In 1997 Southern Cross Finance Limited was founded by Auckland couple Barry & Julia Milward who came to the realisation that there were many business people who were having difficulty obtaining finance for projects because there simply weren’t the finance providers around other than the banks with their specific lending criteria.
Having had many years of successful business in the UK under their belt already, they started their boutique finance company providing first mortgage finance secured against property.
In the early days it was just Barry, Julia and one other and as the adage goes ‘slow and steady wins the race’ they expanded slowly with a couple of support staff as the demand for their finance product grew. As the company navigated its way through the minefield of the Global Financial Crises of 2007, the slow and steady philosophy held the company in good stead as they continued to lend conservatively on the bread and butter of the business: Property – and specifically first mortgages on residential properties with perhaps a small amount of commercial buildings, bare land and lifestyle properties.
As legislation changed over the ensuing years the company that Barry & Julia built from the ground up has evolved from a contributory mortgage business to become Southern Cross Partners, the largest property backed Peer to Peer lender in New Zealand. The company now has a staff of 30 throughout the country with 5 directors steering the ship and speaking of ships this brings us to the name of the company.
When Barry first emigrated from the UK in 1963 he travelled on a ship built for the Shaw, Savill & Albion Line called The Southern Cross. What better name to start a new business venture with the name that brought him to a new life in NZ.
Barry & Julia are still involved in the business today in a governance role, however can usually be seen in our offices in Howick several times a week