Unhappy Victorian Wizard franchisees to meet with GE and Mark Bouris tomorrow
Thursday, May 29, 2008/
Wizard franchisees in Victoria are preparing to meet with the founder and chairman of Wizard Home Loans, Mark Bouris, as anger against Wizard’s owner GE Money continues to simmer.
SmartCompany spoke to a number of Victorian Wizard franchisees this morning. Most would not comment and none would comment on the record.
One franchisee said he expects to be told what he already knows at tomorrow’s meeting: “That the business is for sale and there could be number of options.”
At a meeting of NSW franchisees held in Sydney yesterday, Bouris and GE Money chief Mike Cutter said they are looking at restructuring or selling the business. Bouris denied that he was a “natural buyer” for the business, but expressed a desire to stay involved.
Relations between franchisees and GE have become strained in recent months as the credit crunch has forced GE to impose tougher conditions on its branch network. Franchisees have faith in the brand, but it appears faith in GE is waning.
“It’s just a fantastic brand and we’ve got some fantastic products,” said an un-named Victorian franchisee. “We just aren’t able to sell to our full potential. I think we all would like to see some change.”