Insignia clings onto second-largest advice licensee position

Wealth Data insignia financial insignia count group adviser numbers

2 April 2024
| By Jasmine Siljic |
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Insignia Financial still holds “relatively steady” onto its rank as Australia’s second-largest financial advice licensee, despite Count being hot on its heels in third place.

While previous forecasts expected Count’s merger with Diverger to see the firm overtake Insignia in terms of adviser numbers, Insignia has held down its second ranking behind competitor AMP.

This is despite its former advice business Godfrey Pembroke now transitioning to a different Australian financial services licence (AFSL) under Practice Development Group on the ASIC Financial Advisers Register (FAR).

Wealth Data previously predicted that Godfrey Pembroke’s 52 advisers would see Insignia’s numbers fall to 727, just two below Count’s 729 advisers in February.

“The next few weeks are expected to be volatile as Count formally swallows up Diverger and Godfrey Pembroke exits Insignia,” Wealth Data founder Colin Williams said in late February.

However, Williams has since noted: “Insignia over recent weeks have remained relatively steady in terms of adviser numbers, currently with 731 advisers, while Count have had some losses and are now at 723.

“As a result, Insignia continues to be in second spot as measured by the number of current advisers,” he explained.

In February, it was announced that Scott Hartley, former chief executive of wealth management at AMP Australia, took over as Insignia’s CEO from 1 March following the departure of Renato Mota.

With shares down 51 per cent over the last five years and Insignia losing its spot as Australia’s largest licensee, Hartley has a turnaround job ahead of him as the firm’s chief executive.

As at 28 March, the top five licensees by number of advisers were as follows:

Licensee Adviser numbers
AMP Group 860
Insignia Group 731
Count Limited 723
WT Financial Group       548
Centrepoint Group 546

Source: Wealth Data

Weekly movements

In the week ending 28 March, the advice profession saw a net drop of 11 advisers to 15,609 in total, according to Wealth Data.

The week saw a smaller amount of adviser movements, Williams observed, as 63 advisers were active with appointments or resignations. Six new entrants also joined the industry.

Looking at weekly growth, 16 licensee owners had net gains of 19 advisers. Infocus led the pack with a rise of four advisers, all coming from AMP.

Some 15 licensee owners were up by net one each, including Insignia, Centrepoint and Picture Wealth Group.

In terms of losses, 25 licensee owners had net losses of 31 advisers.

Crown Wealth Group lost its final four advisers as ASIC cancelled its AFSL on 28 March due to the firm going into voluntary administration. According to Wealth Data, the group had 46 advisers at the start of 2022, and began 2024 with just 36 which steadily dropped each week.

Count also decreased by four advisers during the week. Interestingly, just seven advisers remain under Affinia’s AFSL since Count acquired the firm from TAL in May 2023.

Finally, 21 licensee owners fell by net one each, such as AMP, Fortnum, Morgans and WT Financial Group.

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