Biggest acquisition of 2013 - Perpetual and EQT vie for Trust Company

2013 was another eventful year for the financial services industry. In its annual top 5 feature, Money Management looks at some of the most memorable moments of the last 12 months.

Perpetual and EQT vie for Trust Company

In a bidding war that has lasted much of the year, The Trust Company board recently advised its shareholders to reject the latest takeover proposal by Equity Trustees in favour of Perpetual Limited.

EQT’s bid was still competing with Perpetual’s offer, with the latter yet to be voted on by Trust shareholders at the time of going to press.

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With IOOF also throwing its weight into the tug-of-war, Trust had been at the centre of no less than five proposals since 21 February – even before the proposed acquisition by Perpetual was given the all-clear by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in September.

A green light for the Perpetual offer will create Australia’s largest trust services provider.

AMP expands SMSF business

Following the acquisition of Cavendish Super in July 2012, AMP continued to bolster its presence in the SMSF space with its takeover of Super Concepts in early November this year.

ANZ said it did not regard its SMSF accounting, tax and compliance business as being material to the business but it said it would partner with the AMP-backed SuperIQ on delivering the new approach.

Most recently, AMP SMSF added 1,200 accounts through the acquisition of Suncorp’s administration business. This included taking a 19.4 per cent stake in Supermate, the software solution currently used by AMP’s Multiport SMSF administration business.

Rubik Financial/Provisio Technologies deal

Global financial software provider Rubik Financial further cemented its presence in the Australian planning solutions markets with the takeover of Provisio Technologies.

Rubik is a scaled and online advice provider, and the addition of Provisio has expanded Rubik’s institutional wealth advice product suite.

At the time, Rubik chairman Craig Coleman said Rubik had been evaluating the benefits of scaled solutions in light of the effects of the Future of Financial Advice reforms.

Rubik is in the latter stages of integrating the platform into Rubik’s COIN Software, which it acquired from Macquarie’s Banking and Financial Services Group in August 2012.

ILH Group moves on Capricorn

Responding to the growth of the self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) market, law firm ILH Group purchased corporate advisory and wealth management firm Capricorn Investments Partners in August.

The $9.25 million deal also saw ILH acquire The Pentad Group, a boutique financial planning business based in Camberwell, Victoria.

For Capricorn managing director and head of financial planning David Fenech, the acquisition made sense considering the majority of its business came from SMSFs, all of which require the expertise of lawyers.

ILH Group stated that the acquisition would give the firm an “additional platform for further growth and development, and access to new industries and clients in the Australasian market”.

OneVue acquires Computershare Fund Services

OneVue’s deal with Computershare Fund Services in August saw OneVue expand its presence as a provider of outsourced unity registry solutions.

Group chief executive Connie McKeage said at the time that the acquisitions should help to strengthen Australia’s under-invested outsourced unit registry sector as a whole.

“On top of that, connecting to the ASX Managed Funds Services, commonly referred to as AQUA II, will change the landscape of the sector as investors will be able to transact managed funds on the Australian Securities Exchange for the first time,” she said.

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