Mortgage industry pioneer Mark Bouris has announced significant changes to Yellow Brick Road’s strategy following three years of acquisitions and a $20 million brand investment.
Yellow Brick Road (YBR) yesterday announced the transition to a franchise model, consolidation in staff numbers and a focus on increased network productivity and adviser recruitment.
The changes follow the acquisition of four businesses: Resi Mortgage Corporation, Vow Financial, Brightday and Loan Avenue, and a three-year, $20 million brand investment in the company.
YBR executive chairman Mark Bouris said that as part of the franchise transition the listed group will release three proprietary technologies to its network in an effort to ramp up local customer acquisition capabilities to improve productivity.
“Moving to a franchise model is an important progression in our operations. The old licence structure served us well but is not adequately responsive or commercial to meet the future challenges and opportunities for a retail oriented businesses like ours,” Mr Bouris said.
“We’ve had a period of phenomenal growth with multiple acquisitions and the development of new proprietary technologies. It is prudent we bed down this activity and successfully consolidate the acquisitions.”
Mr Bouris said the acquisitions were made to increase scale, market share and distribution to the existing business, noting that there will be some ongoing costs associated with the integration of Loan Avenue.
“We’ve also developed a great brand and can now move to lower levels of advertising spend. Meanwhile, our new branch customer acquisition technology will allow us to fully leverage the brand at a local level,” he said.
YBR will also restructure its wealth management arm following the recent resignation of Matt Lawler, CEO — wealth management. The division will be led by the newly created role of general manager reporting directly to Mr Bouris. YBR confirmed that the appointment will be announced in due course and will consolidate the roles of CEO and national manager.
“We have done a great job in attracting mortgage brokers. We now have a compelling offer for financial advisers, and with the wealth strategy set and our service offering near complete, our focus is on increasing adviser numbers and driving uptake of our wealth services with customers,” Mr Bouris said.
“The broader corporate restructure involves the removal of a number of management level roles across the company in lending, wealth, and marketing that are no longer required due to the fulfilment of projects and integration of acquired businesses. This will result in a decrease of direct staffing costs,” he said.
“In line with the reduction of a number of high cost senior management roles and other various management layers in the whole group, I have asked the remaining senior managers to adopt what I call a ‘step in’ mindset so they will be stepping into the roles that have been eliminated and this will be done starting with me as executive chairman.
“Consolidation is about creating new efficiencies and reducing costs and all of us working harder to achieve the targets,” Mr Bouris concluded.