Macquarie Bank takes stake in Virgin Money

08 November 2005

Virgin Group and Macquarie Bank today announced a joint venture that will accelerate Virgin Money Australia’s plans to become a large-scale provider of retail financial services.

Macquarie Bank has taken a 10 per cent equity interest in Virgin Money Australia and will also provide funding to develop and market new financial products. Macquarie Bank will also have representation on the Virgin Money Australia Board. The Bank has the opportunity to increase its interest in Virgin Money Australia should the initial investment prove successful.

Rohan Gamble, CEO of Virgin Money Australia, said, “We are thrilled to announce Macquarie Bank’s investment in our business and vision. Macquarie Bank’s product manufacturing and back office capabilities are an excellent strategic fit with Virgin Money’s expertise in product development, marketing and customer care.”

“This partnership gives us the opportunity to quickly create a broad-based financial services brand with a fresh approach to product development and marketing and a focus on direct distribution.”

Macquarie Bank Deputy Managing Director, Richard Sheppard said, “The investment in Virgin Money Australia is part of the Bank’s strategy of building strong business alliances with key third-party financial organisations. This partnership will build on the existing superannuation relationship and capabilities of both parties and will provide customers with a range of first class retail products and services.”

Virgin Money Australia has now developed relationships with two of Australia’s top financial institutions, Macquarie Bank and Westpac.

Virgin Super invests in funds managed by Macquarie Funds Management [1]. Virgin Super halved the average fees charged by the major retail super funds when it launched in June this year[2]

Westpac is the issuer of the Virgin Credit Card, which launched in May 2003 and this month reached a major milestone with total card balances hitting $1 billion. Over 600,000 Virgin Credit Cards have now been issued in Australia.

“Virgin Money is working with Westpac to expand our relationship and strengthen our product offering. Despite an increasingly crowded market, the Virgin Credit Card continues to be tremendously successful, and Westpac is playing an important role in that success”, Mr Gamble said.

Virgin Money will continue its business model of selecting leading partners for future products, such as mortgages, personal loans, transaction accounts and general insurance.

For further information, please contact:

Matthew Russell
Public Relations
Macquarie Bank Limited
Tel: (612) 8232 4102
Mobile: (614) 1069 9532

Kirsty Lamont
Virgin Money
Tel: (612) 8249 8028
Email: kirsty.lamont@virginmoney.com.au

1 Macquarie Funds Management refers to Macquarie Investment Management Limited ABN 66 002 867 003 AFSL 237 492 (MIML) a member of the Macquarie Group.

2 Based on average fees of 2.27% p.a. for retail funds excluding industry funds. Rice Walker Actuaries, June 2004. Features and performance may vary across funds and should be considered when assessing funds.

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