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Regional Victorian practices to merge

Two regional Victorian practices, one aligned with Australian Unity and another operating under its own AFSL, have inked a deal to merge and will now launch a bookkeeping and standalone SMSF business.

The new entity will be called Ashfords Wealth Advisors and follows the merger of Dandenong-based wealth advisory firm WDP Financial Solutions (currently aligned with Australian Unity's Premium Wealth Management) and Dingley-based ARM Financial Advisors, which operates under its own AFSL.

Continuing under its own AFSL, Ashford Wealth Advisors will be operational from 1 January 2016.

Andrew Brown, director of Ashfords, said the merger was a "a win for our collective clients".

"The sum of the two businesses allows us, through economies of scale, to provide our clients additional services that we may not have been able to offer as individual businesses," he said.

The merger of the two businesses will also see the coming together of their respective accounting practices (Aston Ryan Malcolm and Waters Dace Partners) to form Ashfords Accountants and Advisory.

It will also offer additional services including bookkeeping and a standalone SMSF administration business (Ashfords Superannuation Services).


The merger comes on the back of the successful joining of Waters Dace and Aston Ryan Malcolm's audit businesses in January 2015 to form Ashford Audit & Assurance.

As Ashfords, the practice will continue to have operations both in Dandenong and Dingley in its newly renovated offices.

"Both practices have been servicing their local community for many, many years and we want our clients to continue to have access to our staff and services where it suits them, so maintaining offices in both existing locations was a given," Ashfords partner Michael Ryan said.