PIS aims to be number one in a year

Professional Investment Services aims to be the number one dealer group in New Zealand "by this time next year", managing director Grahame Evans says.

Friday, August 22nd 2008, 7:06AM

by Philip Macalister

PIS is the largest group in Australia and has operated in New Zealand for the past seven years. Evans admits it got off to a slow start in New Zealand and imposing the Australian model on this market didn't work.

Currently PIS has around 108 advisers in its group and 106 accounting practices.

A key part of the PIS model is to sign up accountant groups who refer clients to its advisers. While it does this here, last year it also introduced an "aggregator" model, which has been successful.

He says this aggregator model is something that PIS doesn't have in Australia.

The other key part of the change is that the aggregator model is aimed more into the risk area, than that of investment advice.

Evans says PIS in New Zealand is currently focussed on the risk market and sees good growth potential there. Rumour has it that PIS is in talks to acquire the Newpark Group.

Evans, when asked about this, smiled and evaded the question. But he did say that Newpark is the sort of group it would be interested in acquiring.

"A business like Newpark would be a good fit for PIS," he said.

He did, though say that PIS was "seriously talking to three groups at the moment." Names mentioned included Planet.

Evans acknowledged that investment business was slow at the moment, but that it would come back.

Meanwhile PIS's mortgage broking operations are "not going too far at the moment."

He says the decision by banks to cut commissions on home loans written by brokers had hurt the industry and he accused them of making decisions for short-term profit gains.

He says it was nothing more than "a short-term grab for extra profit."

PIS was not looking to grow its broking business "substantially" at the moment.

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