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AMP adds another financial planning firm to its network

AMP has bought mid-sized financial planning firm Goldridge, which has about $300 million under management, and added it to is AdviceFirst business.

Wednesday, July 16th 2014, 6:59AM

Goldridge was formed in 2000 as a joint venture between experienced financial advisers and Tower. In 2003 the financial advisers, management and external directors bought out Tower’s interest, making Goldridge totally non-aligned to any fund manager or bank.

Under the new arrangement the Goldridge name will disappear and its 13 advisers will come under the AdviceFirst brand.

The move demostrates AMP's desire to grow AdviceFirst into a borader financial planning business. While it has been predominantly a risk-based group, the Goldridge acquisition strengthens its wealth management capabilities, and earlier this year it inked a deal which would see the AMP-owned mortgage broking group Roost come under the wing of AdviceFirst.

AMP has a 62% stake in AdviceFirst and Goldridge is the second biggest shareholder, at 10%.

Goldridge chairman, and its Nelson-based adviser, Bill Dahlberg, says the company was taken to market late last year 

He says 10 groups showed interest in buying the firm and that was whittled down to three during the sale process. Good Returns understands Camelot, which is associated with Grosvenor Financial Services, was the underbidder for Goldridge.

Dahlberg says Goldridge needed to be bigger to be offer the service levels it wanted to give clients.

The business, he says, had been "very successful" in the past two years when measured against quality of service and the income to profit margin.

AdviceFirst chief executive Mark Ennis says the acquisition of Goldridge "is a great addition to the AdviceFirst ‘family’ of businesses, and bolsters the team to more than 100 across the country," 

He says the business has always been focused on growth, and this acquisition is "a further continuation of that direction." 

“With the added benefit of the Goldridge advisers joining our team, we see a huge value in being able to provide additional wealth management advice to our customers. The acquisition of the Goldridge business strengthens our capabilities in this space and means we can provide more New Zealanders with a full financial services proposition,” Ennis says.

Since being founded in 2008, AdviceFirst has acquired 18 organisations making it the largest financial advice business of its type in New Zealand.

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