The financial planning group which has acquired a significant element of Westpac’s BT Financial Advice business, Viridian Financial Group Ltd, owes at least a part of its origins to Westpac with one of its co-founders, Raamy Shahien starting his career with the banking group in 2005.
Viridian confirmed its transaction with Westpac soon after the big banking group announced its decision to exit private advice via salaried and aligned planners to the Australian Securities Exchange, surprising many because of its relatively modest scale.
The company describes itself as a self-licensed, national advice business offering wealth and retirement planning, investment management and other solutions.
Explaining the transaction, Viridian said it would also entail the company offering BT Group Licensees practices, currently operating under the Securitor and Magnitude brands, the opportunity to join a Viridian-owned licensee advice model operating under an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) being established.
“Viridian also intends to acquire the Securitor and Magnitude brands under its new model, subject to finalising terms with Westpac,” it said.
The company’s formal statement said the purchase agreement would result in the transfer to Viridian of part of the BT Financial Advice business and some of BT Financial Group’s financial advisers and support staff.
“The transaction enables Viridian to expand its existing national strategy,” it said. “Viridian will have national adviser presence through both an employee adviser channel and a licensing model for separately run advisory firms. “
“The BT Financial Advice advisers, support staff and clients who agree to the transition are expected to transfer to Viridian on the anticipated completion date 30 June 2019. BTGL practices that accept the Viridian licensing model will also be able to commence transferring to the newly established AFSL at a later date.”
Commenting on the transaction, Viridian chief executive and co-founder, Glenn Calder described it as an exciting acquisition by the public unlisted company wholly owned by staff and clients.
“This acquisition gives us the opportunity to be a dynamic part of the industry, continuing to invest heavily in IT infrastructure in the long term.”
Under the agreement, after the anticipated completion date of 30 June 2019, Viridian will be a referral partner for new Westpac clients seeking financial advice services.