Sequoia Financial Group has announced the completion of the acquisition of the incorporated legal practice previously known as Topdocs Legal which will be renamed as Docscentre Legal (DCL).
Sequoia, which was set up in 2010, was a provider of specialised legal service focused on advice solutions in the areas of self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) and business structuring and succession for more than 10 years.
Under the terms of the deal, DCL would retail all its staff and relocate to the Sequoia Melbourne offices.
Sequoia’s managing director, Garry Crole, said the acquisition would enhance his firm’s existing document businesses in the area of reviewing and amending trust and SMSF documents.
“From our financial planners’ perspective this enhanced expertise on legal issues relating to SMSF compliance, increased capability in preparing deeds of ratification, rectification or confirmation to assist with certain compliance issues, advising on alternative SMSF investment structuring for property or other assets is a further move of the group to use scale to help drive down the cost of providing advice to a community who needs it,” Crole said.
“Further, we have noted that far too many trusts, SMSF deeds and company constitutions used for holding investments are not up to date and the cost of ensuring they have been is an increasing burden in keeping the cost of advice down.”
The DCL team would also assist the Sequoia advice community with legal advice on estate planning for SMSFs including binding death benefit nominations, powers of attorney, member benefit guardians and the structuring of death benefit payments.
The Sequoia professional services division would look to launch additional services to assist advisers address areas including account-based pensions, child pensions, death benefit pensions, pension reversion amendments and pension commutation as ever-changing laws and legislation is implemented.
The clients of the legal practice had traditionally been accounting, financial planning and legal practices as well as small-to-medium enterprises and high-net-worth individuals, which was consistent with the Sequoia goal to provide multiple services to advice intermediaries and these professional parties.
“Whilst the acquisition will complement and significantly enhance Sequoia’s adviser networks, the additional offerings we will be able to launch for the existing documents and self-managed administration businesses are expected to see an earnings accretion immediately,” Crole said.
“In addition, the acquisition will have an immediate positive effect and is a continuation of the company’s objective to increase the professional services division revenue of $7 million in FY 2021 to more than $15 million within three years”.
The $330,000 purchase price would be funded from existing cash reserves, the company said.