Squirrel on major growth track with dual merger & partnership announcements

Lifestyle and Technology Written by Squirrel, Jul 21 2022

Today, we're stoked to be announcing the merger of our advisory business with iconic Wellington-based mortgage brokerage, The Home Loan Shop, under the Squirrel brand.

And simultaneously positioning the business for further growth is our newly minted partnership with innovative financial strategy and coaching business enable.me.

Squirrel CEO, David Cunningham, says the deals represent a significant opportunity and a targeted expansion of the business’ nationwide footprint.

“Merging with The Home Loan Shop marks a coming together of two like-minded businesses, with a lot of shared values.

Greg and his team have built an incredible brand in Wellington over the last 20-plus years, and there’s no better bunch for Squirrel to partner with on our mission of building an iconic New Zealand mortgage company,” says Cunningham.

The Home Loan Shop founder, Greg Scott, says, “For both organisations, it just felt like the time was right to do something bigger, better and a little different. We see it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a real mark on New Zealand’s mortgage landscape.

“Looking ahead, a key priority will be building on the world-class technologies and systems that already exist across both businesses – innovating to set ourselves further apart as an industry leader and deliver more benefit to our clients,” says Scott.

Squirrel founder, John Bolton, says “Some might question the choice to go through with a merger at a time when the housing market is undeniably slow. The reality is, this is the perfect time with borrowers increasingly gravitating towards  personal financial advice.

Squirrel and The Home Loan Shop will continue to operate as separate entities until mid-2023, with the immediate focus on integrating systems to tap into the best of both worlds.

Ultimately, the merger will see Squirrel grow to a team of more than 100, originating upwards of $2.5 billion in mortgages per year, and representing over 6% of the New Zealand mortgage broker market.

Squirrel is also proud to have forged the new partnership with enable.me, working with founder Hannah McQueen and enable.me’s team of financial coaches around the country to provide their customers with tailored mortgage solutions.

Of the arrangement, McQueen says, “Squirrel’s expertise in the mortgage space is a perfect complement to our team’s skill-set. It’s a case of best-in-class partnering with best-in-class to deliver a standard of service that we couldn’t do alone, by tapping into what each company does really well.”

The dual announcement comes just as Cunningham has stepped into the CEO role at Squirrel, set to lead the organisation as it accelerates its plans for growth.                        

“These transactions mark the next milestone in Squirrel’s mission to build an iconic New Zealand mortgage company – and one that doesn’t accept the status quo. As we expand, our focus is on providing a one-stop shop for New Zealand home owners and buyers whose needs aren’t always being met by traditional lenders. And there’s plenty more to come on that front,” says Cunningham.

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