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REA Group adds CTO as it gains new mortgage ground

By Grace Ormsby
18 June 2021 | 1 minute read
Chris Venter

It’s been a big week for the digital giant: gaining a new CTO, confirming its Mortgage Choice takeover, and adding interests in other digital financing solutions.

REA Group has revealed it has added the former general manager of Australia Business Transformation Technology at ANZ to its ranks as the new chief technology officer.

Chris Venter will be responsible for leading the group’s technology strategy, according to a LinkedIn post.

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The chief technology officer revealed he was “excited to join an organisation I’ve admired for many years”.

“I’ve always been impressed with REA’s ability to maintain a consistent position at the forefront of innovation. I’m particularly looking forward to working with some of the brightest minds in the industry to continue to leverage the right technology to bring the best experience to REA’s customers and consumers,” he said.

The news of the new appointment came just prior to the revelation that the Supreme Court of New South Wales had approved the scheme of arrangement between Mortgage Choice and its shareholders, in relation to the proposed acquisition of the brokerage by REA Financial Services Holding Co Pty Ltd.

This clears the way for Mortgage Choice to become wholly owned by the REA subsidiary, after shareholders approved of the acquisition at a meeting earlier this month. 

A copy of the court’s orders are set to be lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) today (Friday, 18 June), after which the scheme will become legally effective.

Elsewhere, REA Group also revealed its acquisition of a 34 per cent interest in software company Simpology earlier this week.

Simpology is an Australian provider of mortgage application and e-lodgement solutions for the broking and lending industries.

As part of the new agreement, REA Group will take two seats on Simpology’s board.

According to REA Group CEO Owen Wilson, this latest investment “reinforces our commitment to delivering the best end-to-end mortgage application solutions for consumers, our brokers and their clients, founded on choice and simplicity”.

He said the partnership “will provide a step-change in the loan selection and digital application experience REA can deliver the 12 million Australians who visit realestate.com.au each month”.

Mr Owen added that “Simpology’s suite of digital products will deliver productivity improvements to our brokers through higher-quality loan submissions, resulting in less rework, faster loan approval times and streamlined business operations so they can spend more time with their clients”.

Simpology executive chairman Dave Jacobson has weighed in on the deal, noting the investment as “a significant strategic milestone for Simpology”. 

“We look forward to working with the team at REA as their technology enabler to help bring to life their vision of building Australia’s leading financial services marketplace,” Mr Jacobson said.

The company’s CEO and founder, Kate Gubbins, also expressed delight at the interest from REA Group, commenting: “Our team at Simpology has been working hard on innovative new solutions and the investment timing is perfect to bolster our commitment to delivering efficiencies to our partners across the industry.”

REA Group adds CTO as it gains new mortgage ground
Chris Venter reb
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