OSBORNE Park-based finance broker Connaught Capital has become Centrepoint Finance after linking up with the national commercial finance group of the same name.
The link with Centrepoint is designed to help Connaught expand its equipment finance business, which in recent years has been overshadowed by the growth of its mortgage broking operations.
Rob Rooke, managing director of Centrepoint Finance WA, said the local office would manage the Western Australian activities of national clients, such as Volvo Finance.
He said equipment finance was a volume-driven business and the expansion would assist the local office in its dealings with banks and other financiers.
The group will have 17 staff in WA and Mr Rooke said there were plans for a further five to 10 extra staff over the coming year.
Centrepoint describes itself as Australia’s largest commercial finance broker, with 90 staff in nine offices across five States.
The link with Connaught fills a geographic gap in Centrepoint’s branch network and will enable the group to service the WA offices of its national clients.
Centrepoint also expects to benefit by tapping into Connaught’s experience in the mortgage origination business though CC Mortgages and Professionals Homeloans WA, a strategic alliance with the 42 Professionals real estate offices in WA.
“We will use the skills that we have developed in mortgages and export them across the group,” Mr Rooke said.
“That’s all about systems, processes and training.”
Rick Nelson, the chairman of Brisbane-based Centrepoint Finance, said the group was continually looking for new markets and companies, through acquisition or aggregation, to complement its current products and services.
He said finance broking, mortgage broking and insurance premium funding were the three core areas driving the profitability and growth of the company.
During the 2003-04 financial year Centrepoint expects to write more than $750 million of loans.
Mr Rooke said WA would account for about $200 million.