Mortgage Lab buys new trail book

People Group has sold its Mortgage People trail book to Mortgage Lab.

The deal was settled a few weeks ago with Mortgage People’s book and four advisers moving over to Mortgage Lab.  

In a note to clients, Mortgage People directors Simon Fisher and Katrina Church say they decided to close the mortgage business and focus solely on their insurance advice business. 

The company says the decision to sell was not made lightly and it is in the best interests of all parties involved to partner with Mortgage Lab.

Maurice Trapp Group and Mortgage Lab executive director Brendon Neal says the sale came through a 20 year-plus relationship between People Group and Maurice Trapp Group.

“We buy financial services assets and they knew we acquired Mortgage Lab in 2022.”

While Mortgage People is a long-standing established mortgage advice business, Fisher and Church became more focused on risk advice and felt their mortgage business had got to a point where a more scaled company with a bit more focus on home loans would be a better home for their advisers,” Neal says.

Mortgage Lab has not bought the shareholding of Mortgage People and says the size of the trail book is commercially sensitive, but it is not in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The advisory firm has a nationwide network of 30 advisers and says there will be no change to the nature of Mortgage People’s clients existing relationship with their mortgage adviser. The advisers are now simply operating under the Mortgage Lab licence.

While the mortgage market is perceived as being flat, Neal says a big misunderstanding about advisers is that even if interest rates are high and borrowing conditions are tight, there is still a lot of servicing of clients to be done. “There are a lot of mortgage refixes and communication that has to take place.”

While he doesn’t run the mortgage side of the company day-to-day, he says in terms of the volume of business Mortgage Lab does, activity levels never really dial off even if there is a soft period.

“Business dipped suddenly with the introduction of the CCCFA when many mortgage pre-approvals were pulled. Since then, business has been solid for us. We have six or seven outperforming advisers, who do most of the volume and several that are new to the industry, so we are slightly different in terms of how we see market economic indicators.

“There are a few pain points, but either way our mortgage advisers are busy and talking to clients all the time.”

Growing from a start-up in 2017 led by founder Rupert Gough, Mortgage Lab has grown through acquisitions to become a well-known publicly branded medium sized mortgage advice company and now sits within the Maurice Trapp Group as a separate business to its risk, life and health insurance firm.

Neal says Mortgage Lab doesn’t actively promote or look for other mortgage businesses to acquire but it is on a growth trajectory. “Most of the firms we have bought have come to us organically. We are an obvious home for the acquisition of renewable mortgage books – a small business for that purpose.”

He says advisers like the idea of a branded offer for licensing and CRM support and coaching and mentoring. “We are not looking to take on the big end of town. We are looking for people that are quite different in terms of the approach they want to take.”

Mortgage People says it has sincere gratitude for the trust and loyalty from its mortgage advice clients and it has been its privilege to serve them.

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