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Firms offering SMSF advice merge

SMSF advice firms merge

Two firms offering SMSF and estate planning advice will merge to provide clients and advisers with greater scale and resources.

Two Victorian wealth management firms providing advice around SMSF establishment, administration and investment have agreed to merge to scale the services they provide to clients.

Akambo Financial Group and First Financial announced the merger would retain both brands but allow advisers and clients to draw on specialist professionals in SMSF administration, private wealth management, lending, dealer services and licensing, compliance and governance, paraplanning and legal solutions.

Akambo Financial Group managing director Anthony Kapetanovic said the merger will help the 78 advisers working across both firms address the pressures they face due to increasing regulation.

“Chief executive of First Financial Ben Rossi and myself saw a clear opportunity to excel as market leaders in the new post-royal commission environment, where licensing and advice is under increased challenges and pressure,” Kapetanovic said.

“Under the new structure, our 3000 clients across Australia … make up 1500 client groups and comprise in excess of $3 billion of funds under management for both Akambo and First Financial. Client groups include SMSFs, not-for-profit organisations, HNW (high net worth) individuals and families, and pre and post-retirees.”

Rossi said the additional opportunities provided via the merger would help combat the growing complexities in the financial advice industry.

“We are all trying to solve the same issues, as the landscape is quickly evolving, with the likes of technology playing a big role in how advisers are looking for and consuming information both locally and internationally,” he said.

“We are thrilled by the opportunities for further growth in the advisory space as advisers’ needs and wants are now changing in not only a post-royal commission but also a post-pandemic world.”

Kapetanovic noted the feedback regarding the merger, which takes effect immediately, has been positive.

“We are experiencing a high level of enthusiasm from our staff, who are passionate about continuing to develop professionally and personally, with the key objective being to provide a great experience to our clients, which we continue to strive for every day,” he said.

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