GPS Wealth has significantly enhanced its authorised representative base over the past year, with 60 accounting practices signing on with the independent licensee prior to the 30 June 2016 scrapping of the accountants’ exemption.
In particular, GPS Wealth’s licensing offering has resonated well with practices in regional areas, with firms from Orange, Parkes, Tumut, Armidale and Broken Hill joining the dealer group.
Five-partner-strong practice Collins Hume, with offices in Ballina and Byron Bay in New South Wales, is another business that joined the independent licence holder to comply with the new regulatory regime governing accountants from 1 July.
Commenting on the decision to join the GPS Wealth network, Collins Hume partner Shane Bartrim said: “A quarter of our business clients have an SMSF so we needed a licensing solution ahead of the removal of the accountants’ exemption, which is why we started talking to several dealer groups about a year ago.
“We ruled out all institutionally aligned licensees from the beginning because we wanted an independently owned group that we could trust not to flog product, but who was committed to helping us deliver quality advice in the client’s best interest.
“That ultimately led us to GPS Wealth. Their model was different and the way they approach advice is very much aligned to our way of thinking.”
The majority of Collins Hume partners will operate under a limited licence arrangement and will be working in conjunction with GPS Wealth adviser Adam Vermillion for the provision of broader financial planning for its clients.
Vermillion attributed the popularity of his dealer group’s offering among accountants to its simple approach to licensing.
“Only a handful of accountants who have approached GPS Wealth in the last year have previously been authorised before, so the overwhelming majority needed considerable support,” he said.
“Our job has been to walk them through the process, help them meet the necessary education and training requirements, and put the right processes, systems and, in some cases, people in place.”