Cliff Carr joins from home appliances company Newell Brands, best-known for its Sunbeam kettles and toasters.
Carr was formerly general manager of sales and marketing at Newell Brands New Zealand, and says his experience in the customer-goods industry will be valuable as Southern Cross looks to grow its lending business and P2P offering over the next few years. Part of that effort will be raising awareness with consumers.
“I’ve had a strong interest in residential property lending for some time, and this business has core appeal with P2P investing and non-bank lending,” Carr said. “It’s a very sound business that has been around for a long time, and I’ll be working with some skilled directors who all have an appetite for growth,” Carr told TMM Online.
Carr replaces Luke Jackson, the former Southern Cross boss who switched over to non-bank lender Resimac earlier this year.
“It’s an appealing market as banks become stricter and open up opportunities for non-banks,” Carr added. “We want to grow the two parts of the business in parallel and believe there’s room for major growth.”
Carr said the company's immediate focus would be on improving back-office systems. He wants to grow the existing loan book in an “aggressive, but incremental way”, and will explore new product lines.
He said advisers would remain a key focus for the firm.
“We’re open and have money to lend, and we need to explore a way of engaging with them [advisers] better, and we will certainly look to do that. We have got some strong growth aspirations and will be looking to work with them to grow both our [respective] businesses.”