Going for growth

It’s the elusive thing that almost every adviser is looking for. Most have attended countless seminars, roadshows and conferences to unlock its secrets. Many advisers have bookshelves full of wisdom on the subject. But who is really achieving it?

Monday, October 30th 2017, 9:22AM

It’s a subject Consilium is very conscious of. Consilium is an outsourcing service provider to independent financial advisers across New Zealand. They offer a range of services, from platform to investment research, as well as a third party DIMS product. But perhaps the most important thing they do is help firms grow.

Scott Alman, Managing Director of Consilium, says, “One of the smartest things we did was dedicate ourselves to helping our clients grow their businesses.”

And it’s working.

In August 2014, Consilium had eleven partner firms, which collectively had $658 million of funds under management. Three years later, those same firms have $1.24 billion under management. That’s growth of 24% per annum.

One firm that started at $0 in 2014 now has over $80 million. Another with $5 million in 2014 now has over $50 million. And yet another, with $44 million in 2014, currently has about $115 million.

Consilium knows something about growth, having grown from $259 million, when it separated from Bradley Nuttall in September 2012, to over $2 billion today across partner firm services, Consilium Platform and Synergy. Today, Consilium works with 22 partner firms, and 81 firms across all services.

“Consilium has always been about growth,” says Ben Brinkerhoff, Head of Partner Growth. “It’s something we take really seriously.”

When asked what the strong adviser firm growth was attributed to, Brinkerhoff points firstly to the advisers themselves. “First and foremost, we work with some terrific advisers. Our services are often most attractive to advisers that are serious about growing their businesses.”

But what are the secret ingredients to helping these firms grow? 

Brinkerhoff summarises it with just two words - confidence and time. “The robustness of our offering not only gives advisers the confidence that they can successfully serve the wealthiest clients, but also enables advisers to outsource their inefficiencies. By getting Consilium on board to deal with the growing list of adviser ‘distractions’ (ranging from compliance issues to investment management and client engagement processes), advisers are able to devote the majority of their time to high value, client focused activities.”

Alman, who grew his own advisory firm, Alman Partners, to over $300 million in Mackay, Australia (a town smaller than Dunedin) has his own way of putting it. “We don’t believe there is only one way to grow. Each adviser has their own strengths and weaknesses. Rather than follow a formulaic approach, we help unlock each adviser’s strengths. If it’s relationships, we work on strategic alliances. If it’s client service, we focus on second opinions and feedback marketing. If it’s public speaking, we focus on presentations. There is no right or wrong way, but there’s a way that’s most right for each adviser.”

And a compound adviser firm growth rate of 24% per annum suggests that’s true.

Contact Ben Brinkerhoff
03 353 1007

Tags: Consilium DIMS financial advisers investment Synergy

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