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In Memoriam: Mick McClure, 1953–2023

Mick McClure, the founder of sub-aggregation group Buyers Choice and a pioneer of sub-aggregation in Australia, has passed away at the age of 69.

Industry figurehead and sub-aggregation pioneer Michael ‘Mick’ McClure passed away on Friday (7 July) at the age of 69, following a short illness.

Mr McClure was one of the first industry leaders to spearhead the concept of sub-aggregation in Australia, offering hands-on support and training to brokers and helping them build their businesses.

In the early noughties, Mr McClure approached the founders of PLAN Australia to ask whether all 12 of the brokers operating under his brokerage Buyers Choice Home Loan Advisory Service could come under one agreement. In 2001, Buyers Choice became part of PLAN Australia in one of the first sub-aggregation agreements in the country.

His company, which went on to become Buyers Choice, now has around 240 brokers (and their businesses) operating under it.

It was sold to the Money Quest Group in 2021, at which time Mr McClure retired from being an active employee.

A groundbreaker, a gentleman, and a positive force

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Remembering Mr McClure, former chief executive of Buyers Choice, Brett Mansfield, commented: “I can’t say how much I miss him already; the impact he’s had on my life, my family’s life, and the life of so many people was just so positive. He always had time for people (though he seemed to operate on his own time!) and had a real knack to see how he could contribute to help people get to where they wanted to get to.

“He brought levity to any situation and was able to make everyone feel relaxed and that there was something fun on the horizon.

“Mick was the soul of Buyers Choice, the cultural ambassador. He will be sorely missed by many.”

Former PLAN CEO (2001–11) and managing director of home loan leads business Connect2Broker Ray Hair commented: “Mick McClure founded and built a wonderful business, Buyers Choice, with a small number of broker colleagues and the ever-present Heather Leslie in 2000/01 and more recently with Brett Mansfield.

“In many ways, Buyers Choice was Mick; his honesty, transparency, compassion, and his passion for self-employed mortgage brokers.

“He was a true gentleman who loved life, his family, and a laugh and he made a huge contribution to Buyers Choice, PLAN Australia, and the industry.

“Sadly, taken far too early, Mick will be greatly missed by all.”

Anja Pannek, former PLAN CEO (2016–21) and CEO of the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA), told The Adviser that she first met Mr McClure around 2005 adding: “To his credit, I don’t think he has changed one bit in the entire time I have known him.

“I first met Mick at one of PLAN’s supergroup events down in Tasmania and then had the opportunity to work very closely with him again when I was CEO. My defining memories of him over that time was that he was a true gentleman, always calm, always considered, with that cheeky Mick smile and warm, easy nature.

“Through the emotion of the [banking] royal commission, I remember him being — more than anything — pragmatic and optimistic. And then there is side of him I know many of us will miss: the stories and laughter recounting conferences and events from the Buyers Choice and PLAN days, involving many funny stories of people that, just like him, became the very fabric of our industry.

“I know he touched the lives of so many people in this industry, including not only members of Buyers Choice but also his peers who built and led their own sub-aggregation groups and of course the broader PLAN family.

“It’s heartbreaking that we can’t have had more time with Mick in our lives.”

Buyers Choice member Barry Oxley, director of Victoria-based brokerage Lending Specialists, said he first met Mr McClure in 2004 and “had the pleasure of spending many enjoyable times together over the years” as they looked to grow their businesses “in a very immature and developing industry” and bonded over common interests.

“Mick was always extremely generous with his time and willing to offer sage advice and he treated everyone the same; not as competitors but as associates, all working for the same cause but in their own individual way, Mr Oxley said.

“Whether it was in the car or catching a plane, he always made the occasion enjoyable and helped the time just pass so quickly. Mick is one of the good guys who rarely had a harsh word to say about anyone, always there giving encouragement, leadership, and advice. He was ahead of his time in understanding the importance of bringing new entrants into or encouraging existing brokers to stay in the industry.

“Mick also had the amazing ability to turn a dull, boring session at a conference with just a simple comment or opinion, something that would change the mood of the room and make everything more enjoyable. When Mick spoke, people listened!

“Sydney Swans FC has lost one passionate supporter, as has the mortgage broking industry. He was a pioneer, a leader, and [all-round] good bloke who will always be remembered but can never be replaced.

“I am going to sorely miss his quick wit and sense of humour as I loved him as if he was my brother. RIP Mick.”

Mr McClure is survived by his partner Taryn, his daughter and son-in-law Lauren and Jonathan, and his three grandchildren: Isabella, Sienna, and Kobe.

A funeral service is to be held at 12.30pm on Tuesday, 18 July at Springvale Botanical Cemetery in Melbourne. A live stream will be available from the cemetery website.

[Related: A look back at PLAN, Choice and FAST]

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