17 August 2005
Australia's leading investment bank will expand to Newcastle when it officially opens an office in the Honeysuckle precinct in August.
Macquarie head of Banking Division, Executive Director, Greg Loveday, said the business had experienced double-digit growth in Newcastle in recent years, and a local office was needed to support one of its fastest growing client bases.
"Newcastle is successfully shifting from an industrial centre to a thriving cosmopolitan city. The economy is booming and this is generating increased demand for financial services amongst businesses and professionals," Mr Loveday said.
"Our client base has grown rapidly during this period and increasingly demands strategic and specialised banking services to finance business growth.
"With so many successful clients in the region it is essential we have a local office to provide them with the pro-active support and the high service levels synonymous with Macquarie Bank."
Mr Loveday said he was confident Newcastle's growing economy would see Macquarie's Newcastle business double in size in the next two years and create exciting financial sector jobs for the region.
The Newcastle office will allow business people in the Hunter region to conveniently access Macquarie's banking experts for their business and property finance needs. Macquarie assists professional service businesses (eg real estate; strata management, financial planning and insurance broking) finance business growth, working capital and succession planning.
It is also the gateway to other Macquarie services including leasing, strategic financial planning as well as property development and finance.
The move has been welcomed by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle and local clients.
"I am pleased to welcome Macquarie Bank to the Newcastle and Hunter region," Councillor John S Tate, Lord Mayor of Newcastle, said.
"Macquarie's entry into the business community is evidence Newcastle is a modern city with a growing economy. Macquarie will meet the demand for financial services generated by growing business sectors, like professional and business services.
"The second reason why Macquarie Bank's entry into Newcastle is significant in that Macquarie Bank will bring more financial sector jobs to Newcastle. This is important because we know that the financial services sector is under-represented in Newcastle, relative to NSW as a whole. Macquarie Bank will start to fill this gap. Macquarie's presence will also strengthen Newcastle's position as the commercial and financial capital of the Hunter Region.
"I am convinced Macquarie Bank can face the future confident in the knowledge that Newcastle and the Hunter Region is a good place to do business," he said.
Local clients also welcomed the move. "We are very pleased Macquarie has decided to establish an office in Newcastle, " said Sonia Walkom, director of Walkom Linehans, and a client since 1988.
"Having Macquarie staff based in Newcastle makes an excellent service even more accessible. They will also make it easier to access Macquarie's other specialist areas including property finance, research and investment opportunities."
Paul Murphy, from Murphy Real Estate, Maitland, added: "Newcastle is a wonderful city and the Hunter region is a strong growth centre for NSW with its abundance of natural resources and buoyant economy.
"For an institution like Macquarie Bank, which is so highly regarded, to decide that the local economy is worthy of investing its resources into is a real feather in the cap of Newcastle and gives it the economic recognition it deserves."
Newcastle clients such as the Walkoms are amongst Macquarie's longest-standing - as many signed on as clients shortly after the Bank opened its doors in 1985.
"These clients trusted us when the Bank was largely unknown and I'm proud to be able to repay that trust by opening a local office to provide innovative banking services at their doorstep," Mr Loveday said.
"This move is particularly pleasing for me as I brought on many of these clients when I was responsible for the Newcastle region and many of these people I regard as friends."
The Newcastle office will be spearheaded by Novocastrian Steve Smith, previously with NAB. Plans for expansion are already underway with the Bank actively searching for talented local business bankers to boost team ranks.
The office will be launched by Councillor John S Tate, Lord Mayor of Newcastle, and Macquarie Bank Executive Director, Greg Loveday, on 17 August.
Macquarie already has strong links with the region. Recent projects include The Vintage, a Medallist development at Rothsbury. Medallist is a joint venture between Macquarie Bank and Greg Norman's Great White Shark Enterprises. Macquarie Leisure Group owns d'Albora Marinas at Nelson Bay and the Bank's wholly owned subsidiary, Urban Pacific Ltd, has recently been appointed by Landcom as preferred tenderer for the joint development of the $300 million Blue Gum Vista Estate in Fletcher.
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