Australian Unity has formed a partnership with Merricks Capital to originate and manage a half a billion dollar portfolio of senior property loans including land subdivision, construction financing and bridging finance.
The announcement comes at a time of recent growth in the non-bank lending sector, as the major banks have reduced their exposure to property financing.
Roy Prasad, head of mortgages at Australian Unity, said that with more than $3.3 billion under management, Australian Unity was one of the largest and most experienced managers of property and mortgages in the country, and well positioned to meet the growing demand for development capital.
“There is a growing opportunity for Australian Unity to fund the infrastructure and housing projects our booming population needs”, he said.
Mr Prasad said that the $500m deal with Merricks Capital – a Melbourne based privately owned investment manager – was one of the largest in Australian Unity’s mortgage team’s long history.
“It’s a credit to our team, our lending framework and trusted brand”, he said.
“The deal with Merricks achieves one of our key objectives to source alternative capital partners to diversify the business and give us the scale to continue its growth”, Mr Prasad said.
Adam Lindell, head of structured credit at Merricks Capital, said the company had been a long-term provider of non-bank capital across a range of assets, including property, construction lending, land banking, agriculture, livestock and forestry.
“Since 2008 we’ve worked with well-established loan originators. Our relationship with Australian Unity is another example of Merricks’ approach to building trusted relationships that deliver for our investors”, he said.
Merricks Capital’s investor base includes US pension funds, global asset managers, high net worth European based family offices and HNW Australian Family Offices.