Australian Unity’s advice business acquired in tripartite deal

13 November 2023
| By Jasmine Siljic |
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Fortnum Private Wealth and AZ NGA-owned Nestworth Financial Strategists have joined forces to acquire Australian Unity’s financial advice business.

Nestworth Financial Strategists, a corporate authorised representative of Fortnum’s Australian financial services licence (AFSL), will acquire Australian Unity’s advice business including its 18 advisers.

The firm will also take over the group’s corporate superannuation services business, with Nestworth becoming one of Australian Unity’s preferred advice providers.

Simultaneously, Australian Unity’s AFSL holder Australian Unity Personal Financial Services Ltd (PFS) will be purchased by Fortnum and will continue providing licensing and business services to PFS’ 150 self-employed advisers.

The transaction will increase the combined number of advisers across the two AFSLs to approximately 400 advisers, and is expected to reach completion by 1 December 2023.

Paul Fog, Nestworth Financial Strategists’s chief executive, said the tripartite deal aims to widen the accessibility of financial advice to everyday Australians.

“This is an exciting alliance that increases our capability and capacity to help more people to develop and implement a solid financial strategy, build their nest egg and achieve their goals and aspirations,” he said.

Moreover, Neil Younger, Fortnum’s chief executive, emphasised the scale and synergy advantages of the acquisition.

“Scale is increasingly important because it enables licensees to offer a broader range of solutions and better support underlying businesses, but we’re not interested in growth for the sake of it,” he described.

“We only want to partner with high-quality people and businesses, and there is a lot of alignment between Fortnum and Australian Unity’s PFS business in terms of culture, values and operating model.”

Esther Kerr, chief executive of wealth and capital markets at Australian Unity, added that the deal represents the next growth stage for the advice business over the past 20 years. 

“It will help more Australians in future to access high-quality, affordable advice that benefits them, and the strategic alliance and preferred provider relationship means members and staff will enjoy access to this growing advice network,” she said.

Paul Barrett, AZ NGA’s CEO, said the deal was indicative of AZ NGA’s ability to support advisory firms and support growth opportunities. 

“Paul Fog and his leadership team run a very successful business and they have deep experience in managing large advice teams and delivering consistently excellent holistic advice,” he said.

“They have spent a lot of time developing and refining their business strategy, and we are proud to be able to support them on their journey.”

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