Diana Shoolman, former head of professional services at NAB, and former director at PwC and Deloitte, has joined fintech CrowdProperty Australia as its director of strategic partnerships, to spearhead the company’s growth of wholesale, sophisticated, and institutional investors.
This appointment is a clear statement of intent of CrowdProperty’s determination to change the face of property project finance in line with its vision both here and in the UK. It marks the second senior appointment since the company closed its oversubscribed seed round in October 2021.
Ms. Shoolman said she was thrilled to join a leading fintech in the marketplace lending and alternative finance sector.
“My years working with two of the ‘big four’ accounting firms and one of Australia’s largest banks gives me deep insight into Australia’s wholesale investors and the private wealth sector,” she said.
“I’ve spent my career building relationships with leaders in the accounting and investment space and the high-net-worth community. Now to be able to provide access to an alternative investment vehicle that helps fund Australian housing is an exciting new chapter.”
CrowdProperty Australia CEO David Ingram said the appointment of someone of Diana Shoolman’s calibre demonstrated the potential of this leading alternative finance and investment fintech.
“Our vision is to enable SME developers to have access to specialist finance and enable them to build sorely needed homes for Australians,” Mr. Ingram said.
“Finding finance is a huge pain point for SME developers who face significant challenges with banks, private lending, and ever-changing goal posts. Being able to provide reliable access to a source of funds from the wholesale and institutional investment sector, while providing specialist experience in property development to ensure projects are carefully curated and ultimately successful, is a proven opportunity Australia hasn’t taken advantage of until now.
“We’re looking forward to Diana’s contribution in building our wholesale investor community. What’s more, the future is looking very bright with the development of products to support sustainable developments, social housing, and to bring a retail investment product to market allowing all Australian investors to invest in a slice of the property development market.”
CrowdProperty Australia launched in May 2021 to bring its vision of ‘property finance by property people’ to Australia’s badly under-served sector. It is a joint venture with CrowdProperty UK which recently achieved the milestone of paying back over £100m to investors at an average realised IRR of 8.30 percent, while maintaining its 100 percent capital and interest payback track record since launching in 2014.
CrowdProperty UK has now funded the development of £360m of property projects, the construction of 1,800 homes, agreed £215m of facilities and lent £170m, all expertly curated from over £8bn of funding applications.
CrowdProperty project loan investments offer target interest returns of up to 7%* p.a. secured by first mortgage. Investments are available to wholesale investors (including SMSFs, trusts and investment companies) and sophisticated investors, including institutions and super funds. Projects are expertly curated through a 57-step due diligence process. Investments start from as little as $10,000. Development projects are typically 6 to 18 months.
Ms. Shoolman is a Chartered Accountant and former Telstra Businesswoman of the Year nominee.