AFG appoints WA Sales Manager

AFG has today announced the appointment of Anita Lindsay to the role of Sales Manager for Western Australia.

AFG National Manager Strategic Partners and Recruitment, Them Lam, said Anita’s depth of experience in business development will be a valuable asset to the AFG WA team. “Anita joins AFG from NAB and she has a proven track record in strategic business development, new business acquisition, complex portfolio management, and people leadership.

Commenting on her appointment, Anita said she is looking forward to helping AFG brokers in WA grow their businesses. “I’m extremely passionate about customer experience and delivering what matters to brokers to help them be successful, especially in a challenging WA market.”

“We look forward to Anita putting her stamp on the Perth market place with her drive and tenacity and her desire to partner and assist brokers with the growth of their businesses,” concluded Them.

What’s happening at AFG?

Monthly BBQs at Perth’s Ruah Centre

As part of our ongoing commitment to give back to the community, AFG engage in numerous volunteering and charity work throughout the year. From Christmas gift donations through the Kmart wishing tree initiative, and providing female hygiene products and everyday essentials for homeless women via the #itsinthebag campaign, to our staff volunteering their time to assist in local charity drives, we’re proud to support where we can.

AFG has recently put its hand up to send a number of its staff to the Ruah Centre to help with the cooking and serving of lunch from time to time, as part of the company’s wider corporate volunteering program.

The centre is incredible – they offer food, mental health and wellness services and justice support – right through to the basics we take for granted; somewhere to shower, somewhere to wash your clothes, computers to use, and somewhere to probably just sit and feel safe and cared for even if it’s only for a few hours a day.

What our staff member who volunteered really noticed was the difference even a few hours of helping and listening there made to the people who use the centre. Several of the elderly gents at the centre reminded many of us of fathers and grandfathers, and it was a reminder of how fortunate our parent’s/grandparent’s lives have been compared to theirs, and how easily the tables could have been turned. Spending time with people with real, raw and daily struggles puts life in perspective pretty quickly.

Many of our staff drive past the Ruah Centre most days on the way to work. It is right next to iconic city park where Fringe is held every year, however many of us never realised the centre was even there, the great work it does and how easy it is to get involved and make a difference. AFG only hope we can do more to help them in the years ahead with mates and family; the smallest gesture there with even just one person is enough to make an impact.

The Ruah manifesto is simple, and so true. “We are all better off, as a community, as a society, if we are all connected.”

www.ruah.org.au

 

Mental Health Week

Mental Health Week (8-14 October) is a week dedicated to promoting mental health awareness and helping reduce the stigma.

To mark this week, AFG scheduled a variety of events highlighting the importance of mental and physical health across all our offices Australia-wide. Each day focused on a different aspect of health and wellbeing with a supporting app suggested to assist with on-going positive mental health. Staff were invited to participate in a range of initiatives which ranged from free health checks, to information on building healthy relationships, and ways of reducing stress.

To wrap up the week, we encouraged everyone to wear blue and make a donation to beyondblue, a non-for-profit organisation raising awareness of depression, anxiety disorders and suicide prevention.

Here’s our Digital Creative, Simon Mateljan, sharing his personal experience with the AFG head office team in Perth.

Shortly after mental health week, we were joined by guest speaker Matthew Johnstone, who talked about mental and emotional resilience and how we build it.

Matt is an illustrator, and you might know him from his book ‘I had a Black Dog’ – his personal account on what it is to suffer depression and anxiety and what can be learnt from it. His brilliant, disarming bestseller is clever and poignant and has also been made into a short film.

Matt spoke about resilience only being forged when we come through what challenges us, mentally, emotionally and physically. What can be learnt from these experiences? How do we turn a negative event into something positive and meaningful and grow from it? How can we imbue our lives with techniques that help maintain resilience, an inner toughness and a better sense of wellbeing? His chat was practical, amusing and hit the spot.

 

Current vacancies at AFG

If you are interested in pursuing a career at AFG, why not have a look at our current vacancies on Seek. We work hard to create a unique culture for our employees; check out or HR page to get an insight into what it’s like to work at AFG. If you don’t see a vacancy that suits what you’re looking for, but think you can add value to our team, we’d love to hear from you! Email our HR team: hr@afgonline.com.au

Are you our next CIO?

We are searching for a strategic thinker, experienced in driving businesses to achieve their objectives, to join our innovative, entrepreneurial and collaborative business. AFG is a publicly listed financial services business with over 2,850 mortgage brokers and over 45 lenders on our panel. Our business thrives on the development and activation of new technologies enhancing the consumer experience and competition in the market when it comes to financial services and products.

Apply for the CIO role on SEEK.

Our backbone

There is no doubt that information technology is our backbone and forms the strategic foundations of all we do. We have a loan book of over $133B and we process the loans for over 10,000 customers a month working with over 45 of Australia’s leading banks and lenders every day. To do this, and to attract the quality of business we do, we ensure we lead the charge when it comes to our technology. We invest in the best people, platforms, systems and tools in order to remain an innovative leader of high quality, resilient and agile technologies to fuel business growth.

Our technology is one of our key business differentiators and one of the key reasons behind our stellar success over the past 23 years. We invest heavily in our technology, we’ve invested over $70 million in technology tools and initiatives since we began. We empower our people with the best tools, the best platforms and importantly, we empower our people with autonomy and the licence to dream big and look as far afield as possible when building business solutions. AFG is ‘all-in’ cloud, embracing the latest technologies and platforms, pride ourselves in our innovation and make considerable effort to recognise and embrace staff-generated ideas.

Unique challenges

Being an industry leader means a lot of what we do has never been done before. Each new project presents its own challenges and we pride ourselves on a 30 strong team of developers and experts who excel at creating solutions for those challenges. We are looking for a new CIO to lead us in meeting these challenges and sharing the benefits of working in one of the country’s leading financial services providers.

On a daily basis our IT teams work with every aspect of the business; solving problems, planning improvements, educating and evolving the business to ensure AFG continues to lead the industry. The tools we develop drive our own business and also the businesses of our members.

AFG is committed to our culture

We provide an inclusive workplace where all are welcomed and recognised for their unique ability, regardless of gender, race, religion, disability, orientation or another identity attribute.

We offer the same benefits and inclusions to all staff including but not limited to;

    • Access to flexible working hours and arrangements
    • Celebration of diversity events to encourage awareness and understanding
    • Observing each individual’s choice of privacy and discretion with regard to any attribute of their identity
    • Partnerships with institutions which enable us to continue our pipeline of diverse talent for employment

If you would like to learn more about the role or the business, click here to visit the SEEK ad or email the HR team on amanda.divirgilio@afgonline.com.au.

AFG Appoints Chief Executive Officer

The Board of Australian Finance Group (ASX:AFG) is pleased to announce that Mr David Bailey, AFG’s current Interim CEO, has today been appointed as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer.

In announcing the appointment, AFG Chairman Tony Gill commented that following a review of the market it was clear that David, who has been acting in the CEO role on an interim basis, is the preferred candidate. “David’s skills and background are ideally suited to the role of AFG CEO.

“David has been with AFG for over 13 years and holds a wealth of experience from his roles as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, as well as Interim CEO of AFG,” said Mr Gill.

“Importantly, having worked closely with our former CEO Brett McKeon both prior to Brett stepping back and also since David’s appointment as Interim CEO, he is well known to AFG’s brokers, business partners and shareholders.

“David in his time with AFG, has had direct responsibility for its business development, strategy and finance operations as well as leading our AFG Home Loans business, including our securitisation programme.

“David has been very effective in the Interim CEO role and the Board looks forward to the ongoing growth of the company as David and the AFG executive team work together to maximise the opportunities for the business.

“I am delighted to have been affirmed in the role,” Mr Bailey said.

AFG is a great Australian success story. We have a fantastic culture, breadth of market reach, deep capability and a focused strategy that has driven our success.

“We are in an exciting and important phase of AFG’s development and I look forward to steering AFG further down the path of diversified growth whilst also ensuring the core broker proposition of choice, competition and strong consumer outcomes is maintained.”

Download Media Release: AFG Appoints Chief Executive Officer

Meet our South Australian team

The world of finance may have traditionally been thought of as a male-dominated industry, but that has clearly been changing in the past few years. A clear example of this is our South Australian team; a small team of three, and an all-female team.

An all-female team not by design, but a team that has come together so well and is kicking goals. We sat them down for a chat to find out what makes them tick and what makes them work so well together.

Meet Debbie Ettridge, Briony Miglis and Lauren Green.

How many people in your office?
There are three of us. We’re the smallest state office AFG has by far but we like to think we punch above our weight, we look after around 200 brokers helping them grow their businesses, now at a combined loan book size of $7 billion.

What do you like about working in an all-woman team, given the traditionally male-dominated industry that is/was finance?
We’ve worked together as a team for nearly three years; we’re all very similar in that we all have a strong desire to win, and we’re all very driven women in our own right. Our egos take second place every time and it’s evident in how we do business. It allows us all to thrive without exception.
We aim high; service is non-negotiable, but we do have down time and we do TAKE the time to celebrate the wins.

Are there any advantages or disadvantages you feel?
There are no downsides whatsoever, it’s not really something we think about, to be honest, it doesn’t even register with us when perhaps it would have 5-10 years ago. There are so many great women working at the helm of very prominent companies on a global level, and here at AFG, we don’t feel that ‘glass ceiling’ at all. If anything, we may have a slightly higher EQ factor, which may be a point of difference; we see this as another tool in our armoury in that we’re able to build really strong relationships at every turn. Our business is 100% relationship driven so that would definitely be one advantage that springs to mind.

Do you think this has helped fuel your brokers’ growth in any way?
Without question. Our team of three has increased our recruitment of new brokers and our existing brokers’ growth year on year since we began. We feel totally empowered to make our own decisions and get the job done the way we see fit, and this is reflective in our business results. One of the most thrilling elements has definitely been the recruitment and growth of young female brokers entering the industry and coming in under the AFG umbrella.

What would you say are the secrets of your success?
We’re all top-notch communicators. We read each other very well, and we have a really strong commitment to our brokers. Nothing is insurmountable and nothing is off the table. If one of our businesses needs our help, we give it. If it’s outside our skill set, we match them up with the perfect person who can help them.
Given we’re a smaller team we’re across all operations of our brokers’ businesses and we’re very connected to the challenges they face and the opportunities right in front of them.

We get it that we need to ‘park our egos’ to integrate effectively. As the saying goes in any team environment we are only as strong as the weakest link. We play to each other’s strengths and when we drop a catch we quickly pick up and keep moving.

We all have a spontaneous sense of humour and we always celebrate our wins with the celebratory glass of bubbles! We also value the support we receive from our life partners and include them regularly for our team catch-ups!

What is it about the mortgage broking game that you enjoy?
The finance industry is an ever-changing one; it’s dynamic, fast-paced and it’s all about finding finance solutions for customers to change their lives in one way, shape or form. Whether it’s funding a house, a business or a dream to travel, the end-game is one that we all get such satisfaction from. The industry has changed so much in recent times, particularly with the opportunities technology has enabled, the buzz factor is still very high on the Richter scale for all of us.

Chief Executive Officer Transition

Australian Finance Group (ASX: AFG) today announced that after more than 23 years with AFG, CEO and Managing Director Brett McKeon will step back from his full-time executive role. Mr McKeon will remain on the AFG board as an executive director with a focus on advocacy and support of AFG’s broker network and their customers

Mr McKeon was one of the co-founders of AFG in 1994 and has led the Company from its beginning through its national expansion and successful IPO in 2015.

AFG Chairman Tony Gill said that Mr McKeon has established himself as a leading player in the evolution of AFG into the strong business it is today. His impact has been significant and far-reaching.

“Brett will continue to be a leading spokesman for the industry and a strong advocate for the role that mortgage brokers play to promote choice and competition for mortgage customers in Australia.

Mr McKeon said it had been an honour to have led AFG over the past 23 years, from its establishment through to its position today as one of Australia’s largest mortgage broking groups.

“The decision has not been easy but I feel now is the appropriate time for me to step back from my full-time executive role at AFG.  I am immensely proud of the achievements of AFG, our people and our brokers. AFG’s guiding principles of fairness, shared prosperity and the provision of choice for Australian consumers has been central to our success.

“The role the mortgage broking channel plays has never been more crucial in ensuring true competition in the Australian lending landscape and I believe the business, as evidenced by the release of our half-year results, is well placed to grow even stronger. I have no intention to dispose of any shares, I remain committed to our team and the brokers who have served us so well over the years, and I know the management team have never been better placed to take the business forward.

The AFG Board has commenced a formal recruitment process assessing both internal and external candidates to determine the next CEO.

“We are in a fortunate position, where we have a strong internal candidate for the CEO position in AFG’s current Chief Operating Officer, (and former CFO) David Bailey who will act as interim CEO,” said Mr Gill.

“David has been with AFG for close to 13 years and is well known to AFG’s brokers, partners and shareholders. In his roles with AFG, David has had direct responsibility for its business development, strategy and finance operations as well as leading our AFG Home Loans business including our securitisation programme.

“Brett and the Board have every faith in David and the AFG executive team to successfully steer the company through this transition and continue to grow the business.”

Media Enquiries

David Bailey
CEO (Interim)
+61 8 9420 7888

Alison Clarke
AFG Head of Corporate Communications
+61 402 781 367

AFG appoints Keiran Evans as new General Manager Commercial

Further evidencing its push into the commercial broking market, AFG (ASX: AFG) today announced the expansion of its management team with the appointment of the well credentialed industry figure Keiran Evans to the newly created role of General Manager Commercial.

Mr Evans joins AFG from ANZ where he was most recently head of third party distribution, and in the past held numerous senior leadership roles in SME, commercial and corporate finance including the start up of their third party commercial broker channel.

The appointment is another important indicator that AFG is looking to grow the broker presence in the commercial market.

“The introduction of a GM Commercial role to AFG’s management team will further expand our capacity to focus on the growing commercial lending market,” said AFG Chief Operating Officer David Bailey.

“Working with AFG’s National Manager of Commercial Bob Whetton and National Sales Manager Leasing & Personal Loans Cristian Fedrigo, Keiran will enable AFG to expand its footprint in a market that is currently under-banked.”

Well known to the broker market, Mr Evans brings a wealth of experience and depth of understanding of the commercial lending market.

“The small to medium enterprise (SME) market is one that is growing as more business operators are recognizing the value a broker can deliver in facilitating better service and more choice to meet their individual needs,” said Mr Bailey.

“The recent introduction of the Australian-first technology platform Biz2Credit to AFG’s technology offering will help our brokers increase their penetration into the SME market.”

“Commercial lending for the banks is usually handled regionally and over time the regions have got bigger and the resourcing required to service those customers has not expanded with it.

“This is of course due to a number of factors including the financial reality of the time it takes to get to know an individual customer’s business and be able to see the opportunities.

“Keiran understands this market and we are excited to have someone of his calibre join the team,” said Mr Bailey. “He is the ideal person to head up AFG’s expansion in this growing market.”

“I am delighted to be joining AFG at a time when the company is increasing its reach into the commercial lending market,” said Mr Evans.

“The addition of Biz2Credit to AFG’s commercial lending suite is an exciting evolution for the company, its brokers and for Australian business operators looking for finance.

“The SME market is one that can struggle with access to finance, particularly in the sub $1million category. Multiple finance options are not something SME operators generally have on the table.”

“I am looking forward to working with AFG to harness this technology to help grow our broker’s footprint in the commercial market and in turn grow the greater AFG business.”

Mr Evans joins the company in early September.

Download Media Release: AFG appoints GM Commercial

AFG staff donate to support Yarloop community after fires

In a show of support, AFG held a fundraiser allowing staff to generously donate to those who suffered losses in this month’s Yarloop tragedy.

We were very proud to see many staff contributing their baking skills as well as the high level of donations.
AFG will generously match every dollar donated by staff.

You can find information on how you can donate and support Yarloop residents at The Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund website.

AFG appoints Chief Operating Officer

AFG (ASX: AFG) is expanding its management team with the appointment of its Chief Financial Officer David Bailey to the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer.  This appointment will assist in fast tracking some of the growth opportunities which AFG have been examining, whilst still retaining his skill set in the business.

Mr Bailey has been AFG’s CFO for over 11 years and in this time has gained an exceptional insight into the business operations of the Group.

“The introduction of a COO role to AFG’s management team will further expand our capacity and by moving David into this role we are able to utilise his depth of understanding of the business to focus on future opportunities for growth” said AFG Managing Director Brett McKeon.

“David was an integral part in the recent listing of the company and he will play an important role in the next exciting phase of AFG’s evolution.  Given his background, we recognise that it important for David to maintain a continued involvement in aspects of the business he already contributes to including investor and market relations.  David will also continue to take the lead role in our securitization business.”

“His ability to ensure a smooth transition into the business for a new CFO will be invaluable,” concluded Mr McKeon.

AFG will be conducting a nation-wide search to fill the role of Chief Financial Officer.

Download: AFG Media Release – COO appointment

AFG Celebrates 20 Years

AFG Twenty

Financial services company AFG marks a significant milestone this month as it celebrates 20 years in business.

Founding Directors Brett McKeon, Malcolm Watkins, Kevin Matthews and the late Bradley McGougan began the business in an office in the Perth suburb of Subiaco so small the photocopier needed to be wheeled in and out each day so that they could sit down at their desks. The company now boasts a national footprint, 2000 brokers, a loan book over $90 billion and a fully diversified financial services business.

AFG Director Brett McKeon outlined the company’s development: “For the past 20 years, our core driver has been the profitable growth of our brokers’ business which in turn has driven our growth. It’s a simple strategy that’s worked, we’re now the largest mortgage broking group in Australia and one of the country’s leading financial services companies.

Mr McKeon lists the diversification of the business as its key to longevity, “AFG is not an aggregator. Our industry leading mortgage broking business is one arm of a what is now a much larger financial services company which includes a successful and growing property business with $300 million of projects underway; we have a prosperous securitisation arm with over $1 billion of business; and we are a bond issuer with a full treasury division which has issued over $800 million in bonds to global markets in the past 12 months.

“AFG is also a property trust manager and we have plans to expand this thriving part of the business.

“Our broker business model was a first for Australia. Our hair may now be greyer than the suits we wore in the 90s, but our conviction remains the same – our success in business has come from our belief in the value proposition a broker can provide to their clients. And our future lies in helping our brokers to operate efficiently and profitably and to ensure they maximise the opportunities diversification can also bring to their businesses.

“And we continue to focus on helping our brokers’ growth by re-investing profits back into the business. We have invested $60 million alone into IT, developing the latest technology platforms and tools since we began.

Declining competition in the mortgage market is a topic Mr McKeon feels passionately about; “Australia’s population has grown by 25% since we began in 1994, but the number of lending partners has halved. We work hard to promote the importance of competition and commission structures and will continue to do so. Competition is key to a healthy lending market.

Today AFG members are lodging around $4B in mortgage finance each month, accounting for 11.4% of the Australian residential mortgage market. www.afgonline.com.au

“In 20 years a lot has changed,” said Mr McKeon. We’ve grown bigger, the world is a lot faster, but one thing has never changed – our focus is on profitable business growth and diversification; our brokers’ and our own.

Download: Media Release – 20 years young