Omniwealth has acquired Sydney-based accounting firm Stephens Tilley to remain “ahead of the curve” as the industry moves towards holistic advice.
In an exclusive interview with ifa, Omniwealth managing director Matthew Kidd said that the off-market acquisition was finalised last week, with Omniwealth “earning out” the firm over several years until they acquire 100 per cent ownership.
Under the arrangement, Stephens Tilley’s 12 staff members – including its two principals – will remain with the company and the firm will remain at its current location for approximately 12 months.
“We have 12 months to really plan that properly but there is no rush and that’s what really attracted us to this business,” Mr Kidd said.
“It was an off market purchase. One of the partners was looking to reduce his hours so it needed to have some more people to come in and help growth the business and they really fit what we were after perfectly.
“It’s just such a healthy and well-established business and we knew we didn’t have to go and make changes straight away.”
Mr Kidd said Stephens Tilley was complementary to the Omniwealth licensee’s existing accounting branch, Omniwealth Accounting and Audit, which is looking to expand.
He added that changing client demands has meant holistic value propositions between accounting and financial services is becoming more of a necessity in the industry.
“At the end of the day legislation is going to push the two together and I think that’s unavoidable- they won’t’ be one in the same but they’ll be similarly aligned from the advice point of view,” Mr Kidd said.
“It just makes good commercial sense, but it also makes good sense from a client’s point of view.”
“If you want to keep clients happy, retain them and connect with them over the years, you want it all under the old roof: gone are the days where you had the old [referral] set up.”
The news follows a recent joint venture between Omniwealth and accounting firm Perry Eagan Partners announced in February which Mr Kidd said was “keeping in step with where the industry is headed.”
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