Super fund expands regional planning arm

A public offer superannuation fund has expanded its financial planning presence into regional Victoria, establishing an office in the town of Bendigo with a full-time financial planner.

Equipsuper, which launched its financial planning arm in 2007, will launch its second office in the region following the previous office launch in Traralgon, both of which aim to service fund members seeking advice outside Melbourne.

Thirty-year financial planning veteran Michael Fitzpatrick, who previously ran his own practice, has been recruited to head up the office’s advice unit.

“We are seeing increasing demand for not only advice services, but also member education seminars across all the commercial sectors we cover, in particular the energy sector, which is extremely dynamic at the moment,” said Equipsuper executive officer, member relationships, Justin Sadler in a statement announcing the new office.

“Our members trust Equip and want advice from us. Many of them have been with us for much of their working life. It is important that, as far as possible, we make our financial planning services accessible to members throughout the state.”

Earlier this week, Equipsuper executive Geoff Brooks told ifa that industry and retail funds were increasingly under pressure from the rise of self-managed superannuation and that many funds struggle to compete with the close relationships forged between SMSF trustees and external financial advisers.

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