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Further International Expansion For Sentinel

17 August 2006

Further International Expansion For Sentinel

Home equity release specialist, Sentinel is not content with its estimated 90% share of the growing New Zealand market.

Already established in Australia and Ireland, it has just launched in South Africa under the brand “Seniors’ Finance”. Market entry is through a joint venture with the Alexander Forbes Group, one of South Africa’s leading financial services companies with revenues of R5bn, funds under management of R124bn and more than 5500 employees.

Richard Coon, Managing Director of Sentinel said, “Alexander Forbes is a perfect joint venture partner for us, and offers solid administrative competence with effective distribution. They already have over 1 million superannuation clients and recognise the need for home equity release to meet pension shortfalls”.

Nic Craig, Managing Director of Seniors’ Finance said that, “Based on current savings rates in South Africa, we estimate that 90% of retirees will not be able to maintain their pre-retirement lifestyles, during retirement”.

Sentinel sees South Africa as an ideal market for home equity release, as house prices have grown very strongly over recent years, but seniors have very little savings and pensions, also, other state benefits are very low.

With Sentinel’s proven specialist expertise together with experience in launching in other markets and Alexander Forbes’ complementary skills, they have been able to put together the whole business in less than six months. Seniors’ Finance is one of the first home equity release providers in the South African market.

Richard Coon went on to say, “This addition means that Sentinel is now one of the world leaders in home equity release and in the four markets in which we are currently operating we will lend more than $500m in the next 12 months. However, we have two more launches in the pipeline, so the figure could be a lot higher.”

“By being a significant player on the global stage we can bring new innovations, world best practice and benefits of scale to New Zealand so it’s a win/win for both Sentinel and its clients.”

Sentinel raised $20m of new equity earlier this year from Quadrant Private Equity and with total group equity of over $45m is well set up to achieve its ambitious expansion plans.

ENDS

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