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Broadbase narrows to three

Independent financial advisory firm Broadbase has shrunk dramatically to a core group of just six planners in three South Island offices.

Friday, August 15th 2008, 5:53AM
As at June last year, Broadbase, which in the past had been pursued as an acquisition target by ASB Bank and AXA, claimed 17 advisers in 12 offices and more than $400 million in funds under management.

The firm, which restructured following the departure of founder Marshall Garrett last year, lost much of its North Island support when a breakaway group of Broadbase members formed Decisionmakers.

In recent weeks a flurry of departures other Broadbase members have also left including the Tauranga, New Plymouth, Invercargill and Nelson offices.

Geoff Nairn, one of the original Broadbase members, has since transferred his New Plymouth-based firm to the Triplejump franchise.

Today only two Christchurch practices and the Dunedin branch, headed by Ross Valentine, remain in the Broadbase network.

Chris Jones, Broadbase spokesperson and an adviser at the main Christchurch office, said the business has "regrouped".

"We're focusing on working with the advisers who remain," Jones said. "From our perspective it's no big excitement."

Jones said he could not comment on why the majority of Broadbase advisers had abandoned the group.

"Some have made the decision to leave and do their own thing," he said.

According to Jones, the remaining Broadbase advisers have not yet decided whether they will attempt to recruit new members.

A number of well-known advisers including Ricky Bennett, Fiona Judd, Selwyn Paynter, Katrina Hawker, Colin Austin and Rodney Hartles had at one time or another belonged to Broadbase.

As well, Donal Curtin resigned as head of the Broadbase investment committee at the end of July and has not been replaced, Jones said. Curtin also recently departed as head of the Vestar investment committee following its takeover by Gould Wealth Management.

George Gould, head of Gould Holdings, told Good Returns the group has yet to name the independent member of its investment committee, which currently comprises of Gould and fellow company executives, Jeff Staniland and Richard Austin.

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