The Ray White-owned broker group Loan Market is poised to break into the wealth space with the launch of a financial planning network.
Mortgage Business understands Loan Market is close to launching Wealth Market, its financial planning arm, following in the footsteps of listed brokerage Mortgage Choice.
Wealth Market will look to leverage off its substantial distribution with the aim of retaining clients that have until now been referred to other planners via Loan Market brokers and Ray White.
Jason Powell, who has held previous positions at Commonwealth Bank and Professional Investment Services, has been appointed chief executive of Wealth Market.
While the move will provide Loan Market clients with access to branded financial advisers, it also positions Ray White to further its financial services reach, which now includes real estate, mortgage broking and financial planning.
The group has already begun hiring planners for Wealth Market via LinkedIn.
One job advertisement states that planners will service a referral network from Ray White, which has 1,000 offices; and Loan Market, which has 500 brokers.
“This is an opportunity to undertake a role offering unrivalled referral opportunities with a competitive remuneration package, consisting of base salary plus unlimited bonuses, with the opportunity for equity in the future,” the job advertisement said.
The news comes after conflicted opinions on the convergence of financial services appear to have divided the industry.
Last week, Mortgage Choice chief executive Michael Russell rejected comments made by Yellow Brick Road CEO Matt Lawler that broking is a “sub-segment” of financial planning.
Both companies offer mortgage broking and financial planning services but have different models.
While YBR’s Mr Lawler believes it is viable for mortgage brokers to also be financial planners, Mr Russell of Mortgage Choice disagrees.
It is believed Ray White’s planning business, Wealth Market, will follow a similar model to Mortgage Choice, with a referral model being used to drive business to each division, rather than training existing brokers to be financial planners.