First Mortgage Trust acquired by private equity firm

by Ksenia Stepanova05 Feb 2019

First Mortgage Managers Ltd, management company of non-bank mortgage provider First Mortgage Trust, has announced its acquisition by CapitalGroup (FMT).

First Mortgage Trust is New Zealand’s largest non-bank first mortgage provider, and says the announcement comes with “a strong signal to investors and borrowers that no discernible changes will occur as a result of the sale.”

The lender was set up in Tauranga in 1996 to lend on first registered mortgages on residential, commercial and rural land and buildings, and currently has $770 million in funds under management. Chair of the Board Peter Washer says the Board has “fully endorsed” CapitalGroup’s ownership, and is “particularly heartened by its strong brand reputation, its core values, its access to the property market (particularly in Auckland), and its keen desire to see First Mortgage Trust continue unimpeded as a result of the change in ownership.”

“What this means is business as usual within the organisation, and no change for investors or borrowers,” Washer stated.

CEO Tony Knizett says that staff and management are fully onboard with the change of ownership, and see it as “the natural next step” in the growth of First Mortgage Trust.

“While this news does represent change at an ownership level of the management company, we are pleased that it remains business as usual with no change to office locations, and a continued unchanged lending policy for our valued clients,” Knizett said.

The transaction has been overseen by the Regulatory Supervisors and the Financial Markets Authority (FMA).

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