AFG has defended its operational independence by declaring that shareholder Macquarie Bank has no sway in the aggregator’s business.
AFG general manager of sales and operations Mark Hewitt told Mortgage Business that Macquarie's financial interest in the aggregator does not give the bank any control.
“They are a shareholder in our business but they don’t hold a seat on our board, so it really doesn’t buy them any favours one way or another,” Mr Hewitt said.
“They get dividend payments from us, but that aside, they don’t have any say in the way we operate,” he said.
“But they are very broker centric and broker focused, which works well for our business.”
Macquarie has held shares in AFG since 2001 and also owns shares in Yellow Brick Road, Vow Financial and Century 21 Home Loans.
This month Macquarie added Homeloans to its fast growing mortgage portfolio.
Last week Mortgage Business reported that Macquarie had increased its loan book significantly as it looks to expand into retail banking.
“They have all parts of their proposition, their marketing and product team, their credit team, their sales team and their leadership, all lined up to a common objective, so they have been very aggressive but they are also executing very well,” Mr Hewitt said.
“They are highly dependent on the broker channel, and are investing very heavily on all sides,” he said, adding that the investment bank is “a very good case study” of a business that has changed its focus.