Astute : Everything you need to know

Astute: Everything you need to know

Headquarters address

7 Alpers Avenue, Newmarket, Auckland 1149, New Zealand

Year established




Office locations

Australia, New Zealand

Underwriting expertise

Personal protection, business, general, vehicle, and medical insurance

Key people

Sarah Johnston (CEO), Brad Wood (director), Peter Sullivan (general manager), Andrew Stone (national sales manager)

Astute Financial was established in 2000, and is a financial services provider with a network of approximately 500 finance, insurance and financial planning experts across Australia and New Zealand.

Astute started out as a single operator for a mortgage business, but quickly grew its membership base and expanded into financial planning and insurance, acquiring several groups from 2003-2009. It transitioned into a fully integrated financial services model in 2010, and launched its Astute retail brand in 2015.

Astute Financial launched into New Zealand in 2018, where it focused on bringing its strong compliance expertise to New Zealand’s financial services brokerages, along with a host of Australian products to help brokers diversify their offering. Astute’s Australian business runs a fully diversified structure, with an asset finance business while also dealing with fire and general insurance, wealth and financial planning.

Astute is a privately owned business and has a loan book of over $20 billion. It tied up with local brokerage Mortgage Express on entering the New Zealand market, with the end goal being to provide customers with every financial service they may need under one roof.

Astute Financial in the news

2000: Astute Financial is established in Australia as a single operator mortgage business

2006: Astute Financial adds Commercial Equipment & Finance to its business

2009: Astute Financial acquires Australian Mortgage Brokers and Mortgage Wisdom, strengthening its network across Australia

2010: Astute Financial transitioned to a fully integrated financial services model

2015: Astute Financial launches its retail brand, a project which had been in the making since 2013

2018: Astute Financial launches into New Zealand, setting up its Auckland office and partnering with local brokerage Mortgage Express

Key people as of 2019

Sarah Johnston – CEO, Astute NZ

Johnston became the CEO of Astute Financial’s New Zealand operations in 2018. She joined the company as a result of a merger with Mortgage Express, where she is still the general manager responsible for its day to day operations. She also coordinated the creation, development and launch of its Insurance Express brand. Johnston has strong experience within the banking sector, having spent a number of years in various roles at Westpac.

Brad Wood – Director
Wood is based in Brisbane, and has been with Astute Financial since its very beginning in 2000. Prior to that, he spent 10 years in a customer service role at Commonwealth Bank.

Peter Sullivan – General Manager
Sullivan has been the general manager of Astute Financial for 10 years and is responsible for the group of companies operating an Australian Credit Licence and an Australian Financial Services License. He was previously the managing director at Bespoke Finance and is a graduate of the University of Queensland, where he studied commerce and law.

Andrew Stone – National Sales Manager
Stone joined Astute Financial in April 2011 and is responsible for lender management, broker recruitment and training, sales management and facilitating referral partnerships, among other roles. He has over 35 years’ experience in finance, having previously been the director of CrediFlex Group for over 10 years. He also spent 21 years with ANZ where he held various roles, the most recent of which was senior credit analyst.

Member benefits
Astute Financial’s members enjoy access to a full-time compliance team whose role is to support members through its rigorous compliance framework. It also regularly holds member days focusing on the benefits of a diversified offering, product days offering tech and product-specific training, and technology days focusing on developing members’ skills with technology platforms.

Astute : In the news