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Lifetime, Camelot may join forces

Advice groups Camelot and Lifetime are in negotiations for a merger.

Thursday, February 22nd 2018, 6:00AM

by Susan Edmunds

Advice groups Camelot and Lifetime are in negotiations for a merger.

Stakeholders have been told that discussions are under way but asked to keep the information confidential until final and legal documentation can be presented.

Camelot managing director Peter Cave said talks had been had with three or four groups but had not reached the point where an announcement could be made.

Lifetime chief executive Jon O’Connor said he was not in a position to make any statement.

Lifetime now has 70 advisers across the country. Camelot has about 35 advisers,  many of whom are also shareholders, and additional client service staff throughout the country. Lifetime has traditionally had more of a focus on insurance and KiwiSaver advice, while Camelot has done more investment and financial planning.

At the end of 2016, Lifetime entered an agreement with Rothbury Insurance Brokers, which saw it take a 19.5 per cent stake in Lifetime. Rothbury’s life insurance and mortgage advisers moved under the Lifetime umbrella.

It also purchased Lifetime’s general insurance broking and premium funding operations, which leaves Camelot and Lifetime’s operations more closely aligned.

Lifetime is believed to have a strategy of acquiring smaller books of business in cash deals and using share swap deals to acquire bigger businesses, as part of a wider plan to become a large financial advice provider.

Many of the Lifetime advisers operate within AMP’s QFE.

Cave said, with the new legislative regime approaching, Camelot had been looking at the future and how it would position the business.

Other firms were starting to understand what would be required with entity licensing and were coming to talk to Camelot, he said.

“There’s lots of discussion at the moment. There’s cost with compliance and it gets lonely out there on your own.”

Joining forces would give the two organisations added scale to operate as a significant financial advice provider under the new rules.

Tags: camelot Lifetime

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