WT Financial to acquire Insignia advice subsidiary

WT Financial Group WT Financial insignia financial millennium3 mergers and acquisitions

21 November 2023
| By Jasmine Siljic |
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WT Financial Group (WTL) has entered a purchase agreement to acquire 100 per cent of Millennium3 (M3), a financial advice subsidiary of Insignia Financial.

In an ASX statement this morning, the acquisition is expected to reach completion by mid-December 2023.

The diversified financial services group will pay $2 million in the acquisition of M3 on a debt and cash free basis and will fund it using cash at hand.

The announcement described the acquisition as “highly synergistic and accretive” to earnings. 

WT Financial expects it to add over $50 million of revenue, approximately $4.5 million in gross profit and over $500,000 of net profit before tax (NPBT).

M3’s advice network includes over 140 wealth and personal risk insurance advisers operating across more than 75 privately-owned practices in Australia.

Through the acquisition, the advice firm will see a rise of $5 billion in funds under administration (FUA), bringing WT Financial’s FUA to $23 billion.

“The acquisition further cements WTL as amongst the very largest financial adviser networks in Australia,” the statement said.

Keith Cullen, WT Financial chief executive, said the news represents a significant opportunity to leverage the firm’s robust and scalable infrastructure.

“WTL presents an ideal home for M3 advisers - one where we believe they can and will flourish. We’re delighted at the opportunity to retain M3’s talented frontline support staff and regional managers who we believe will add significant value to our group,” he commented.

In a separate ASX statement, Insignia confirmed the sale of M3 forms part of its strategy to reset its financial advice operating model which was first announced in July 2023.

Renato Mota, Insignia chief executive, said: “The sale of M3 marks another important milestone as we execute our strategy, creating a simpler, more sustainable advice offering, enabling greater growth focus for the future.”

He added that the new strategy will enable the firm to focus on the growth of its professional services advice businesses, Shadforth Financial Group and Bridges Financial Services. 

Helen Blackford, outgoing M3 chief executive, has agreed to remain for the transitional period to support the integration of the firm into WTL.

In September 2022, Cullen previously told Money Management that further acquisitions remained a possibility following its integration of Synchron, Sentry and Wealth Today.

“I expect we will see more consolidation, I am not ruling out further acquisitions or further corporate activity but it is not top of mind for us,” he said.

“In the wake of the Royal Commission, consumers like the smaller advisers as they want that intimate connection with a trusted provider. But to do that without the support structure able to navigate the things they only do occasionally is increasingly difficult for smaller dealer groups and it is really critical they have that infrastructure behind them.”

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