Non-bank on hiring spree

by Manuelita Contreras05 Feb 2018

La Trobe Financial has named industry veteran Mark Simmons as senior manager for client partnerships in its Sydney credit distribution team. The announcement is the latest in a series of appointments the lender is making.

The company said about 35 new appointments are underway to bolster its plans for expansion. A La Trobe spokesperson confirmed to Australian Broker that these will be for broker distribution. 

Backed by private equity giant Blackstone, La Trobe is repositioning its business for more residential and commercial loan flows.

Simmons' appointment marks the beginning of what could be a "very large" expansion of La Trobe Financial’s footprint in the market, following its recent 80% acquisition by Blackstone, said the company.  

Blackstone became a majority stakeholder in the lender last December, in a deal that marked its entry into small business mortgage lending in Australia. La Trobe chief executive Greg O'Neill has retained a 20% stake in the company.

La Trobe chief lending officer, Cory Bannister, said the company's target is to expand its presence in the critical Sydney market to make sure it continues to provide the highest levels of service to its mortgage broker partners.

"Mark’s appointment is testimony to how we see continued growth of our national footprint. We are working from a new base in 2018, having one of Australia’s broadest product ranges and annual loan originations now running at $6bn p.a.," he said.

Simmons has more than 30 years of experience in financial services, having worked as a broker and for some of Australia’s major banks and non-bank financial institutions. 

"With 230 staff across offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Shanghai and Hong Kong, this non-bank lender is now on a major uplift and expansion path," said the company.

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