Crunching the numbers on the tripartite Australian Unity deal

17 November 2023
| By Laura Dew |
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The tripartite deal between Fortnum and AZ Next Generation Advisory to acquire the financial advice arm of Australian Unity is a “reasonable fit”, according to Wealth Data.

It was announced at the start of the week that Nestworth Financial Strategists, a corporate authorised representative of Fortnum’s Australian financial services licence (AFSL), will acquire Australian Unity’s advice business including its 18 advisers.

The firm will also take over the group’s corporate superannuation services business, with Nestworth becoming one of Australian Unity’s preferred advice providers.

Simultaneously, Australian Unity’s AFSL holder Australian Unity Personal Financial Services Ltd (PFS) will be purchased by Fortnum and will continue providing licensing and business services to PFS’ 150 self-employed advisers.

The transaction will increase the combined number of advisers across the two AFSLs to approximately 400 advisers.

Commenting on the transaction, Wealth Data founder Colin Williams said the Fortnum and Australian Unity businesses look similar based on the ASIC Financial Advisers Register data. 

Its two AFSLs – Fortnum Private and Fortnum Advice – have 213 and 10 advisers respectively, and Australian Unity has 167 advisers. The average years of experience is slightly higher at Fortnum with 16.4 years compared to 15.8 years at Australian Unity. 

Looking at the percentage of each firm’s advisers who commenced pre-2012, Fortnum has 68.5 per cent while Australian Unity is higher at 71.3 per cent. 

However, differences occurred when it comes to growth achieved by the two firms since the start of the year. Fortnum is up by net two advisers while Australian Unity is down by 12, representing 0.9 per cent growth for Fortnum and a 6.7 per cent loss for Australian Unity. 

Wealth Data stated: “Australian Unity have slightly more advisers who commenced pre-2012, but Fortnum have a higher average years of experience. The percentage of advisers with a degree of some description is also very close. What each licensee authorises their advisers for the main product sets are again similar. 

“The data does not take into account other details such as revenues etc, but at least it does look like both businesses are a reasonable fit.”

The deal is expected to reach completion by 1 December 2023.

Meanwhile, Wealth Data’s weekly stats showed there was a net gain of 18 advisers in the week to 16 November with 32 licensee owners having net gains of 38 advisers and 14 licensee owners seeing losses of 20 advisers. 

AMP Group and Insignia were both down by three advisers each while Clime Group was down by two as was FSSSP Financial Services (Aware Super). 

A short tail of 10 licensee owners were down by a net of one adviser each including Diverger and Morgans. 

Looking at gains, Wealth Data said Lifestyle Asset Management gained three advisers and four licensees gained two including Canaccord and United Super.

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