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ING buys stake in Bennetts

ING has taken another step towards getting into the distribution game by taking a minority stake in Ricky Bennett’s Southland-based advisory firm.

Thursday, April 5th 2007, 5:33AM

by Philip Macalister

ING hasn’t disclosed the size of its stake however general manager of Marketing and Investor Services Steven Giannoulis says it is “much lower than 49%”. However ING will have a seat on the board of the company which will be occupied by its managing director Marc Lieberman. As part of this move the firm has changed its name from Bennett and Associates to Bennetts and has opened an office in Queenstown.

As part of the change advisers have incorporated their respective individual businesses into the new company. Bennetts is part of The Portfolio Group (TPG) which is managed by David Greenslade’s Strategi Group and associated with ING.

While TPG is a loose grouping of advisers in New Zealand it is one of the larger groupings with around $1.6 billion in funds under advice.

The Bennetts deal could be seen as one of the first steps towards corporatisation of TPG.

Giannoulis says ING is talking to all the members of the group, however there are “different ways we can help them.” While the Bennetts model is one option there are also other options such as broker dealer networks.

Marc Lieberman says: “This is the first in a new level of partnership arrangements we are looking to develop. While not all of these will involve ING taking a financial stake or adding our brand to their business, they will all be designed to provide mutual benefits for both parties.”

Besides a new name, Bennetts will have a new logo. The new Bennetts’ logo is also the first to feature the ‘ING Financial Partner’ tagline.

« Govt backs down on finance company changesSovereign takes regulation bull by the horns »

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