ALIC Managing Director Damian Brander on ethical lending, the challenges of a shifting financial landscape, and building Lolli – a broker enhancement platform built by brokers, for brokers

Since 2009 the Australian Lending & Investment Centre (ALIC) has been matching Australians with loans that help build their wealth. It has delivered over $8.3bn in loans to more than 22,000 leading Australian investors and businesses. Managing Director Damian Brander talks ethical lending, the challenges of a shifting financial landscape, and building Fintech solution Lolli – a broker enhancement platform built by brokers, for brokers.

Building a national Australian brand

“With 70% of mortgage origination written via a broker, there are only two nationally dominant consumer brands in this space,” explains Brander. “These two control 15% of the market between them. There is a major gap for other independent brands to emerge. We see a tremendous opportunity to step into that space and create a national brand,” he enthuses.

Meeting challenges across the lending landscape

“Since the Banking Royal Commission in 2019, the level of regulation in the financial industry – particularly with regard to mortgage lending – has tripled or even quadrupled,” Brander notes. “Prior to the Royal Commission, mortgage brokering was much simpler, and the market operated with much less administration. Today more time is spent investigating the client’s position, more validation and due diligence.”

Brander highlights the Fintech revolution is thriving in Australia. However, the state of digital tools available is yet to catch up with these new pain points.

“A lot of tools are built to solve a specific problem. They might do that very well, but their scope means that they’re very limited in terms of their potential utility for a broker,” he says. “That’s where Lolli comes in.”

Lolli: A broker enhancement tool built by brokers for brokers

Lolli was developed as an in-house tool to create a more seamless integration between front and back office. By doing so, the platform helps brokers manage complexity while remaining compliant. It places the expertise of veteran brokers into the hands of less experienced team members.

“Lolli is unique because it was built by brokers for brokers,” says Brander, also the CEO of Lolli. “We’ve taken all the intellectual property, all the capability we’ve developed over the years and placed it in the hands of our newer team members via Lolli. The process involved endless hours working with our brokers. They have communicated to our developers what was required in order to build a tool to support them. Over the past two years, ALIC has faced its share of pain points. In order to solve those pain points, our brokers and operational team have worked in conjunction with one of Australia’s leading technology companies to develop Lolli.”

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