IOOF appears to have taken over AMP Group as the licensee with the largest number of advisers in Australia after it completed its acquisition of MLC Wealth on Monday.
IOOF chief advice officer, Darren Whereat, told Money Management that with the acquisition 406 advisers were brought from MLC to boost IOOF adviser numbers to around 1500.
This is higher than AMP’s 1,443, according to latest figures from Wealth Data (formerly known as HFS Consulting). Wealth Data’s figures as of 28 May, 2021, had IOOF had 1,111 advisers but this would increase with the acquisition.
Whereat said the 406 authorised representatives accounted for 84% of the “targeted advisers” (around 483) with 77 advisers either moving to become self-licenced or had moved to another licensee.
“There were a number of advisers in the self-employed space and decided someone else was a better partner and we respect that decision – it’s been a long process and there have been some businesses that have made decisions as to what suits them best,” he said.
“We are fortunate and happy with advisers that chose to partner with us. For those that decided to leave us – the door is always open should they want an institutional relationship.”
When asked about becoming the largest licensee, Whereat said they did not focus on the numbers.
“We want to continue to deliver to our advisers. While we’re very close to having that mantel of the largest we just want to be a good partner to those that have intrusted us to be their licensee,” he said.
“If we become the biggest then so be it but it’s not something we specifically focus on.”
“The challenges for us in the way we’re dealing with the with sheer number is that we have a clear strategy. We have our employed planners spread across three brands Shadforth, Bridges and MLC advice. Clearly they are including high net worth and operating the mass market so they are servicing different segments and have different solution.”
In the self-employed partnership and the traditional space they had M3, RI Advice, Consultum, Lonsdale, Financial Services Partners, and Bridges.
“For us it’s about managing each of those communities which have around 150 individuals and each have their own general manager.
“So, we’re not managing the sheer number but we’re managing small pockets of individual communities and brands. Only thing we don’t manage differently is our assurance and governance where we have one standard for everybody and that’s where we have oversight in the advice given. In our dealer to dealer space we have MLC connect and IOOF alliances.
“So, 1500 sounds like a big number but when we break it down to individual community and brands with their own leaders that’s a better way to do it.”
Whereat noted that MLC advice would go under the Bridges Australian financial services licence (AFSL) and maintain its general manager and identity.
Godfrey Pembroke would have its own community and AFSL, and TenFifty would operate under a consultant AFSL.