The revelation that NAB is supporting aligned practices to go self-licensed comes amid rumours of conflict within the 157-adviser strong dealer group.
Last week, ifa exclusively reported that at least two large Godfrey Pembroke practices have recently left the group and obtained their own AFSL, with assistance from the owner of their former licensee.
Commenting on the move, a source close to the matter told ifa of increasing tensions between NAB and some members of the Godfrey Pembroke network on a number of key issues.
“Godfrey Pembroke has some of the most successful and professional practices in the country and many believe they can no longer service their clients’ best interests with the current ownership structure and platform choice,” the source said. “For many years, the growing unease has been known and multiple breakaway discussions had.”
Asked to respond to the speculation, a NAB spokesperson said that Godfrey has “one of the broadest approved platform lists on the market, including access to Macquarie and Asgard as well as our NAB-owned platform solutions.”
Still, industry commentator and M&A specialist, Steve Prendeville of Forte Asset Solutions, said the bank’s strategy to assist formerly-aligned practices to get their own licenses is a smart one.
“The assistance by banks to get practices their own licences is a ‘win-win’,” Mr Prendeville said.
“The bank de-risks but maintains a relationship with the provision of dealer-to-dealer services and [potentially] FUM retention, while the practice has continuity of service but with greater freedom and enhanced client and management value proposition.”
Godfrey Pembroke joined the MLC network in 1999 ahead of NAB’s $4.5 billion acquisition of MLC in 2000.
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