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Business - Nov 2017

05 Nov 2017

Personalised services for all buyers

The Aulsebrook family has been operating its mortgage broking business, Morgan Brooks, since the 1980s and has recently relocated to Docklands.

Being in the centre of the banking and finance hub, Morgan Brooks stands out with its personalised service, in-depth industry knowledge, experience and community involvement.

“With many lenders adapting digital technology, many of our competitors have moved to online applications supported by offshore call centres. Although that method may hold appeal to tech savvy borrowers there’s no substitute for experience, personalised 24/7 service and knowing what lenders “appetites” are at any point in the lending cycle,” Ashleigh Aulsebrook said.

Morgan Brooks specialises in residential and commercial mortgage loans for clients who may find it challenging to get a loan due to existing exposure to other lenders or simply self-employed individuals with complex financial statements.

“We offer a free Loan Approval Insights Report setting out the 10 most common mistakes borrowers make when applying for a loan. It’s never quite as simple as just filling in the boxes and crossing your fingers. Today, lenders are adopting different rates of interest when stress testing your ability to service the loan you are applying for, not to mention other loans you may already have. Responsible lending is todays lending mantra,” Ms Aulsebrook said.

“For us, it’s about understanding our clients’ motivation and objectives and then matching their personal financial background with the lender that most closely meets or surpasses those goals. It’s not always the bank with the cheapest rate although having said that we have owner occupied rates as low as 3.68%.”

Morgan Brooks was established as a family business more than 30 years ago and 40 per cent of its shares were at one time owned by Australian Unity and it had 108 franchises across Australia.

Following the GFC and Australian Unity’s sale of its building society, the Aulsebrook family bought back the shares and rights from the shareholders and franchisees and Morgan Brooks went back to being a family business in 2005.

“We previously had offices on Collins St and Flinders Lane and moved to Brisbane. Coming back to Melbourne all these years later, we are aiming to gain a foothold in Docklands,” company founder and managing director Richard Aulsebrook said.

Mr Aulsebrook is a broker with a wealth of knowledge in non-bank lending, having worked in the United States for Citibank CA, San Bernardino S& L and Century Park Financial Corporation in the securitisation division.

Now three decades in business, Morgan Brooks has formed strong relationships and has built an impeccable track record with securing loans for first-home buyers and seasoned investors.

Its new location in Docklands also gives it the strategic advantage to reach out more to clients who prefer personalised service and more competitive rates from mortgage brokers than big banks.

“We have a wide range of loan products and having our own Australian Credit Licence means we can work with any lender. We have several “white label” loan products providing access to a variety of loans not otherwise available through the branch network, which is a big bonus of using a broker,” Ms Aulsebrook said.

Morgan Brooks provides free advice and information for anyone with questions about home and commercial loan.

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1800 801 999.


Even more expertise from lawyers

Many Docklanders will have become familiar with the tone and style of lawyers Tolhurst Druce Emerson (TDE) – the city firm that adopted our suburb some years ago.

And no doubt, news of a merger with another similar-sized city law firm, Pearce Webster Dugdales, (PWD) has been cause for celebration at the newly merged firm.

The good news for clients is that the new firm is just a larger version of the old. Former TDE partner, Randall Bradshaw explained that PWD was chosen simply because it shared a similar culture.

“One of the reasons I thought a merger could work was the two firms were so compatible, with our people, expertise and our attitudes to practising law,” Mr Bradshaw said.

In the six months since the merger, Mr Bradshaw said clients had remained engaged and happy and that the people-focussed charm still remains.

“Clients are perfectly happy with the new arrangement because, it’s the same culture here,” he said.

In April TDE staff packed up their files from 520 Bourke St and moved into PWD’s offices at 379 Collins St.

PWD partner Glenn Harvey said that the merger had gone well and that the new firm has around 45 staff members.

“All things considered, it’s been remarkably harmonious,” he said.

Mr Harvey also said the merger worked because of shared values and principles.

He said, although nothing was left to chance, he felt he could have done the deal on a handshake.

There’s a quiet, understated strength and sense of empathy and expertise that defines the people at the new firm – now called Pearce Webster Dugdales.

“Like TDE, we’re about building generational relationships with individuals, families and businesses,” Mr Harvey said.

To assist its clients, the firm has expertise in wills, probate, estates and trusts, family law, commercial and business law, property law and litigation, mediation and alternative dispute resolution services.

Mr Harvey likened relationships with his firm to how people relate to their GP.

“We often see people at stages of their lives when they are vulnerable and under stress – particularly in relation to the work we undertake for our clients in family law and wills, probate, estates and trusts.”

“In these areas we assist individuals and families and we want to be their trusted advisers over the course of a lifetime. This means that we conduct the full range of work in these areas from day-to-day issues to solving highly complex legal problems,” he said.

Small business owners will also get particular value as clients of PWD.

“Often, small business owners undertake quite a number of property and contractual dealings. Once again, we have the expertise to assist with any level of business issue they may be facing. We can offer them the same level of expertise, but with a more personalised level of service, than on offer from many larger city law firms,” Mr Harvey said.

PWD is proud of the level of expertise available within the firm. For a mid-sized firm, a significant number of their lawyers are accredited specialists in their chosen field of expertise.

“For a lawyer to be an accredited specialist we have had to undertake post-graduate qualifications, conducted by the Law Institute of Victoria in our chosen area of expertise,” Mr Harvey said.

“This makes us amongst the most experienced and competent legal practitioners in our fields within Victoria,” Mr Harvey said.

Mr Harvey said it was equally important for him and his staff to feel that they were giving their clients value.

“You need to come to work and enjoy what you do. We all gain great satisfaction out of assisting our clients and solving their legal issues,” he said.

Underpinning all this is a personal approach – and PWD has been doing this for generations.

Founded in 1907 by Alfred Pearce, the firm is one of Melbourne’s oldest. In 1921, Pearce joined Clarence Webster and their sons and grandsons continued the tradition as Pearce and Webster until 1993 when the firm merged with Dugdale, Dimmick and Stevens to become Pearce Webster Dugdales.

Mr Harvey said the latest merger with Tolhurst Druce & Emmerson had resulted in an update to its logo and image.

As an indication of the seamlessness of the merger, Pearce Webster Dugdales has also adopted TDE’s logo style and corporate ethic of, “Working with individuals, families and business.”

This all bodes well for Docklanders who now have a bigger and better local legal firm to call their own.

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