Investor's Journey
Merx Director, Brett Martelli

Alignment of interests is a core principle of the Merx Wholesale 1 PIE Trust, with Merx management being personally invested in the fund.

As part of our series introducing the experts behind the fund, we sat with Merx director Brett Martelli to talk about his goals and his journey as investor and lender.

From law to lending: charting a new course

Each investor journey is unique, but they often share a common goal: seeking financial security amidst life’s uncertainties. This is also what started Brett’s journey with Merx.

An experienced lawyer with decades of experience as a solicitor for large firms in Sydney, London and Auckland, in 2015 Brett confronted a turning point in his career.

“I wanted to secure an income stream for me and my family outside of selling hours,” Brett recalls. “It was then that I stumbled upon an opportunity in lending to business owners against invoices, which led me to meet Andrew [Dunning, Merx founder]. He was a seasoned banker. I was a lawyer with considerable knowledge in business finance through my work in dispute resolution for lenders and borrowers – but with no direct experience in lending. I think he understood where I came from and what my goals were, and took me under his wing.”

While Brett continued practicing law, this meeting marked the beginning of a parallel path for Brett. After collaborating on numerous loans, Brett and Andrew decided to start their own lending vehicle, focusing on first and second mortgage-backed lending to business owners and property investors. Merx was born.

The art of balanced lending

Since its inception in 2016, Merx has been helping more and more small businesses and property investors take their projects through the finish line. “We found there was a real need for our solutions, with many small business owners falling outside the scope of traditional banks – either in speed or flexibility.”

Most recently, in mid-2022, Merx management set up the Merx Wholesale 1 PIE Trust to allow likeminded wholesale investors to take part in this journey. The fund invests in loans to unrelated borrowers in the SME and property sectors, with alignment of interests as the core principle. Importantly, investor partners can benefit from Merx’s practical approach to lending.

“I like to say we’re old-fashioned lenders. We don’t chase after fanciful tech unicorns or unrealistic proposals. Instead, we focus on practical investments that help our borrowing clients get ahead,” says Brett. “The key is understanding the risk involved and managing it appropriately. Banks can struggle with that sometimes.”

Challenges, rewards and a look ahead

Finding worthwhile projects to support is not without challenges, of course. 

“To us, lending is not just about getting the money out the door at all costs, but doing it wisely,” Brett says. “When we assess a lending proposal, we always make sure we don’t compromise on risk for the sake of returns.”

Occasionally, Brett adds, making tough calls is inevitable, but these decisions are never taken lightly. “Things don’t always go to plan, so we’re mindful of the borrowers’ circumstances and try to explore every option, while keeping the interests of our investor partners at the forefront.”

The most rewarding part of this journey, Brett finds, is the direct impact their decisions have on small business owners. “Every application we approve can open a world of possibilities for them. These are not just figures on a spreadsheet, but steps forward in our clients’ own growth. Knowing that we’re playing a role in their success stories, while also securing a comfortable future for our families and our investor partners – that’s the real reward of what we do.”

Looking ahead, Brett is focused on continuing this path. “My ultimate goal? To transition from law to lending full-time. We’ve set a strong foundation in these first few years and now we’re building on that. So, I’m excited for what’s to come.”

Like to become part of this journey?

The Wholesale 1 PIE Trust is a reflection of the management team’s own journey and personal commitment. If you’d like to become part of this journey, click here to learn more and give us a call on 09 215 9364 to discuss further. We look forward to hearing from you.

Note: This article is intended to provide general information and does not constitute financial advice. We recommend you speak with a financial adviser for advice tailored to your individual circumstances. Potential investors with Merx must qualify as Wholesale Investors as that term is defined in sections 3(2)(a) – (c) or 3(3)(a) of Schedule 1 of the Financial Markets Conduct Act (“FMCA”). The Trust is not suitable for retail investors.

30.99

%

Returns Since Inception

Returns based on an actual company investor account with net returns re-invested monthly. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. The fund was established 30 June 2022 and made its first investments in September 2022.

Why Invest with Merx

About the Merx Wholesale 1 PIE Trust: Structure, principles: management and more

Comments from Merx Investors

I have enjoyed investing with Merx and learnt a lot through the process too. Merx have been very transparent with what they do and the communication has been consistent. Wouldn’t be a testimonial without mentioning the returns too, thanks for those. Looking forward to being a part of the journey for years to come.

Luke

There's a lot to be said for a fund where the managers invest alongside their investors. It's a real partnership where the interests of investors are prioritised. The returns to date have been great, the unit structure gives me the flexibility I want, and I've been really impressed with the communication.

Aaron

I've been impressed by how Merx looks after their investors - from how the fund is structured for redemption, reinvestment, and tax efficiency - to the communication and care in understanding my investment goals. It makes a difference - investing alongside managers who are also invested in the fund.

John

Aligned Interests

Aligned interests is a core principle of the Merx Wholesale 1 PIE Fund. As the Trust’s management team, we personally invest alongside our investor partners. We have the same risks and potential returns as our investors.

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Get the detail – fund description, management, fees, risks and more. Request the Merx Wholesale 1 PIE Trust Investor Brochure here.
Request the Merx Wholesale 1 PIE Trust Investor Application form here. Note: the fund is not suitable for retail investors.

Merx Wholesale 1 PIE Trust Returns

Year 1 actual net return (on company investor portfolio reinvesting)

20.13%

 

Average monthly distribution (annualized)

17.50%

 

Returns since inception

30.99%

Returns based on an actual company investor account with net returns re-invested monthly. The fund was established 30 June 2022 and made its first investments in September 2022. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.

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*Returns are net actual returns distributed to investors (annualized) – net of all fees and costs before tax. The fund was established 30 June 2022 and made its first investments in September 2022. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.

Investor Brochure

Important information for investors

Investment in the Trust is open only to wholesale investors as set out in schedule 1, clauses 3(2)(a)-(c) and 3(3)(a) (inclusive), or persons who are otherwise not required to receive disclosure under Part 3, of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 (“FMCA”).

Investor Application

Important information for investors

Investment in the Trust is open only to wholesale investors as set out in schedule 1, clauses 3(2)(a)-(c) and 3(3)(a) (inclusive), or persons who are otherwise not required to receive disclosure under Part 3, of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 (“FMCA”).