Morgan Stanley acquires Advantage

Ramesh Sharma

June 1, 2004

Advantage will retain brand identity and existing lender relationships and continue to be an aggregator and branded mortgage arranger for its current panel of lenders. Management will be unchanged with Advantage maintaining ‘business as usual’.

Keith Dearling, founding partner of Advantage, said the move would significantly bolster Advantage’s existing position in the non-conforming market. “Morgan Stanley has a lot more capital behind it which means Advantage can invest more money in information technology and service offerings for our brokers,” he said.

Advantage also plans to add a range of specialist mortgage products funded by Morgan Stanley alongside its existing range. Dearling added: “Details and launch dates have yet to be decided but the range will be competitive.”

Dearling said the move had been positively received by Advantage’s lender, network and broker partners. “We are delighted to be joining forces with Morgan Stanley. We are proud of what the team at Advantage has achieved over the last 15 years and feel this acquisition will enable us to build on this success,” he concluded.

Ellen Brunsberg, a managing director at Morgan Stanley, said: “Advantage has an excellent reputation and robust business model. We feel there is strong potential in the UK non-conforming market. Acquiring Advantage gives us the opportunity to work with a well-established distribution platform and provides us with a strong foothold in the market.”

Jonathan Cornell, technical director at Hamptons International Mortgages, said: “Morgan Stanley has looked at Advantage and seen it is making good money and has the potential to make more. It will remain in the non-conforming arena as there is a lot of profit potential in this market as opposed to the overcrowded prime sector.”.

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