Global Finance branches out to South Auckland communities

Venkat Raman

One of New Zealand’s largest mortgage and insurance brokerage firms has just opened its office in Manukau to cater to the fast-growing South Auckland communities.

Global Finance, which is expected to have generated mortgage loans and insurance premia valued at over $1.1 billion as at the end of March 2019, held a simple inaugural ceremony on Wednesday, March 8, 2019 at 28E Lambie Drive and named Himank Agarwal as its Branch Manager.

Among those present at the event were Global Finance Chairman & Managing Director Ajay Kumar, Member of the Advisory Board Mike Skilling and Strategy and Management Consultant Darrin Franks and a few well-wishers.

Manukau represents the third branch for the Company which recently celebrated its 20th Anniversary, with the first branch opened in Henderson, West Auckland last year.

Natural growth and extension

While expansion of network of offices came as natural growth, Mr Kumar has somewhat been reluctant to increase the physical presence of Global Finance for fear of ‘losing that personal touch’ with customers.

“But it was they (customers) who instructed us to get closer to their homes,” Mr Kumar said.

“Since the establishment of Global Finance in March 1999, the voice of customers has always been the predominant force in our operations. Over the past few years, in deference to the wishes of residents in the greater West Auckland area, we established a branch in Henderson  in 2018. That marked the first office of Global Finance outside Airport Oaks since June 2006. Convenience and views of customers are of paramount importance to us at all times,” he said.

About Manukau Office

Increasing traffic congestion, pressure of work and family commitments are among the factors that drove customers in the South and East Auckland catchment area to ‘demand’ a branch in Manukau. Global Finance acquired the property at 28E Lambie Drive but it took more than two years to make the move.

“At Global Finance, we prefer to own, not rent properties. We purchase and equip them on cash payment (ironically, this Company does not believe in mortgage loans) but in the case of Manukau, we had to wait until we had the right staff,” he said.

With an office space of 140 Sq Metres, the current Manukau facility could become insufficient over the coming years but Mr Kumar would then have the option of taking over the ground floor space of 200 Sq Meters currently on lease.

“Our Henderson Office (managed by Ravi Kacharia), which occupies 130 Sq Meters of space is sufficient for existing operations but may necessitate additional area in the future. We are constantly striving to improve our services and facilities,” Mr Kumar said.

Network expansion can become addictive, especially in the case of companies such as Global Finance, which experience substantial growth- in this case, about 20% every year.

With a client-base that accounts for more than 6000, it would be no surprise if the Company seeks further geographic expansion, initially to cover the growing population and demand for mortgage and insurance services in greater Auckland region and eventually to other parts of New Zealand.

Unique Loan Liquidation Formula

“Our unique formula of making our customers mortgage-free sooner than what they think would be possible, has seen many of them look for investment properties. In addition, we have seen the next generation growing and seeking our services. Growth and expansion are therefore constant, and I now believe that branch expansion would not only be inevitable but also be desirable because we want to be where our customers are located,” Mr Kumar said.

More Awards and Citations

Global Finance is perhaps the only company in New Zealand to have won more than 50 Awards given by Indian Newslink, ANZ, ASB, Westpac and BNZ over the past 20 years.

The latest in the lineage is the ‘Top Insurance Advisor of 2018’ Award presented to Mr Kumar by the country’s largest Insurer, AIA New Zealand at a ceremony held at Auckland War Memorial Museum on Friday, May 10, 2019.

The Company was also named winner of the ‘Platinum Business Award’ by ANZ, New Zealand’s biggest commercial bank.

“These Awards humble us but make us proud because we consider them as endorsement by our customers. It is a great honour to be recognised by two giants in the banking and insurance industry. They challenge and encourage us to increase our level of performance. While the opening of our branch in Manukau augurs well with these Awards, we are constantly aware of the increasing competition in an already overcrowded mortgage and insurance markets,” Mr Kumar said.

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