Matt Claffey – Team Member Profile

It’s not hard to see why Matt is an excellent fit at Australian Securities. His passion for what he does shines through his words. Matt gets a thrill from knowing that he has played a significant role in supporting individuals to achieve financial independence, which many of us pursue.

At Australian Securities, we pride ourselves on our values and our teamwork. We’re always looking for new team members who value this, just like Matt.

"Matt brings both experience and passion to his role as Head of Lending at Australian Securities Limited. Matt is a dedicated and effective team member who is highly motivated to achieve the right outcomes for clients to achieve financial independence. His hunger for success is infectious within the team."

Q&A with Matt

Q&A with Matt was both insightful and engaging. Here’s what he had to say.

Q. What is your role, and how long have you been at Australian Securities?

I’m the Head of Lending and was brought in to source, develop and expand the ASL finance division. Early on in my new role, I realised that my challenge was to grow awareness of the brand and build relationships with brokers so they would know that there is a viable alternative for their loan clients. November will be my 0ne-year anniversary.

Q. What do you like most about your role?

I love the challenge of complex structures and lending as it keeps my mind active. I’m motivated by success for my team and the wider business. I love the industry and building trusting relationships with brokers and borrowers. It’s fantastic to know that you have played a major role in supporting individuals to achieve their financial independence. I love the team I work with; Australian Securities has a great culture and is an enjoyable business to work with… everyone is both accountable and supportive.

Q. Name one of the most important lessons you’ve learnt throughout your career?

I believe in the mantra, “Don’t sweat the small stuff”. You have a sphere of things you can and can’t control in your life, and you get to choose whether you whinge about the things you have no control over or focus on what you can control. In other words, focus on what you can control. Getting caught up in the small stuff we cannot influence is easy. There is, however, so much within your control that you can impact positively, so focus on this. Control change rather than allowing it to control you. The change in focus can help you to avoid wasting your energy where you have no influence and instead use it to make positive changes – in life and work.

Q. Which Australian Securities value do you resonate with the most and why?

I resonate with all six values, but if I had to choose one, it would be HUNGRY. I am hungry; I love winning and seeing others win. I’m hungry to see our business succeed and grow. I’m hungry for sustainable success, to always do and be better for people – in business and life. When you are hungry for success, and you start to share that with your team and celebrate success when you achieve it, it can positively impact culture. It’s important to make the most of your time in the office; you spend so much time there.

Q. How do you like to spend your time when you aren’t working?

I love spending time with my family and my 15-year-old twins; they keep me on my toes. I enjoy going on holidays and am a tragic Brisbane Lions supporter. I enjoy playing competition tennis at my local club (well, truth be told, it’s challenging to keep up with the young ones, but I stick around because I enjoy playing, and even more, I developed great friendships through that).

Q. What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

I never actually planned to work in finance. I fell into it. Like most people, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and as both my dad and sister were in banking, I was encouraged to start there. Later on, I began to enjoy and love the work. However, thinking back now, I would have loved to be a Police profiler. I have a very analytical mind, love to problem solve and have always been fascinated with what makes people tick and what motivates each individual, whether good or bad.

Q. Do you have a favourite person, book, blog, or podcast that has influenced your life and career?

Without question, this would be my father. He has greatly influenced my life since I can remember in sports, career, family, personal and overall values. He always knew what to say, and he genuinely cared. He shaped me into the man and father I am today and taught me how to be a leader of people and in life.

If there were one piece of advice you would have to share with existing and prospective clients, what would it be?

I know it may seem quite basic, but I’d like to say that everyone should have a budget. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It’s a valuable tool for understanding where you spend your money and what you can afford. In today’s financial climate, where many are struggling, having a budget can help reduce overspending. While a budget won’t necessarily stop us from buying, it’s a great tool to tell us where our money should go. Take note of your budget, and don’t spend more than you have available. Make sure you hold yourself accountable.

Want to find out more about our loan division?

Call us on 1300 275 275 to talk to one of our Lending Managers. We prioritise direct communication and personalised support for our clients.

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Boosting your income with contributory mortgage schemes

When looking for better options to earn a decent income from your investments, you couldn’t be faulted for looking away from traditional banks and considering other alternatives, such as mortgage funds. But for the uninitiated, caution is advised as not all funds are created equal. Introducing a contributory mortgage income fund that is an Australian registered managed investment scheme that has stood the test of time.

Finding an improvement on bank’s dismal returns

Let’s face it: interest income from traditional banks is dismal, and the last 18 to 24 months have seen more volatility than we’ve had to face in quite some time. Because of this, many investors have been locked in investment funds, making it nearly impossible to withdraw their money.

Where, then, is it safe to invest?

We recommend looking at fixed-income contributory mortgage schemes as an excellent alternative to the low-interest Term Deposits and savings accounts on offer at most banks.

Why choose a fixed-income contributory mortgage scheme?

A contributory scheme is a non-pooled investment scheme in which the investor chooses a sub-scheme of a fund rather than having their investment pooled across all the fund’s sub-schemes. This ensures that individual Member returns cannot be impacted by other sub-schemes within the fund.

By choosing a fixed-income contributory mortgage scheme, investors can confidently look forward to knowing how much income they will regularly earn each month.

Because they are choosing a contributory (non-pooled) scheme, investors:

  • can choose where they want to invest their funds.
  • know where their money is invested.
  • are not subject to the same liquidity issues and risks as pooled funds.

Returns for fixed-income contributory schemes generally offer higher returns than traditional Term Deposits and bank savings whilst being secured by 1st mortgages. Returns can range from 4 – 10% depending on the fund, selected sub-scheme and risk level.

As with all investments, it is important to remember that higher returns usually mean higher risk. Make sure you know the loan-to-valuation ratio (LVR), and if it’s above 75%, make sure you know why and understand the high-risk level before investing.

Introducing the Australian Securities Income Fund

We encourage investors looking for a high-interest, short to medium-term investment option that has stood the test of time to consider the Australian Securities Income Fund. Compared to many other funds, the Income Fund comes out a cut above the rest, meeting the key benchmarks investors should include in their analysis of funds.

What Australian Securities does differently:

  1. We have in-depth experience in Funds Management with expertise in finance and investment in mortgage securities and property. With the origins of our business dating back to 1925 and across four generations of investors, Australian Securities is recognised as one of the country’s most established and reliable private financial service providers.
  2. Loans, and therefore investments, are 1st mortgages only, and loan-to-value ratios are capped at two-thirds of the property value. In other words, our maximum conservative Loan to Valuation Ratio (LVR) of 66% for all securities provides the investor with a healthy risk buffer in the event of a downturn in the property market.
  3. Our loan performance speaks for itself, with zero loans in arrears as of 30 September 2023.
  4. The Fund is audited bi-annually by independent external auditors.
  5. Australian Securities does not pay commissions or kickbacks. At the borrower’s request, Australian Securities may facilitate payment of introducer fees from settlement funds or periodic payments. However, due to the low management fees, Australian Securities does not pay commissions to introducers.
  6. We provide members an ‘assurance fund’ to ensure they still get paid interest if a borrower is late in payment.
  7. Australian Securities has the requisite net tangible assets to be a Responsible Entity and Self-Custodian and is permitted to hold certificates of title on behalf of sub-schemes. We do not use a third-party service.
  8. Australian Securities holds PI Cover of $5M.
  9. Some of our borrowers retire and invest their savings in the Australian Securities Income Fund

Remember to diversify

Advisors recommend that mortgage funds comprise only a small portion of your investment portfolio. You can speak to our team to review options for diversification

Have a question? Ready to invest?

Call us on 1300 275 275 to talk to one of our Investment Managers or Investment Executives. We prioritise direct communication and personalised support for our clients.

Remember to read the product disclosure statement and seek clarification from our team if any of your questions still need to be answered.

Is opportunity knocking for brokers?

Is opportunity knocking? Data released by the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) indicates a massive opportunity for brokers willing to diversify. While figures show that the broker share of written mortgages last year was sitting around 71% as more and more Australians turn to brokers for options, the industry itself is hugely competitive, with the number of brokers growing annually. On top of stiff competition, the industry is slowly feeling the impact of this year’s consecutive interest rate increases, which have put significant pressure on household budgets.

This is different within the commercial lending space – which saw growth despite the pressures of inflation. According to MFAA, only 31% of mortgage brokers offer commercial lending, and while the number of commercial brokers increased as well, their share of the commercial lending market, purported only to be around 38%, is an opportunity for growth.

Turning to non-bank/private loan firms

Rising interest rates are placing pressure on both residential and commercial borrowers as they struggle to service loans that may have strict covenants and review clauses. The major banks are not geared to provide the flexibility needed to support commercial lending in such challenging times. However, non-bank and private money lenders can offer the flexibility and support needed to enable commercial lending that works for all parties (even in a downturn).

While many non-bank lenders have seen the opportunity and are gearing up to offer commercial loans, one private financial firm stands a cut above the rest, already offering commercial lending opportunities built to support lenders in the toughest of times while still protecting their equity. Australian Securities, a private investment and lending firm, has several noteworthy benefits for its lenders and the brokers looking after them.

Australian Securities: Your Trusted Finance Partner

Australian Securities’s reputation precedes them. As successful commercial property investors, they intimately understand the intricacies of commercial real estate. A reliable finance partner like Australian Securities can provide you and your clients with a distinct advantage that others can’t match.

1. Rapid Response to Enquiries

In the fast-paced world of commercial lending, timing can make or break a deal. Australian Securities stands out by offering Conditional Approval within a mere 24 hours. This rapid response ensures that your clients can seize opportunities when they arise.

2. Collaborative Decision-Making

At Australian Securities, brokers work directly with Lending Managers, eliminating unnecessary layers in the approval process. This direct interaction allows you to workshop scenarios with the decision-makers, ensuring your clients get the best outcome. We excel in problem-solving and understanding the challenges businesses face.

3. Expertise in Complex Ownership Structures

Commercial and industrial properties often involve intricate ownership structures, including partnerships, joint ventures, and trusts. Our Lending Managers possess the expertise to customise financing solutions to suit your client’s unique circumstances.

4. Straightforward Product Offerings

We believe that complexity doesn’t necessarily equate to quality. They offer clear, easy-to-understand products that meet your clients’ needs.

5. Flexible Loan Repayment Options

Recognising that one size doesn’t fit all, Australian Securities provides a range of flexible loan repayment options. These include Interest-Only, Principal and Interest (with borrower-specified principal reduction), Right to Repay, Right to Partial Discharge, Repayments via Security Deposit, Interest Capitalization, and Fixed Interest Rate Reset. This flexibility empowers you to tailor loans to your client’s financial objectives.

6. Competitive and Transparent Fee Structure

We maintain a straightforward and competitive fee structure. They are transparent about costs from the outset, enabling you to provide clients with accurate, easily understood quotes within 24 hours.

7. No Clawbacks

Australian Securities’ commitment to brokers is unwavering. They pay upfront Brokerage at loan settlement without any clawbacks.

8. Trail Income

Australian Securities is among the few private lenders in Australia that offer trail income, ensuring brokers benefit from their long-term partnerships.

Now is the time to act

With commercial property interest rates starting from 7.4%, now is the time to connect with us to explore how we can assist you in capitalising on the promising commercial lending sector.

Whether you are looking for a tailored commercial loan, complex loan, or to SMSF loan, Australian Securities has you covered. Our Finance team will work closely with you to create a loan that meets your client’s needs.

Still not sure…

Call us on 1300 275 275 to talk to one of our Finance Managers or Lending Executives. We prioritise direct communication and personalised support for our clients.

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Private Lending

Say goodbye to the Banks. Say hello to Private Lending (and why you should consider it)

As we enter a period of uncertainty and the threat of an economic downturn, traditional lenders such as banks are tightening their purse strings and increasing requirements. In such times, private lending may be the perfect alternative for you. Read on to discover why private lending is a viable and advantageous option.

The ins and outs of private lending

With the threat of an economic downturn looming and skyrocketing property prices, traditional lenders have tightened their lending requirements and have reduced their appetite for commercial finance credit. As a result, many borrowers may need to find viable and safe lending options. There are safe, transparent, and viable lending options available.

What is private money lending?

Private money lending involves borrowing money from non-traditional lenders like individuals or companies. Private mortgage lending, on the other hand, refers to borrowing money for a mortgage from a private lending source. Private mortgage lending operates similarly to a traditional mortgage, with the borrower signing an agreement to repay the loan with interest within a specified time period, using the purchased property as collateral.

The benefits and risks of private lending vary depending on the chosen lender. However, with the right structures in place, private lending can be a safe and transparent option for your next project, home, or commercial endeavour.

Why consider private lending?

Unlike traditional lenders who have strict ‘one-box fits all’ lending parameters, private lenders have the freedom to set their loan requirements and checkpoints based on the solutions they are providing. Before selecting a private lender, it is essential to conduct due diligence to ensure their safety and transparency.

The benefits of private mortgage and commercial loans

Private lending for property or commercial projects offers greater flexibility and accessibility than traditional lenders. Some key benefits include:

  • Flexibility
    Private lenders can tailor loans to accommodate the unique credit histories or borrowers’ financial circumstances.
  • Speed
    Private lenders can offer faster approval processes than traditional lenders as they have streamlined processes and are less bound by the regulatory requirements of conventional lenders.
  • Greater accessibility
    Private lenders are often able to supply loans to individuals or organisations who do not meet the stringent requirements of traditional lenders. Making it possible, for example, for asset-rich individuals with limited cash flow to secure a loan.
  • Creative financing options and exit strategies
    Private lenders can offer personalised financing options such as interest-only loans, bridge loans, or flexible repayment schedules. They can also provide a range of flexible exit strategies based on the borrower’s needs and unique circumstances.
  • Personalised service
    Private lenders, often smaller institutions, can offer their clients next-level personalised service and support, including a more hands-on approach to the mortgage process.
  • Diverse loan and investment opportunities
    Private lenders often create diverse loan and investment opportunities that are otherwise unavailable through traditional channels, including offering loans for unconventional or specialised projects and attractive, diverse portfolios for investors.

A comparison: Private lending vs traditional lending

 Private lendersTraditional lenders
Lending requirementsSet their own lending criteria, making loans accessible to people who otherwise would not qualify for a loan.Regulatory bodies and a low-risk appetite set strict requirements.
Creative loan optionsCan tailor loans to personal or commercial circumstances requiring more flexibility or options than traditional loans offer.Loans are very structured and may have strict covenants making it harder for some individuals or companies to get a loan.
Terms and conditionsFlexible terms can be negotiated to meet individual or commercial needs and circumstances.Inflexible and highly structured payment terms make it far easier to default.
Payment termsCan offer a greater variety of payment terms, including shorter terms than traditional loansStandardised payment terms depending on the type of loan.

Why choose Australian Securities?

Australian Securities offers you a safe and low-risk private lending environment.

With its origins dating back to 1925, Australian Securities is a private, licensed mortgage securities lender and investment firm. Our dedication to effective oversight helps Australians achieve their financial independence, even in tough times.

When you apply for finance with us, whether it’s for a commercial endeavour or a residential property, you can rest assured you are working with a trusted and experienced player in the private lending market. We specialise in creating loans tailored to your unique circumstances and needs.

  • Trusted and Experienced: With Australian Securities, you work with a trusted and experienced player in the private lending market. We specialise in creating tailored loans that suit your unique circumstances and needs.
  • Competitive Interest Terms: We offer competitive interest rates, including fixed-rate options for 1 to 3 years with pre-approved client rollovers.
  • Flexible Payment Terms: Our borrowers enjoy flexible payment options, including the choice to repay the entire loan or reduce the principal within 30 days of providing notice.
  • Transparency: We believe in transparency, ensuring there are no hidden provisos, fees, or charges.
  • No Loan Recalls or Business Interruptions: Our loans have no loan recalls, restrictive business covenants, or interruptions.
  • Certainty in Loan Applications: We won’t progress a loan application if we’re certain we cannot get it done, and we won’t change your loan requirements mid-term.

Say goodbye to banks

Whether you are looking for a tailored mortgage loan, complex loan, or to refinance your clients, Australian Securities has you covered. Our Finance team will work closely with you to create a loan that meets your needs.

Still not sure…

Call us on 1300 275 275 to talk to one of our Finance Managers or Lending Executives. We prioritise direct communication and personalised support for our clients.

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