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Grosvenor on the buy

Tranzact, the listed Australian entity majority-owned by Grosvenor, is close to acquiring ownership in several more New Zealand financial planning firms following a new capital-raising, according to managing director, Allan Yeo.

Tuesday, April 17th 2007, 5:10AM

by David Chaplin

Early in April Tranzact (ASX: TFS) bought 100% of Rutherford Rede (Central) and Cheltenham Services - a business with adviser practices in Auckland and Hamilton - as well as a 21.4% stake in Peter Cave's Prime Planning Partnership. Prime, which has offices in New Plymouth and Wellington, is part of the Prospero network.

Last week Tranzact embarked on a renounceable rights issue which will raise almost A$8 million with A$3 million of that slated for purchasing ownership in financial planning firms over the next year.

Yeo said Tranzact was already in advanced discussions with several advisory firms in New Zealand including one with offices in Wairarapa and Auckland which, once completed, it would merge with the Rutherford Rede/Cheltenham business.

“The Rutherford Rede deal was unique for us in that we bought 100%. We plan to merge it with another firm which would reduce our ownership,” Yeo said.

He said Tranzact had no intention to package up the financial planning practices it buys into a consolidated dealer group.

“We want advisers to run their groups,” Yeo said. “We take a partnership approach by working with advisers to grow their businesses.”

Tranzact is also looking for financial planning businesses in Australia but Yeo said it is “12-18 months behind” New Zealand.

In Australia Tranzact runs a superannuation master trust and administration business using Grosvenor technology. The group, which is 60% owned by Grosvenor, formed in 2003 when it bought Beacon Financial Services. Beacon was close to collapse in 2003 after it embarked on a disastrous derivatives deal that lost the company almost A$9 million.

Under Yeo’s leadership Tranzact has since recovered somewhat, reporting a A$800,000 profit this year with a forecast A$2 million in the 2007/8 financial year.

Read Phil's latest Blog on this subject. While it is called Advisers and Shoemakers, it could have been titled A load of cobblers for advisers
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