation, Bankwest, St George, RAMS and FirstMac.

AFM also announced three further new appointments.

Paul Grant has been appointed to the vacant position of national sales manager. He has been with AFM for five years, where he has distinguished himself in leading the group’s sales growth in Western Australia.

Prior to joining AFM Paul was with Homeloans Ltd for 11 years where, most recently, he held the position of national retail sales manager.

“The key thing I want to achieve in the new role is to assist and guide the BDM's to have good business practices that help them to write strong volumes each month,” says Grant.

In Queensland, Rachel Walsh takes up the role of state sales manager.

She brings more than seven years’ experience to the non-bank lender, having previously managed brokers in Queensland and Western Australia for Connective, Firstfolio and Homeloans.

Walsh specialises in funder credit policies and is strong on product knowledge.

She said her aim will be to grow AFM’s footprint with the broker channel in Queensland.

The lender’s final appointment is Robyn Strickland as business manager for New South Wales.

Strickland has been with AFM for nearly two years and has a wealth of industry experience across a range of sales roles, from in-house broker to commercial BDM. Prior to joining the AFM Group she has held positions at Yes Home Loans, Mortgage House and Plan Australia.

Strickland has excellent broker relationship building capabilities and is particularly strong in the specialist SMSF loans space. She said the new role provides her with an opportunity to assist brokers to find the best products for their customers.

AFM’s Managing Director David White said all four appointments will help raise the non-bank’s profile in the industry.

“All four are well-known and respected in the market so we’re excited about expanding their responsibilities within the group,” says White.

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