Wefund: New Opportunities in New Zealand
Typically, when Australian businesses seek to expand offshore, the first country they look to is New Zealand. New Zealand is geographically close and culturally, legally and economically similar to Australia. Logically, it is an ideal place for Australian businesses to find scale and capitalise on opportunities before they look further afield to Asia, America and the Eurozone.
This was certainly our experience at Wefund and in early 2021, we set up our Auckland office headed by the inimitable Tammy Crause. Following this, at the beginning of 2022, we established an office in Christchurch led by Associate Director, Sacha Doyle, and we are now laying the foundations of a new office in Tauranga, which will be established by Senior Analyst, Colin Leader. With these broad touchpoints, we are perfectly placed to capture the whole New Zealand market.
Wefund has been in the timely position to assist New Zealand property developers and entrepreneurs to access funding not just from New Zealand based funders, but also from offshore sources. Capital is like business, it’s always in search of new opportunities and attractive, risk-adjusted returns. Like many Australian businesses in search of new markets, Australian Lenders are now also looking to New Zealand for deployment opportunities. At Wefund New Zealand, we have found ourselves in a fortunate position to be at the forefront of foreign capital seeking local opportunities.
We understand that, like the rest of the world, times are now tougher in New Zealand, with multi-decade high inflation, increasing interest rates and a cooling property market. We know that liquidity and capital are in short supply in New Zealand and that onshore financiers and banks have tapered their lending appetite. Inevitably, some local property developers and borrowers are starting to feel the pinch and are finding it harder to come by local sources of funding.
However, opportunities are on the horizon and thankfully, many Australian sources of money have stepped up and are looking to New Zealand to seek compelling funding opportunities.
Notable Australian non-bank lenders and investment firms have recently started recruitment drives in New Zealand and are setting up offices in Auckland and elsewhere – looking to lend in a very similar market to Australia’s. While distinguished lenders have had a New Zealand presence over the past few years, new Australian funders are beginning to set up shop. Name brand Australian lenders such as Pallas Capital have recently announced the establishment of new offices across the Tasman as well as startups such as Woodbridge Capital.
As a technology enabled, commercial finance intermediary, with troves of funding data, Wefund is uniquely positioned to observe both sides of property finance (funders and borrowers). We are confident that predominantly Australian, offshore capital has begun to arrive at New Zealand’s shores in droves. We believe that for New Zealand’s commercial finance borrowers, good times are ahead and we will be there to help our clients access and navigate Australian lenders in search of a new home.