Liberty Financial appoints new chief distribution officer

Former CEO of lending joins newly created role

Liberty Financial appoints new chief distribution officer


By Ryan Johnson

Liberty Financial has appointed David Smith (pictured) to the newly created role of chief distribution officer (CDO) to assist the non-bank lender’s continued growth and development.

The company said the new position further builds on Liberty’s growing sales capability and sees Smith responsible for the broader distribution platforms of the Liberty Financial Group (LFG), including its business partner relationships.

Smith has decades of financial services expertise, having previously served as CEO, lending at Lendi Group and chief customer officer at Aussie.

Known throughout the industry for his strategy-driven leadership skills, Smith holds a Bachelor of Business (Hons) from Brunel University London and a Post Graduate Diploma of Marketing from the UK Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Liberty CEO James Boyle welcomed the appointment, describing it as an exciting and important step in the evolution of Liberty and its commitment to the broker channel.

“David is a well-known and respected industry professional who brings a wealth of knowledge to our Group, and we are thrilled to have him take on this important role,” Boyle said.

“With a broad skillset that extends beyond sales, we believe David’s capabilities and free-thinking mindset will be invaluable in driving distribution at Liberty as we continue supporting business partners to thrive in an evolving lending landscape.”

Smith reflected that he was excited to leverage his industry experience to continue building on the existing solid foundation and contribute to Liberty’s ongoing growth.

“Liberty is an energetic and authentic business that continues to add value to a broad section of the Australian population,” Smith said.

“I am excited to be joining a business of the calibre and history of Liberty and I look forward to supporting its diverse range of products and partnerships.”

Smith commenced as CDO on January 8, 2024.

Liberty posts strong performance in 2023

Despite challenging headwinds throughout FY23, Liberty continued to build its reputation as a strong player in the non-bank space.

In August, Liberty Financial Group reported new loan origination of $5.4 billion for the financial year and industry leading customer and broker net promotor scores above 50.

“In uncertain times, our consistent service proposition has increasing appeal to customers which in turn underpins durable business value,” Boyle said.

As the broker market continues to grow, Liberty sought to grow with it being the only non-bank lender with an investment-grade credit rating offering prime solutions.

This resulted in Liberty taking out the coveted Non-bank Lender of the Year award at the Australian Mortgage Awards in October.

Liberty ended 2023 having successfully priced its 79th term securitisation of $1.25 billion for residential mortgages.

This was increased from the initial $750 million transaction due to “robust investor demand”.

With Smith now at the helm, the lender said his customer-first ethos is well-suited to Liberty’s approach and will drive success into 2024.

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