Licensee questions IOOF/SFG deal

IOOF is either “very brave” or “very informed” to pay such a high price for SFG Australia, according to non-aligned licensee Pinn Deavin.

Sydney-based Pinn Deavin director Michael Pinn told ifa he was troubled by the “seemingly ongoing unlevel playing field and potential for conflict” following the announcement of the $670 million deal on Friday.

"You have to wonder what special knowledge IOOF may have to make them so bold as to acquire further advice channels when they are so committed to manufacture and distribution," said Mr Pinn.

"As a public company you would not be expected to commit such large sums of money to a major acquisition when the vertically-integrated business model is allegedly subject to a national inquiry," he said.

The acquisition is hardly a "bargain buy" given that IOOF is paying a multiple of 18 times for the privilege, said Mr Pinn.

"They seem to be either very brave or very informed.

"There is a lot of sense in a vertically-integrated model. However in the absence of disclosure as to ultimate ownership of the advice business, it also means it is a great way to deny the consumer information they are entitled to know when making their decisions," Mr Pinn said.

He backed recent calls by the Boutique Financial Planners association for disclosure of ultimate ownership to be mandatory in all representations and advertising material.

"If IOOF were committed to including their logo on all SFG materials then the client would be informed and a lot of the concern over the potential for underinformed decision making would be alleviated," said Mr Pinn.

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