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Non-bank lender WLTH has acquired the Queensland-based mortgage manager Mortgage Mart (and its $1.1 billion loan book) for an undisclosed sum.
The deal, which settled at the end of September, will see the 22-year-old mortgage manager become a wholly owned subsidiary of WLTH, with both brands continuing to operate in market under their own names.
According to the groups, there are no immediate plans to make wholesale changes to Mortgage Mart or its structure, with the company operating ‘business as usual’. Brokers using Mortgage Mart will not see any immediate change either, apart from having access to the WLTH product suite.
WLTH has said that the acquisition forms part of a “strategic move” to leverage the two brands’ respective strengths and capabilities – such as the fintech’s technology and the mortgage manager’s heritage, expertise, and breadth of lending solutions – creating greater competition and a broader range of solutions for brokers and, ultimately, their customers.
“The attraction to Mortgage Mart was their experienced team and their long-term relationships with brokers,” he said.
“Our intent is to continue to build upon the foundation that they have laid and look for ways to better leverage technology to improve the experience for brokers and their customers.
“By introducing innovative new products and streamlining application processes, including auto-decisioning and electronic documentation, Aussies will be able to apply for Mortgage Mart loans in less than 15 minutes.
“Together, we aim to create a powerful force in the Australian mortgage market, providing brokers and their customers with a compelling alternative to the traditional banks. The acquisition of Mortgage Mart brings us significantly closer to achieving our goal of making home ownership more accessible and affordable for all Australians.”
The director at Mortgage Mart, Wayne Armstrong, added that the merger was “an exciting development that brings with it the promise of enhanced services for clients, while maintaining the same dedication to their financial wellbeing that they have come to expect over the years”.
“One of the key enhancements will be the integration of WLTH’s cutting-edge technology solutions, both existing and future, to improve the overall digital experience,” Mr Armstrong said.
“This strategic move is designed to provide our clients with a more streamlined and efficient mortgage management experience without compromising the qualities that have made Mortgage Mart a trusted partner for over two decades.”
The two businesses said they share a common vision to empower brokers with a range of lending solutions and create growth opportunities outside of the “vanilla” home loan lending market.
The WLTH CEO noted that one of the biggest challenges that traditional mortgage managers face is that the process can vary significantly from funder to funder for both the broker and customer.
“The majority of mortgage managers have a heavy reliance on the individual funder’s process and customer portals,” he explained.
“At WLTH, we developed a unique process and customer experience throughout the application and post-settlement to ensure a greater experience for all involved.”
He revealed that a new version of the WLTH broker portal will act as a self-serve kiosk, “creating an ecosystem built to help brokers” and that the two brands are currently in the process of piloting new products for modular homes and builder contributions while simplifying the application process through auto-decisioning and electronic documentation.
WLTH was founded by entrepreneurs Brodie Haupt, Drew Haupt, Darren Hodgkin, and John Kerr and provides residential, SMSF, and commercial lending solutions as well as a raft of fintech apps for financial institutions and merchants.
[Related: WLTH to launch $15m raise, flags expansion]