MMC Ventures arranges equity investment with Connect

MMC Ventures, which invests in early stage growth companies, has arranged an equity investment of 1.45m in Connect Mortgages Group, a mortgage processing company based near Lewes, East Sussex.

Connect streamlines the mortgage application process on behalf of intermediaries allowing brokers and independent advisors to focus on sales and to reduce costs.

The investment from MMC will be used to expand the sales force, strengthen the management team and upgrade Connects IT systems.

Connect substantially reduces the time that mortgage brokers and independent financial advisors spend on handling mortgage applications by providing outsourced services.

Connect can process mortgage applications for any UK lender. The services it offers also include: compliance support, conveyancing and life insurance.

Connect was founded in 2003 by Tony Webster and Adrian Dunn, who have a combined 37 years experience in the UK mortgage and life insurance industry.

Prior to Connect they founded MPS (now Optoma Broker Solutions), a mortgage packager.

Webster says: We are delighted to have MMC Ventures on board as a partner.

We are already working with it to refine our strategy, recruit new staff and identify a new IT system. We look forward to growing the business with it.

The MMC investment has been accompanied by two additions to the board of Connect.

David Miller, a member of the MMC investor syndicate, will join the board as chairman.

He brings 35 years of financial services and smaller company experience having been formerly managing director of State Street Global Advisors and group chief executive of Wheelock NatWest.

Duncan Harper, former chief operating officer of a US subsidiary of Avesco PLC, recently joined the board as finance director.

Approximately 290bn of new mortgages are advanced annually in the UK by some 140 lenders.

There are around 38,000 UK mortgage brokers and other intermediaries who secure about half of all lending by value.

They typically spend up to half their time dealing with administration issues surrounding mortgage applications.

Outsourcing the administration of mortgage applications can produce significant costs savings, better quality applications and increases in productivity for intermediaries and lenders alike.