Hamilton based non-bank lender Omega Capital has promoted one of its most experienced property finance bankers, Noni Martin, to the role of General Manager as it experiences unprecedented growth.
Martin steps into the new position, taking over from Omega founder, Scott Massey, who will remain as Managing Director of associated company Alpha First Mortgage Investments.
Omega Capital is one of the largest regionally based companies in the commercial mortgage broking industry. The business has experienced significant growth over the last 12 months, as access to finance for property developers across New Zealand has tightened following changes to lending rules at mainstream banks.
Omega’s business has grown by 25 percent over the past 12 months.
Martin says her appointment recognises the company’s growth and will allow more of a strategic focus for Omega, which is recognised for its expertise in delivering finance and equity solutions for commercial, rural, and residential developer and builder clients.
“We have seen a huge growth in non-bank lending in the current environment where lending by mainstream banks has tightened. It’s opened the floodgates to a lot of lending from our industry, particularly in property development,” says Martin. Martin was a partner in BNZ’s Property Finance division, managing a $650 million plus portfolio encompassing several prolific development groups, before she joined Omega in June last year.
She says many of her contacts at mainstream banks were becoming fatigued with the tighter restrictions around lending.
“I still have a lot of long-time friends and colleagues in banking. It’s a very tight community and the overwhelming feedback is that it’s a real chore being in mainstream lending at the moment,” says Martin.
She says as regulating authorities continued to shape the way retail banks considered property finance, employees in the sector were left feeling they were adding little value for their clients.
“Retail banking is not what it used to be. It’s really hard to get a deal done at the bank currently. There is a lot of fatigue in the retail industry because the decisions are mostly out of the hands of those dealing day to day with clients.”
In a competitive job market where their skills could be well used, some were choosing to find new roles or leave the industry altogether, Martin says. During her career, Martin has continually outperformed annual growth targets as a portfolio manager and is skilled in identifying key risks and structuring property investment and development projects.
“You don’t typically find brokers with good property knowledge and the know-how to structure property development projects. Brokers are traditionally finance people, but we have that property knowledge at Omega,” says Martin.
Omega founder Scott Massey says Omega’s customers will benefit from the experience Martin brings to her new role.
“Our borrowers continue to reap the benefits of Noni’s experience in property finance, and her appointment as General Manager will see Omega Capital continue to grow its service offering.”
Omega Capital Corporation facilitates property loans between $400,000 and $20 million and assists many borrowers to secure funding for their developments and building projects nationwide.