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Forsyth Barr won't comment on Hobson Wealth speculation

Forsyth Barr won't comment on speculation it may be the front-runner to buy Hobson Wealth but says it is “an active participant” in its industry.

Thursday, November 2nd 2023, 6:00AM

by Jenny Ruth

According to BusinessDesk, Hobson, with more than $4 billion in funds under management and 35 advisers, is for sale and Forbarr and Craigs Investment Partners are the final bidders.

Hobson executive chair Warren Couillault hasn't returned a call and Forsyth Barr managing director Neil Paviour-Smith wouldn't comment.

“We don't make any comment on matters we may or may not be pursuing or market/media/speculation,” Paviour-Smith said in a text.

“We are, and have been for a long time, an active participant in the industry we operate in.”

Forsyth Barr has $20 billion in funds under management while Craigs has $28 billion with wealth management now dwarfing the original stock broking and merchant banking activities of both firms.

Jarden is the other major broking firm with a large wealth management business – earlier this year in its annual report, Jarden said it was planning to hive off its wealth management business from its other stock broking and merchant banking activities with the transfer being complete in about 12 months once licensing conditions have been met.

According to The Australian newspaper, Jarden is working on a deal to merge the wealth management business with National Australia Bank-owned JB Were wealth management business with JB Were owning about 48% and Jarden 20% and the remaining 32% would be owned by Australia-based private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners (PEP).

The newspaper says Jarden would be able to extract between $200 million and $250 million from the transaction.

Jarden's head of wealth and asset management, Malcolm Jackson, hasn't returned a call.

Jarden's wealth management arm made a net profit of $11.1 million in the 15 months ended March 31 – the company changed its balance date from December 31.

Jarden also owns 76.3% of Harbour Asset Management, whose managing director Andrew Bascand owns another 4.75%, with the remaining shares owned by senior Harbour staffers.

The last significant transaction in the funds management industry was Fisher Funds' $310 million purchase of Kiwi Wealth in August 2022.

Jarden was also an active suitor for Kiwi Wealth, as was PEP.

Tags: Forsyth Barr

« JMI Wealth expands into Waikato with buyoutFin Advice NZ appoints caretaker CEO »

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