This article reads like a review rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (October 2013)
Symond's home Wingadal, at Point Piper
|Occupation||Executive chairman, Aussie (Financial Group)|
Symond was born on 17 August 1947 in Crookwell, New South Wales and raised in Sydney. He spent most of his time between Brisbane, where his mother's family lived, and Sydney, near his father's relatives. He was one of seven children and the son of Lebanese immigrant fruit shop owners, and regularly helped at his parents shop before and after school.
He attended eleven different schools, including St Patrick's College, Strathfield, St Laurence's College, South Brisbane and Homebush Boys High School where he matriculated in 1965. After leaving school, Symond studied law and joined a firm in Bankstown where he learned conveyancing and specialised in property and finance.
By the late 1980s, he had created a boutique financial services company, Mortgage Acceptance Corporation (MAC), that specialised in finding and providing commercial and investment loans to small-time investors. One of Australia's first mortgage brokers, he eventually undertook a joint venture with a subsidiary of State Bank of South Australia, Beneficial Finance. When State Bank of South Australia went broke in the 1980s, he came within a whisker of bankruptcy, and it was this negative experience with a bank that formed the basis of the Aussie philosophy – offering better deals and better customer service to everyday Australians.
Aussie Home Loans
Supported by a loan from his older brother Michael, he founded Aussie Home Loans in February 1992 and was able to fulfil his ambition. Symond was widely credited with bringing competition to the Australian home lending industry. The company was unique in its approach to home loans, offering 24 hours a day service and loans far cheaper than those offered by banks. In 1994 Aussie introduced the securitisation of home loans, allowing it to offer loans upwards of 3% cheaper than its competitors. The company rapidly grew as consumers became aware of its products and that of other non-banks and the competition heated up. In 2012 Aussie acquired Mortgage aggregator nMB, which brought its total portfolio value to A$56.4 billion. In May 2013 The Commonwealth Bank increased its investment in Aussie from 33 per cent to 80 per cent, and will subsequently move to 100 per cent ownership. Symond remains the Chairman of Aussie with his nephew James, the Chief Executive Officer.
He has a substantial collection of Australian art deco and contemporary art including works of Brett Whiteley and Sidney Nolan. In 2017 he took delivery of a 73m (239ft) Dutch built Feadship named 'Hasna', believed to have cost more than $100 million.
Symond built a palatial home called Wingadal in the Sydney suburb of Point Piper at an estimated cost of $70 million, not counting the land. He put it on the market in 2016 but withdrew it in 2017.
In 2004, he was inducted into the Australian Banking and Finance Magazine's Hall of Fame in May 2004 – the first non-banker to be admitted.
In July 2013 he was honoured with the 2013 Gold Harold Humanitarian Award, at the sixth annual Gold Harold Awards, for his ongoing philanthropic interest in children's causes and charities.
- Johnston, Eric (2012-12-18). "CBA takes control of Aussie Home Loans". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2018-08-17.
- https://www.theversatilegent.com/aussie-john-73m-superyacht-hasna/ Retrieved 11/01/18
- It's an Honour. Retrieved 4 September 2017
- http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/john-symond-is-father-of-the-year/story-e6frf7kf-1226459787157%7C Retrieved 2012-8-28