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AZ NGA acquires second ANZ-aligned practice

AZ Next Generation Advisory (AZ NGA) closes out 2015 with its seventh acquisition, this time a OnePath-aligned practice based in inland Queensland.

Overnight, AZ NGA announced it had signed a binding sale and purchase agreement to acquire 51 per cent of the capital of RI Toowoomba (RIT). The agreement includes a share swap of 49 percent of RIT's equity for AZ NGA shares and a progressive buy-back of these shares over the next 10 years.

RIT is part of the RI Advice Group which is aligned with ANZ's OnePath specialist wealth management protection business. It has been operating since 1992 and is led by Jeff and Linda English. In that time, RIT has amassed $260 million funds under advice. RIT utilises a dual branding strategy, using the 'Retireinvest' moniker to attract retirees and pre-retirees, as well as the 'RI Advice' brand to attract a younger clientele.

The closing of the transaction is expected to occur in January 2016 upon satisfaction of some conditions precedent provided in the sale and purchase agreement. The acquisition is not subject to the approval of the local authority.

"Jeff, Linda and the team run an extremely efficient and highly profitable firm. This is a proud and ambitious financial planning company with a great track record of serving its clients and staff very well indeed. We look forward to working with the RIT team to grow our south-east Queensland footprint," AZ NGA chief executive Paul Barrett said.

According to a release, AZ NGA spent the first quarter of 2015 fine tuning its offer to quality financial planning firms with the first agreement closed in May. Since then seven deals have been announced across Australia taking AZ NGA's combined funds under advice to $1.8 billion in eight months.

"Our offer has been well accepted by quality financial planning firms due to our flexibility in approach, mix between solving succession planning and growth, and long-term nature," Mr Barrett said.


So far the group has announced deals with CBA-aligned Eureka Whittaker Macnaught, ANZ–aligned Pride Advice, CBA-aligned Lifestyle Financial Planning Services and Securitor-aligned Financial Lifestyle Partners, CBA-aligned Wise Planners and CBA-aligned Harvest Wealth.

AZ NGA was established in November 2014 and is part of Azimut Group, an independent Italian asset manager, established in 1989 and today operating in 14 countries with more than €35.3bn in AUM (equivalent to AU$ 52.3 bn).