Steadfast acquires premium funding operations
Steadfast has acquired 100% of Macquarie Pacific Funding from Macquarie Bank, as it looks to take the business “to the next step”. The broker network already owned 50% of the operation, which will be rebranded from Wednesday as IQumulate Premium Funding. Macquarie Pacific Funding was formed in 2003 and offers more than $1.5 billion in premium funding loans each year to more than 60,000 clients. In October former Zurich CEO Raj Nanra was brought in to lead the business, after previous CEO Rachael Lavars decided to pursue other opportunities. Steadfast MD and CEO Robert Kelly says Macquarie Bank will continue to fund the rebranded operation. “Both parties have been happy with the business, but it needed one set of hands controlling it to get to the next step,” he told insuranceNEWS.com.au. “Eventually you get to a situation where you wonder who is best to take it forward, the bank or the distributor. This deal frees us up to look at the future. For the next iteration of this business we needed to have control.” Mr Nanra told insuranceNEWS.com.au the timing of the move is ideal. “Not just around the hardening market, but because there is a heightened focus on the customer,” he said. “We want to have conversations early in the renewal and help brokers to drive clients to make the right choices.” Mr Kelly says Steadfast brokers will be under no obligation to use IQumulate’s services. “Competition is in the DNA of this business,” he said. He declined to put a figure on the deal, but says Steadfast is not required to announce it on the Australian Securities Exchange. Steadfast says it intends to sell equity to IQumulate management following completion of the transaction.