Austbrokers set to work more closely with partners

Acquisition

Austbrokers has signalled a move to work more closely with its broker partners in a bid to drive business growth.

Although CEO Mark Searles confirmed the equity group had at least $25 million on hand to spend on acquisitions in the coming year, a key pillar of their growth would be increasing revenue from their partners.

He told last week’s AGM that Austbrokers was set to move from being a passive shareholder to a more active role.

“The SME sector has been growing at about 3% to 4% per annum but our growth in that marketplace is about 6% to 7% a year, so we’re growing faster than the market, which is great,” Searles says.

“We know our market share is going up. My job now is to help catalyse that further.

“Where can we improve what we’re doing? Some of it is in that front office and in that ability to share information, insight, knowledge and way of doing things with our broker partners to help them improve their value proposition and become more competitive.

“Where the principal of a business needs support, we need to be more active.”

Searles also did not rule out moving some businesses together in a fashion similar to the hubbing strategy being trialled by Steadfast.

“We have no plans to follow a hub-and-spoke strategy but all the time we look at ways of being more efficient and effective,” he says.

“The more successful our partners are, the more successful we are and that’s the beauty of the model.”

Searles also confirmed an ongoing focus on growing the Austagencies side of the business, which grew 27% last financial year.