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BIG, Minerva and PIS become a merged entity

Brokers Independent Group (BIG), Professional Investment Services (PIS) and Minerva have all joined together to become a merged entity because individually they lacked scale and scope says the chief executive and executive director David Whyte.

Wednesday, October 20th 2010, 1:14PM

by Jenha White

He says the idea had always been part of a strategy when he collaborated with Kevin and Nicola Smee at BIG when he was doing some consultancy work with them.

"BIG was well-formed and needed a little bit of governance and commercialisation to make it sustainable - but it lacked scale on its own."

He says within the market, organisations that had a similar set of circumstances were Minerva and PIS.

"Minerva seemed to be the obvious choice. Both BIG's Smee and Minerva's chairman Maurice Trapp  are business insurance specialists."

Whyte says when Minerva's Trapp and general manager Brent Wright negotiated to take over running PIS in March this year, it seemed the appropriate time to get Trapp, Wright and Smee around the table to talk about doing things on a joint basis rather than competing with each other.

"In fact, there was an occasion down at the conference centre in Gordonton when Trapp was presenting to a bunch of advisers in one room about business insurance and Smee was presenting to a bunch of advisers in another room on business insurance. It seemed nonsensical for that continue."

He says for economies of scale and scope a relationship needed to be developed that would see the three parties working together.

A shareholders meeting was held on behalf of the PIS New Zealand shareholders last Wednesday and it recorded unanimous votes in favour of the proposal to merge the organisations "which means its all go", says Whyte.

The merged entity will be based in Auckland city and there are about 250 advisers already within the three organisations.

The chairman is Maurice Trapp and the executive directors are Brent Wright, and Kevin and Nicola Smee. The non executive directors are Stephen Gray, and Australian representative from PIS Graham Evans.

The road show to launch the new entity and what it will be offering is running around the country from November 15 to 19.

Whyte says the experience that is drawn together under one umbrella with the merge is unique to the New Zealand market.

He says PIS Australia has committed resources to the development of the organisaton and also gives the entity an immense well of knowledge, intellectual property and experience.

"PIS Asutralia also has six years of experience under regulation so we will be able to tap into its experiences and knowledge to support our development in the new regulatory environment here and to help us give advisers the support they need."

Whyte says the merged entity is bullish about the future and is looking forward to operating in the under the new regulatory structure.


Jenha is a TPL staff reporter. jenha@tarawera.co.nz

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