Next Generation Advisory (NGA), a subsidiary of Italian asset management giant Azimut, has signed an agreement acquire a majority stake in CBA-aligned Eureka Whittaker Macnaught (EWM).
In a statement issued by NGA yesterday, chief executive Paul Barrett said the deal will include a “share swap of [49 per cent] of EWM’s equity for AZ NGA shares and a progressive buy back of these shares over the next 10 years”.
EWM is the first acquisition made by NGA since Mr Barrett, a former MD of global advice and distribution at ANZ, announced his employer had allocated $100 million for the strategic purchase of Australian financial planning firms in November 2014.
The transaction will be completed in coming weeks. Current EWM CEO Greg Cook, CFO Andrew Jones and Queensland state manager Sally Bell will stay on in their respective roles, with Mr Cook also taking a board position at NGA.
A total business valuation of $9.6 million was offered by Mr Barrett, who said that due diligence is currently being completed on a number of separate acquisition targets.
“We are delighted to have secured a partnership with such a high calibre firm. Greg, Andrew, and Sally have built a highly successful firm over many years,” Mr Barrett said.
“The 2013 acquisition of Whittaker Macnaught by Eureka demonstrated the strong leadership qualities of the team. Together they have assembled a team of skilled professional planners who represent the next generation of professionals in our industry.”
Whittaker Macnaught was owned by CBA/Bankwest before its acquisition by Eureka, following which the majority of its advisers joined the Financial Wisdom dealer group.
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