As Joe K. Pickett ventures among the crocodiles and kangaroos-and the equally unfamiliar mortgage markets in the land Down Under-he is keenly aware that people back home may regard him as a pioneer.

Mr. Pickett, the chief executive of HomeSide Inc., figures he will be closely watched by other mortgage lenders considering setting up shop in international markets to offset slipping profit margins at home.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.