Dealer Groups of the Year announced

Independent Dealer Group of the Year Shadforth Financial Group
Runner-up Dixon Advisory

Institutional Dealer Group of the Year Perpetual Private Clients
Runner-up Mercer Financial Advice

The 2011 merger of Shadforth Financial Group and Snowball has paid dividends, with the group emerging as the Money Management/Tepana Financial Indices Independently-owned Dealer Group of the Year.

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The 2013 Institutionally-owned Dealer Group of the Year is Perpetual Private Clients, reflecting the general improvement in fortunes registered by Perpetual Limited over the past 12 months.

The runners-up were Dixon Advisory in the independent dealer group category and Mercer Financial Advice in the institutionally-owned dealer group segment.

The winners were arrived at via a formula combining the Money Management/DXXX&R Top 100 Dealer Groups findings and the Tepana Financial Indices qualitative survey data.

The result represents an assessment of business efficiency and is based on funds under advice per adviser and the service quality delivered to advisers by their AFSL — meaning that all AFSLs are on a level playing field irrespective of size of funds under advice and number of advisers.

The methodology entails a weighted average approach taking account of the number of advisers, funds under advice and then the Tepana Financial Indices Service Quality Index (SQI), which represents a weighted adviser satisfaction and importance score covering support services.

In the end, Shadforth found itself well clear of the much smaller runner-up, Dixon Advisory, based mostly on the SQI, with little separating the two dealer groups in terms of the ratio of planners to funds under advice.

In the institutional dealer group space, Perpetual Private Clients found itself at the top of the table based in large part on the high ratio of funds under advice per planner rather than on its SQI score, while Mercer found itself hamstrung by its ratio of planners versus FUA.

IOOF-owned Ord Minnett might have pipped Mercer at the post as runner-up, but for the fact that the SQI was based on an IOOF-wide assessment rather than for Ord Minnett alone.

Similarly, IOOF-owned SMF Wealth Management, while scoring well across most of the important indices, missed out due to its comparatively small size.

Commenting on his company's win, Shadforth head Nick Bedding said he believed it reflected the strong cultural alignment between the group and its planners.

"It's what we believe and it is something we have pursued from day one," he said.

Perpetual Private Clients group executive Mark Smith attributed the company's win to the successful translation of its strategic transformation process started more than 12 months ago.

He said the result had been a process which much more closely aligned Perpetual Private Clients with the objectives of its generally high net worth client base.

See this week's print and iPad editions of Money Management to view the Top 100 Dealer Groups table.

The extended table is available for purchase; please contact Money Management on 1300 360 126.

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