Pepper Money hones in on commercial lending

Key positions change as sector booms

Pepper Money hones in on commercial lending


By Jayden Fennell

Pepper Money is doubling down when it comes to supporting commercial lending growth and delivering a market-leading value proposition for brokers.

The non-bank is upskilling BDM teams across both the residential and commercial credit spectrum, given that brokers writing commercial loans and settlement values have hit the highest level yet at $13.4bn.

As Pepper Money signals changes to its commercial lending structure, head of commercial Malcolm Withers is leaving his role to become chief commercial officer at Prime Capital.

“We brought Mal Withers on board to help establish the commercial business with great passion and drive,” said Pepper Money general manager mortgages and commercial lending Barry Saoud (pictured above left). “We thank Mal for his commitment and contribution, and we wish him all the best for his next opportunity.”

Withers said after three-and-a-half incredible years, it was time to bid farewell to Pepper Money.

“I have had the opportunity to work with wonderful and talented people and would like to thank Mario Rehayem, Barry Saoud and the wider team for the support and guidance during my time at Pepper Money,” he said.

Ben McKell (pictured above right) has been internally promoted to national sales manager, commercial, with a focus on continued growth in commercial lending with building strong broker and aggregator partnerships.

He has been a senior member of Pepper Money and has experience in SME and commercial lending, having worked for Westpac and Liberty.

“I’m excited about the growth opportunities and building our investment in the commercial space,” McKell said. “This is an exciting time to take on this new role, and I am looking forward to playing my part in the next stage of growth of commercial lending at Pepper Money.”

McKell said his focus and attention would be on how Pepper Money could continue to make commercial lending more accessible and easier to do business with.

“This is why we will look to continue investing in providing more ongoing broker support, education, tools and processes to make the product more accessible for more brokers and their customers,” McKell said.

Saoud said commercial lending gave brokers more opportunities to diversify and help their customers succeed by building stronger customer relationships.

Brokers become customers’ go-to person, not just for their home loan but also for business solutions.

“The creation of commercial relationship manager roles off the back of broker feedback with these roles to focus on supporting the growing number of brokers writing commercial loans,” Saoud said. “I’d like to congratulate Ben on his new appointment. It’s encouraging that we can promote from within and support our people to succeed.” 

Saoud said the new appointments and promotions mean Pepper Money can do more for brokers.

“With a record number of brokers utilising Pepper as their first choice non-bank, these investments are a direct reflection of our continued focus on increasing broker support as we continue to grow and help more Australian business owners achieve their financial goals with commercial lending options,” he said.

“Our business continues to go from strength to strength with record originations and significant plans to grow commercial lending through new partnerships, product innovation and digital advancement.”

Saoud said Pepper Money wanted to grow the commercial channel and support brokers more than ever.

“We’re investing in our BDMs to be skilled at providing a holistic approach at understanding their brokers’ business, leveraging our data and experience in specialist and SME lending and our real-life approach to making deals happen,” he said.

Saoud said the key advantages of Pepper Money’s commercial loans included delivering a fast assessment that gave brokers direct-to-credit engagement and a fast time to cash with a seamless settlement.

He said commercial real estate was an easy product to integrate into the suite of current products.

“Especially when you consider that everything you have requested from the client to do their home loan is all you will need in most cases to get them a commercial property loan if they need it,” Saoud said. “Doing this builds stronger ties with the customer, certainly a longer-term relationship with the customer who’s reliant on them not just for their home loan but also the success of their business.”

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