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Two financial planning groups merge

Two financial planning groups which have tie ups with key workforces have joined together.

Tuesday, March 29th 2022, 8:16AM

Milestone Direct which is formally contracted by major NZX- and ASX-listed companies to assist their staff with individual financial choices, as well as ongoing financial services to the members of the Defence Force, has merged with Become.nz which provides financial services to doctors.

The merged business has been renamed, Become Wealth.

With recent changes in financial markets and in the regulatory environment, the need for additional scale and specialisation was identified, to ensure clients can continue to receive the highest standard of services and access to the best quality financial products in the marketplace, the groups says in a statement.

Become Wealth will be a national provider of diversified financial advice and investment management services. It is based in Auckland with a major presence in Christchurch and offers mortgage broking, financial planning, insurances, and a range of investment solutions.

Become.nz has been focussed on meeting the financial needs of individual Kiwis, and doctors through the Medcapital brand. All these relationships will be maintained by the merged company, Become Wealth.

Medenterprises managing director and former managing director, Richard Clark, will be exiting the financial industry to focus on the core services they provide to doctors and medical providers in New Zealand and worldwide.

He will maintain arms-length involvement by introducing doctors who wish to explore financial services and financial wellbeing support to Become Wealth.

“Medenterprises exists to improve the wellbeing of the medical profession and every doctor in it. We know that finances are the second biggest cause of stress for doctors, and we are looking forward to working with Become Wealth in the future to help make financial wellbeing easier for even more doctors,” he says.

Former Milestone Direct chief executive, Joseph Darby, will be the Become Wealth CEO.

He says the synergy and opportunities of the merger "was undeniable".

Darby said the company is going to concentrate on offering improved services to clients and customers large and small alike, and efficiencies should lead to increased client satisfaction.

These factors are expected to underpin strong future growth and build upon Become Wealth’s nearly $1 billion in funds under advice, including those managed under a Discretionary Investment Management Service (DIMS) licence. Become Wealth has around 17,000 individual clients.

Darby also said Become Wealth has a "roll-up acquisition strategy" and is looking for further acquisitions over coming months and years, as regulatory pressure pushes some from the industry.

“Regulation means it’s not getting any easier to operate in the New Zealand financial services space, and our phone lines are open for ethical self-employed advisers who might be looking to exit the industry on good terms by selling their books to someone they know will take care of them” he said.

Two "modest acquisitions" are due to close at the end of the month.

"The efficiencies of scale, and complimentary capabilities mean this is clearly a win-win for both companies. After careful analysis, it was determined the best brand to forge with was Become Wealth."

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Last updated: 27 June 2022 8:43am

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