Insignia details impact of Godfrey Pembroke exit

insignia financial insignia Scott Hartley

2 May 2024
| By Keith Ford |
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Insignia Financial lost almost 100 advisers in the third quarter of FY24, with the majority attributed to Godfrey Pembroke’s exit.

In an announcement to the ASX on Thursday morning, Insignia Financial unveiled its results for the third quarter of the 2023–24 financial year.

Following the February 2024 sale agreement with Practice Development Group to return ownership of Godfrey Pembroke (GPG) to advisers, Insignia’s financial adviser numbers fell to 1,100, from 1,199 at the half.

This comprised 208 advisers in the professional services (employed) channel and 892 advisers across advice services channels (self-employed and self-licensed).

Insignia said the return of the Godfrey Pembroke licence to its advisers was part of the “advice simplification program” and resulted in the departure of 54 advisers from the self-employed channel.

“Excluding Godfrey Pembroke, six smaller practices departed – these adviser exits were more than offset by adviser growth in existing practices. Adviser numbers within the employed channel were broadly stable,” Insignia said.

The company attributed the reduction of 45 advisers from the self-licensed channel to the departure of four practices from the MLC Connect business, which saw a reduction of 36 advisers.

The losses follow an even steeper decline in Insignia’s half-year results, which included the sale of Millennium3, closure of the Lonsdale licence, and “right sizing” of Bridges, which combined for a reduction of 326 advisers (-21.4 per cent) on the prior corresponding period.

Insignia added that the “resetting” of its financial advice operating model is progressing, with Rhombus Advisory on-track to launch in July 2024.

“Advisers continue to demonstrate positive sentiment towards the partnership strategy and remain engaged with the process. An information memorandum has been provided and presented to eligible advisers, along with a term sheet, as the equity participation approach nears implementation,” Insignia said.

“The advice partnership model will create aligned interests with advisers, allow Rhombus to be more focused and attractive as a partner to advisers to drive growth while allowing improved focus on the growth of Insignia Financial’s professional services advice business.”

Insignia’s funds under administration (FUA) hit $223.4 billion as at 31 March, which was an increase of $8.3 billion (3.9 per cent) over the previous quarter, while its funds under management (FUM) reached $88.9 billion, an increase of $3.4 billion (4 per cent).

The increase in FUA was driven by market movement of $10.6 billion (up 4.9 per cent), partly offset by net outflows of $1.5 billion and pension payments of $868 million.

“The net outflow was largely attributable to outflows of $1.2 billion from MLC Wrap ahead of the migration to Expand at the end of March 2024. Net inflows of $512 million into the Expand platform demonstrate support for the go forward Advised offering,” Insignia said.

The growth in FUM was driven by positive market movement of $3.6 billion (up 4.3 per cent), partly offset by $197 million in net outflows.

Insignia Financial CEO, Scott Hartley, said: “It has been pleasing to see continued progress against the FY24–26 strategic initiatives announced in July 2023.

“Strong growth in FUMA over the quarter has been supported by positive investment markets and reflects the benefits of scale, while our flagship Expand platform is achieving consistent net inflows.”

Expand migration

Insignia also announced the completion of its $38.6 billion migration of more than 94,000 client accounts from MLC Wrap, MLC Navigator, and associated offers, to Expand, its “contemporary superannuation, pensions, and investments wrap platform”.

​Insignia Financial chief distribution officer and head of superannuation, Mark Oliver, said: “This complex migration has delivered our simpler, faster, and easy to use Expand platform to more advisers and clients.

“Expand is a key part of our offer to advisers and their clients. Our established technology and in-house capability is contemporary, intuitive and simple to use, enabling business efficiency and better outcomes for clients.

“This migration is a significant simplification milestone for Insignia Financial, following the acquisition of MLC in 2021, and supports our strategy and delivers scale benefits, with 98 per cent of migrated clients benefiting from fee reductions in Expand.”

According to Insignia, the 318,000 clients and $86 billion in total FUA across Expand, employer super and other wrap offers places Insignia Financial’s proprietary technology as the third largest wrap platform in the market and the largest by number of client accounts.

“One of the benefits of proprietary technology is we can continue to evolve the platform quickly and efficiently. We are committed to working closely with advisers to continue to deliver features and enhancements in line with changing needs and would like to thank them for their support and patience during this process,” Oliver said.

Hartley added that the migration represented a “significant milestone” in the optimisation of the business.

“The Expand platform will deliver an enhanced, modern solution to migrated clients and their advisers, and allows Insignia Financial to further simplify and reduce costs. We expect to see an improvement in net inflows over the longer term as we work through this transitionary period,” he said. 

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Submitted by Random on Thu, 2024-05-02 10:04

What happened to the 700,000 million of MLC if $1.2 Billion was migrated to Expand but Expand had only 512 Million in inflows? Sounds like Expand is bleeding and are only using market movement to justify any type of growth.

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