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AZ Next Generation Advisory makes fourth acquisition

AZ Next Generation Advisory (AZ NGA) has inked a deal to acquire Securitor-licensed Financial Lifestyle Partners (FLP), taking the group's funds under management to $1 billion.

As part of the deal, AZ NGA has signed a binding sale and purchase agreement to acquire 51 per cent of FLP. The agreement also includes a share swap of 49 per cent of FLP's equity for AZ NGA shares and a progressive buy-back of these shares over the next 10 years.

FLP is a Melbourne-based firm. Chief executive Craig Ralph began his financial planning career 30 years ago and opened a pure fee-for-service practice in 1997.

The practice evolved and became known as FLP in 2010. Mr Ralph, along with his wife Lisa, were leaders in the transition to the fee-for-service business model in Australia.

AZ NGA chief executive Paul Barrett said he was delighted to announce the purchase.

"Craig and Lisa have been running this firm for 30 years; it is a great business – one of the first businesses in the financial planning industry to transfer from a commission-based remuneration model to fee-for-service and have a very good client for life proposition," Mr Barrett said.

FLP manages over $100 million of assets under advice, and provides services to over 300 clients. The firm employs seven staff in its Melbourne-based office, offering a range of financial planning services including investment and asset allocation advice, retirement planning, insurance, and strategic financial planning advice to its client base.


"We are delighted to join the AZ NGA family and look forward to sharing the journey with other like-minded business owners and their teams. We believe this opportunity secures our futures as well as those of our staff and our clients," Mr Ralph said.

This latest acquisition follows deals with Lifestyle Financial Planning Services (LFPS), CBA–aligned Eureka Whittaker Macnaught and the ANZ-aligned Pride Group.

Mr Barrett made the acquisition announcement last night at the opening of a new office in Sydney, which the firm will be sharing with planning firm Eureka Whittaker McNaught.

At the same time, Mr Barrett discussed AZ NGA's plans for the Australian market.

"We are an investor in quality financial planning businesses – that's what we do," he said.

"One of the gaps I saw was helping financial planning businesses to grow but also helping the vendors, the business owners, to ultimately secure their futures by partnering with someone with capital who could assist them in their succession planning and assist their staff in their career development – and making sure a sustainable business can be created that can last for many, many decades."

AZ NGA was established in November 2014 and is part of Azimut Group, Italy's leading independent financial planning and asset management company, established in 1989 and today operating in 14 countries with more than $54 billion.