When did you start Oak and what has been the progression to date?
Oak Capital was originally formed in 2013 with 4 original partners that were already operating another small private lending company. Winding back the clock further, in 2006 I setup Resicom Financial as a mortgage manager in the second-tier mortgage market and always wanted more control via our own product. Oak has matured over the years to become a more well recognised private lender in the market, operating under two AFSL entities. In the latter part of 2020, the final partner was bought out and Resicom was fully acquired to become a subsidiary under Oak, seeing Oak become one larger company with over 30 staff across two offices, providing brokers with access to both our own funded products and specialist second tier products as well, being the ultimate solution for brokers in our market. Oak now originates more than $1.5B of loans per annum and has a $1B AUM (Assets Under Management) target for end 2022.
You recently relaunched the Oak Capital brand to market. Why did you relaunch it and what does Oak offer?
Completing the full acquisition of the company in September 2020, we felt that refreshed branding was required to ensure that our market presence was on point with what the company stood for and for where we want to grow. With the rebranding we also looked at our customer value proposition, ensuring that brokers know why we exist and that is to service their SME client with flexible, solution driven lending products. Furthermore, we are rebranding ourselves as a full alternative Non-Bank Lender, importantly acknowledging our core private lending background but not limiting ourselves. Our mortgage products extend across all of Australia, via both first and second mortgages and we can lend to the most complex of SME clients as well. With our wealth of experience, we really can provide true solution-based lending for our clients with bespoke underwriting of each loan.
In a COVID and Post COVID environment do you think the lending space Oak operates in is/will grow? Why should Brokers consider focusing on it?
Although the economy has come through COVID quite well, we expect that more and more businesses will require some financial assistance in the months and years ahead. We believe that this assistance will be hard for the incumbent Banks to provide for a raft of reasons, including impairment and COVID impacted financial data. Being a broker means you are there to try and assist as many clients as you can, and there is nothing more rewarding than helping clients that are in a tough position – but to do that you need access to the right lenders, lenders that are there to work with your clients, resolve their issues and help them on their way to an ongoing solution. With Oak, we offer all of that including the ability to step from one of our more short-term products to a long-term product in house.
What is the company currently focused on right now, and what is your top area of work at the moment in terms of broker channel?
We are heavily focused on growing our broker distribution along with product innovation to ensure we can help more and more SME clients. On the distribution front we have a BDM team of nine lead by our Head of Distribution Nick Green and we are currently in active talks with a number of the large aggregation groups to add to the existing aggregation partnerships we hold. We have already entered into two new partnerships in 2021. With product innovation, we recently released our ‘Plus Account’ at our relaunch event at Vue de Monde in Melbourne, a product unlike anything else in market, where a client is preapproved, at no cost, for an additional amount of funds up to $50,000 that they can draw on any time post settlement at this normal interest rate.
How does Oak differ from its competitors in terms of how you deal with Brokers?
One on one. Our experienced BDM team can workshop a deal with a broker over the phone, have the power to make up front decisions and can price a deal in minutes. They also know when a deal is a deal and more importantly when the deal isn’t going to fly so they can advise a broker straight away. We also have a team of internal valuers and on our accelerate product, we do not require an external valuation, therefore no upfront fees and a timeframe of generally only 24 hours for a valuation to be done inhouse, meaning a settlement can be done in as little as 48-72 hours. Not to mention our Plus Account!
Why should a Broker look to partner with you?
If you value your integrity and wish to play in the alternative lending and private lending space then you need to ensure you align yourself with a lender that has the best interests of your clients at heart and ensure that you do not get caught out dealing with lenders that ‘fee grab’, charge extortionate fees upfront and those that advertise false pricing to gain enquiry. We are transparent and upfront, not to mention that we have the largest array of diverse funding options available. There is no other company quite like Oak.