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ING, PIS to offer new homes for compliance-weary advisers

Impending regulation has been cited as the driving force behind at least three new advisory groups scheduled to be formed over the next couple of months - with one ING-branded group slated to be the largest in the market by funds under management.

Tuesday, February 5th 2008, 5:06AM

by David Chaplin

David Greenslade, head of the ING-backed consultancy firm Strategi, said the group would launch two "ING-branded" advisory groups in April, "one of which alone" control at least 50% more funds under management than groups such as Money Managers or Spicers.

Greenslade said ING would not take direct full ownership of the proposed advisory firms but would provide branding and other support services.

With adviser disclosure regulations due to take force in a matter of weeks and further industry legislation now before Parliament many financial planners are realising they can no longer just "pay lip-service to compliance", he said.

"The cost of meeting best practice is pushing advisers to networks," Greenslade said.

As well as the two ING dealer groups, Professional Investment Services (PIS) NZ is also developing a new offering for insurance advisers.

David Keys, head of PIS NZ, said there has been strong interest from risk advisers looking for a new home as the cost of compliance bites.

Keys said the insurance adviser offering was likely to be structured as a division within PIS rather than a stand-alone dealer group. "We're saying to insurance advisers if you don't want to access the PIS accountancy model you can still join us and get the same benefits, such as training and compliance, at zero cost to the adviser," he said.

The PIS insurance group would function under an aggregator model, Keys said.

"We're also looking at some major acquisitions in both the financial planning and insurance advisory space, which, if they come off, will happen within the next three months," he said.

Currently, PIS NZ boasts 60 financial advisers on its books and relationships with 100 accountancy firms as well as 25 mortgage brokers.

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