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Kepa, The Advisers Institute, reveals new partner

[Advertorial] Leading New Zealand adviser group Kepa has announced a partnership with up-and-coming mortgage advice company Mortgage Lab.

Thursday, October 26th 2017, 9:25AM

CEO Jeff Page says Kepa is currently working with about 20 firms on joining its Partnership Program (both within and outside of Kepa), including Mortgage Lab, which aim to provide holistic financial advice services.

What does Jeff mean by “holistic”?

Jeff: “The advice business in New Zealand is unique. If you ask most advisers in New Zealand what they do, they will say just life insurance, and the next adviser down the road will say just mortgage advice or investment advice.”

However, Jeff says that in many other parts of the world, advice firms “ring-fence” their clients by offering a full range of services. 

“Financial advisers are like conductors: they meet clients, build relationships and then offer services such as insurance, wealth management, mortgages and accounting," Jeff says.

Jeff believes this holistic approach enables advisers to look after their clients’ needs and future-proof their businesses.

How does Kepa’s Partnership Program work?

All the businesses working with Kepa in the Partnership Program are in the financial advice industry. However, Jeff says they are all at different stages.

Jeff: “Some are new businesses, and some are very mature; some want to grow by buying books or other businesses, and some want to grow organically. The two things they most want is financial support and guidance.”

Kepa will offer to take an ownership stake in the businesses they work with if that is what the business wants to do.

“We don’t take a stake to control, manage or run the businesses. Our interest is to help with finance as well as advise on corporate governance and strategy,” says Jeff.

Jeff points out that some businesses don't need capital investment, so an ownership stake isn't necessarily the intended outcome.

“They might just want advice on systems and processes or to have us become a member of their Board,” he says. “Regardless, we have a partnership agreement where we can provide them something in return for participating.

Mortgage Lab

Mortgage Lab, which started in March this year, fits nicely with Kepa’s holistic business approach.

“We specialise in mortgages and link our advisers with complementary businesses,” says Mortgage Lab owner and Managing Director Rupert Gough. “For consumers, this means easy access to a range of related services, though they are under no obligation to use all the services on offer.”

Mortgage Lab currently has six advisers, two in Wellington and four in Auckland. Rupert’s goal is to have 20 advisers throughout New Zealand by the end of next year.

“To achieve this requires capital, which is why I started talking to Jeff,” he says.  "I can't stress enough how easy it was to form a partnership with Kepa.  Potentially, there could have been some problems, like having to give away too big a stake in the business or losing control. I never felt that I was ‘nailed to the wall' through the process."

Thanks to Kepa's investment, Rupert says his business has changed gears, and he is now looking to partner with complementary businesses that want a fully trained and compliant in-house mortgage adviser.

"Being a Mortgage Lab adviser means you don't have to worry about marketing and how you will meet and maintain compliance standards because we take care of those things through providing initial comprehensive and ongoing training," says Rupert. 

Jeff: “If you are a company, like Mortgage Lab, you know how to run your business, but you might be looking for help and advice around compliance and strategy. It can also be pretty lonely out there having to rely on your own team. We at Kepa understand the industry, and the Partnership Program can provide businesses with the necessary capital to grow as well as help with managing ongoing regulatory changes.

The financial advice industry is going through challenging and exciting times, and Kepa is looking forward to working with Mortgage Lab and other advice companies to build strong, profitable businesses.


JEFF PAGE, Chief Executive Officer

P 09 915 6467 E 

Postal address PO Box 33764, Takapuna, Auckland 0741, New Zealand

Tags: compliance financial advisers Jeff Page Kepa Mortgage Advisers mortgages regulation

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