AZ NGA acquires another ANZ-aligned practice

AZ Next Generation Advisory has acquired an award-winning OnePath-aligned practice based in Victoria in its first acquisition of 2016.

Yesterday afternoon AZ NGA announced it had signed a binding sale and purchase agreement to acquire the entire capital of Empowered Financial Partners (EFP), part of the RI Advice Group which is aligned with ANZ's OnePath specialist wealth management protection business.

The agreement includes a share swap of 49 per cent of EFP's equity for AZ NGA shares and a progressive buy-back of these shares over the next 10 years.

It also follows recently announced deals with CBA-aligned Eureka Whittaker Macnaught; ANZ–aligned Pride Advice; CBA-aligned Lifestyle Financial Planning Services; Securitor-aligned Financial Lifestyle Partners; CBA-aligned Wise Planners; CBA-aligned Harvest Wealth; and ANZ-aligned RI Toowoomba.

In a statement, AZ NGA said the move represents a "continuation of AZ NGA's objective of consolidating high quality Australian financial practices providing wealth management services to retail, HNW and institutional clients in Australia".

Empowered Financial Partners began trading in 1994 as Williamstown Financial Services and is led by principals Jason Andrew, Bernie Cooney and Richard Owen who have entered into long-term contracts to ensure business continuity.

Empowered Financial Partners was the recipient of the 2015 RI Advice Groups Platinum Award. This award is given to the top 10 practices of the RI group that demonstrate the strongest compliance, client-centric and collaborative values among the 200-strong community of member firms.

Paul Barrett, AZ NGA chief executive, said, "Jason, Bernie and Richard run an outstanding, full-service financial planning practice with a strong value proposition for their clients. They are committed to developing a lifelong relationship with their clients and staff, and provide an outstanding example of how a professional firm should be run."

AZ NGA has shortlisted a number of financial planning firms for further potential consolidation.

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