It comes months after TMM revealed talks over a joint-venture agreement between the two groups. The companies have declined repeated requests for comment on the JV, but confirmed the agreement in a statement today.
The newly-announced joint venture will see Mortgage Express adopt Astute's integrated model and technology. The companies said the JV would "enhance" the Mortgage Express product offering.
Astute has significant influence in the Australian market, with more than 500 members. The group offers mortgage finance, insurance and wealth management services to Australian clients.
Astute's technology platform is said to be a key driver behind the JV deal. Key figures within the groups also believe a cross-Tasman partnership will help them cope with regulatory changes.
The JV will lead to a management restructure at Mortgage Express. Sarah Johnston will step down to become Astute Financial Management CEO, while David Gopperth will become Mortgage Express General Manager. Gopperth joined Mortgage Express in April this year, and has years of experience in the mortgage sector, having spent decades at Westpac, including a spell as head of third party distribution.
Johnston said: "The joint venture opens up opportunity for us to be able to deliver a diversified product range to members in New Zealand and also to their clients. It will be a truly game changing offering for our members. We look forward to getting to work now and helping our members to grow a full service financial services experience.”
Astute Director Brad Wood added: "‘Astute have been in the Australian market providing services to high quality financial services businesses for over 18 years. We have been investigating our options to enter the New Zealand market for over 5 years but have been waiting for the right partner to work with. We have found that right partner with Mortgage Express. We are really excited to be bringing this full-service financial model to New Zealand."