Advisory groups growing

The financial advisory industry is rife with changes at the moment with at least three transactions this week and another rumoured.

Tuesday, August 12th 2008, 6:52AM
First up Craig Stobo's Saturn Portfolio Management group has bought Rodney Financial Services; The Highland Group has joined Share (formerly APEX); the Grosvenor-led Camelot Group launches on Friday and there continues to be speculation that PIS is looking to acquire the Newpark Group.

Saturn is previously acquired Alistair Pirie's firm Broadview, Glaister Ennor Asset Management and earlier this year bought Lisa Dudson's advisory business Acumen, bringing its funds under advice to around $145 million. Rodney's director Pauline Smith said Saturn Portfolio represented a business that shared her values and goals and therefore was well positioned to assist clients through both life and investment cycles following her decision to pursue other opportunities.

"Clients need financial advice to achieve their lifestyles, and they need trusted advisors. Saturn's business model is designed to meet these needs. I explored different options but only Saturn was able to demonstrate a complete commitment to meeting client needs."

The Highland Group, a large network of Otago-based advisers, is joining Share.

Group spokesman Richard Thomas says the corporate structure of Share was attractive and "future proofs members at a time when financial advisers face changes to the way they operate."

Since Share restructured to a corporate model it has been approached by many advisers, general manager Bronwyn Shanks says.

She says the financial advisory sector has seen a lot of consolidation in the past couple of years, with a growing interest in New Zealand firms from large offshore players.

"The Share model is offering a real option for members to retain New Zealand style independence, yet gain the benefits of operational efficiency and being part of a like-minded group."

On Friday the Camelot group is being launched. It is a grouping of 11 financial planning firms with more than 50 advisers and $1 billion of funds under management.

The group is being put together by Grosvenor Financial Services.

Good Returns continues to hear strong talk that a deal between PIS and Newpark is imminent. PIS general manager David Keys won't comment on the rumours, and Newpark boss Darren Gannon has previously denied any deal is happening.

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