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Rutherford Rede succumbs to Plan B charms

Rutherford Rede Northland has sold out to Australian group Plan B for an undisclosed sum and will be merged with fellow New Zealand financial planning firm Strategic Asset Management (SAM).

Friday, September 22nd 2006, 6:54AM

by David Chaplin

Earlier this month the Perth-based Plan B purchased SAM outright after taking a 25 per cent stake in the firm late in 2005. According to a Plan B spokesperson, Rutherford Rede Northland will join SAM with the merged entity to be headed by Strategic CEO, Alex Fowler.

The Plan B spokesperson said Don Low, Rutherford Rede Northland director, will stay on with SAM while fellow director, Brett Bell-Booth will eventually move on “to pursue other things”.

“It’s been a perfectly amicable takeover,” the spokesperson said.

SAM’s Fowler said the “fit between the two companies is strong - we share the same client-centric service philosophy”.

He said the group is also in talks with a number of other financial planning firms in New Zealand and Australia as it on a “significant growth plan”.

“We’re also providing services to other groups without taking an equity stake,” Fowler said.

Rutherford Rede Northland director Low, said coming regulatory changes in New Zealand were behind the decision to accept the Plan B/SAM offer.

“For this reason, Rutherford Rede (Northland) has been looking to join forces with a company which will serve our clients’ best interests. We believe that the Strategic Asset Management philosophy, together with Plan B applying the latest values from the science of modern finance, represents the ideal combination,” Low said.

Rutherford Rede Northland and SAM combined will have in excess of $200 million in funds under advice with 1500 clients.

Plan B employs over 150 staff and has over A$1.3 billion funds under management. The Perth-based business was once part-owned by Bank West which sold down its stake to Plan B shareholders 18 months ago.

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