Published 25 July 2008
Rifleman Finance managing director Murray Greer left the Jamie Peters-created group last Friday, and the 2 executives he took with him from ANZ Bank’s property finance division to set it up 2 years ago, Clint Webber & Alain Hoodless, will start running HBOS’ new New Zealand unit on 1 September.
Mr Greer said last night he’d gone fishing – literally, after putting negotiations in place earlier in the week for some consultancy. At 62, he said, “I’m not about to retire.”
Mr Webber said he & Mr Hoodless would leave Rifleman Ltd on 15 August and start at HBOS’s Capital Finance NZ Ltd a fortnight later.
They will leave Rifleman in the hands of Roger Coulson, chief executive of Mr Peters’ Starline Properties Ltd. Mr Webber said his departure had been delayed because of work on 2 big loans, in particular, and the business wasn’t closing down: “They’ve still got a very experienced lending team.”
I joked with Mr Greer about going fishing and he responded: “Actually I’m about to work on my fly fishing skills – I’m down at Turangi at the moment.” But before getting there he’d put the start of his consultancy in place.
At Rifleman, he said, “we stopped raising money from debentures some time ago and decided to repay them. The last one was paid out 3 weeks ago. They’ve got a couple of big loans and they’ve got staff there to manage those. The loans are fully funded out to completion.
“All the funding at Rifleman was through conduits – the company was in a unique position. It had no balance sheet risk. That’s a model which in the future I think will become quite popular. You can’t rely on public money any more.
“So Rifleman’s alive & well, but the reality is there’s nothing to do. We’re happy, I’m happy, we’re moving on and there’s no animosity between any of us.”
The Capital Finance NZ setup coincides with HBOS Australia’s decision to support the resumption of ownership of Strategic Finance Ltd by its former shareholders plus chief executive Kerry Finnigan. HBOS will go in with a low initial shareholding, rising to 49%.
And both of those events coincide with suggestions that HBOS’ Australian & New Zealand business is on the market. Mr Webber wouldn’t comment on either of those positions until he leaves Rifleman.
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Attribution: Phone interviews, story written by Bob Dey for this website.