Publication Date: Sunday, 19 January 2020
This article originally appeared in Australian Financial Review
Global investment bank Goldman Sachs is the source of $250 million in backing for boutique non-bank residential lender Brighten Home Loans as it expands prime and near-prime lending.
Brighten, wholly owned by financial advisory and manager Real Asset Management, started in 2017 and says it is on track to hit its $2 billion loan book target.
Scott Wehl, chief executive of Real Asset Management, said Brighten is targeting the growing opportunities created as major lenders tighten their lending criteria in response to regulatory pressure.
Brighten’s latest funding tranche enables a shift in focus from offshore to the domestic residential market.
Last year it secured a $500 million facility believed to be from Credit Suisse, another major global financial group.
Brighten, which has 25 staff, distributes through a network of about 400 mortgage brokers. It is expected to make an announcement about a deal with an aggregator in coming months that will expand that network.
Mr Wehl said the lender hopes to compete on pricing and service as it continues building its product range.
Real Asset Management is also expected to complement targeting of the affluent mainland Chinese market and Asian diaspora seeking financial advice across different asset classes. It also has licensed operations in Australia and Hong Kong and includes a large number of senior staff who speak Cantonese and Mandarin.
The weak Australian dollar combined with political instability in Europe and unrest in Hong Kong has boosted demand for blue-chip residential property in Sydney and Melbourne from ex-pats looking for safe haven investments or planning to return to Australia, according to market analysts.
Brighten is also targeting non-residents of Australia or residents with non-Australian sourced income. It accepts applications from those living in Australia with visas and non-residents.
It is believed to be Goldman Sachs’ first warehouse facility, a line of credit to a loan originator used to pay for a mortgage that a borrower uses to buy a property, in Australia.
Adam Moore, Brighten head of securitisation and funding, said the company was in discussions with other potential funding partners.
Latest Australian government statistics show a strengthening residential market and growth of non-bank lenders.
“The major bank share of new lending has declined for the month,” said Steven Mickenbecker, finance expert for Canstar, which monitors rates and market trends. The latest numbers are for last November.
“It is the second-tier lenders and other authorised-deposit taking institutions that have picked up market share,” Mickenbecker said.
The majors’ loss of share has been most marked in the investment range, where perhaps relatively tighter credit standards have held them back.
Other small lenders are also targeting the sector with aggressive pricing, lower set up costs and other incentives.
Their ability to work with clients with such high customer service level and fast processing speed is incredible.
I have been working with my BDM, Mikai Ning, for two years. Since meeting her, she has continued to impress me with her professionalism, her efficiency, and her patience to listen and explaining all information. Even during pregnancy period, she even said to me personally that if there is anything I require, that Mikai is still contactable and will get back to me as soon as she can. Her attitude is always super nice and is highly passionate about what she does. I have been in this field for so many years and she is the best BDM I have worked with.
Great review for Mikai Ning. Not only is she highly passionate, but she is also very hard working and highly detail oriented in her work. No matter what time of the day, or day of week, she will always get back to us. We highly appreciate Mikai and Brighten for their hard work and ongoing support.
Brighten’s BDM, Liwen, has left a very impressive impression. Whether it is policy or product, she can solve and fix any problem, big or small, she is always reaching out and supporting us. From the beginning, It has been great to work with Brighten’s vastly experience team and great products. I always recommend Brighten to all my clients.
Mikai is a very passionate and proactive person. Our work with Mikai has is nothing but positive outcomes and we look forward to continuing working Brighten and Mikai.
My BDM Leo Liu has been a great help in assisting me setting up the referral program and educating in terms of products and knowledge. I look forward to the greater relationship with Brighten Home Loan and Leo Liu.
Mikai is our BDM and she is a very detail oriented with great work ethic and speed. If there is a policy update, she will always try and get in touch with us as soon as possible to ensure that we received and understand the relevant changes so that we can better accommodate our clients. Thank you for your ongoing support to us brokers.
It has been very convenient with the interest rates being lower also. Brighten home loan was able to solve so many problems for overseas clients. Big thanks to BDM Mikai for all her support.
I need to thank my BDM Liwen Liu. She has been very responsible since the beginning. She is always patient with my home loan scenario enquires. She always tries to do best for the clients. Liwen is very professional, always gives good advice to brokers. She is an excellent BDM. Thank you.