Advantage rumoured to ditch lender partners

Ramesh Sharma

January 14, 2006

MI understands that one of the lenders had been told by Keith Dearling, founding partner and director of Advantage, that its plan is to ditch all its lender partners – including Kensington, SPML, Platform, Mortgages plc, GMAC-RFC and First National – and become a sole distributor for Morgan Stanley, which bought Advantage in December last year.

The source added there is a move by some of these lenders to drop Advantage before they are dropped by Morgan Stanley, a suggestion backed-up by Jeff Knight, director of marketing at GMAC-RFC.

He said: “We know two of the lenders are thinking of withdrawing from Advantage’s panel. We, however, will carry on with Advantage until things change.”

Peter Beaumont, director of sales and marketing at Mortgages plc, said it will constantly review its distribution, and added: “If we feel Advantage is going to drop us like a hot potato we will review our position with it accordingly.”

The source added: “The thought that Morgan Stanley has purchased Advantage as a packager is of course a nonsense and there is absolutely no way Morgan Stanley wants anything other than sole distribution of its own products, but in its’ own time.

“To think that Morgan Stanley would distribute products for GMAC-RFC, GE and Merrill Lynch is laughable,” he added.

Keith Dearling told MI: “Morgan Stanley bought us for distribution and to get a foothold in the UK lending market. It will be rolling out products through us and we will take it each day and each month as it comes.

“Our lenders have called us with their concerns and we will be nothing but honest with them. The Morgan Stanley products will sit with the other products on our panel and we will see how it goes and review things during the year.”

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