Grady and Aussie John on the eighth

Written on the 10 August 2009

GOLFING great Wayne Grady has become a major investor in the eight Aussie Home Loan stores on the Gold Coast.

This follows Aussie Home Loans’ $25 million acquisition of Wizard Home Loans of which Grady was the Gold Coast licensee.

The non-bank lender has made a bullish dash into the Gold Coast with five new retail outlets opening this month. Low interest rates, soaring population and the Federal Government’s First Home Buyer’s Grant has driven demand for its range of financial products.

Grady says the takeover by Aussie has boosted profits significantly. He became
a major investor in the Wizard brand in 2000.

“I am very excited and think the Aussie Home Loans Takeover of our five stores throughout the Gold Coast area is fantastic,” he says.

“Aussie is Australia’s leading non-bank lender and is the undisputed pioneer of keeping the banks honest. Through the access of the Aussie’s established brand name, we can effectively offer a one-stop solution for customers.

“When I first got involved with the Wizard Home Loans stores I was primarily looking for a community-based business that I could buy, which effectively would be something I could run once I finished my career with golf.

“Wizard was the perfect option as it was a start up non-bank lender; giving banks a bit of help and offering customers discounted and competitive home loan rates. As I still have golfing commitments, the business is very flexible as I can operate with my co-partners, Steve Robson and Neil Christie which is a huge advantage when I am overseas.”

Aussie Home Loans founder John Symond, expects leverage over competitors to be swift.

“Aussie is a growth story, we are expanding and employing people. Aussie is now the largest mortgage broker outside the big four banks with 800 accredited brokers and 140 shop fonts Australia-wide,” says Symond.

“We kicked off the home loan revolution and now have a terrific foothold on the Gold Coast, which has become our strongest area. We expect to employ between 200-300 staff in the next few months.”

Symond told Gold Coast Business News two months ago that demand created by the First Home Owner’s Grant had ‘overheated’ the market. It has since boosted home loans for the lender from 17 per cent to 30 per cent of its total business.

“There is little doubt there will be a lull once the grant expires, but we have so many other products to counter a softening in the first home buyer market,” says Symond.

“The market is settling down, we are already starting to see it stabilise. It is very close to bottoming out now and we expect a very slow recovery to commence six months from now.”

Aussie Home Loans has set an ambitious target to open 200 stores by the end of next year.

While the Aussie brand continues to muscle market share, Bank of Queensland will close more of its NSW franchises, citing under performance.


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