***Updated***US-based, private equity-backed Focus Financial Partners has expanded its Australian presence with the acquisition of a self-licensed advice boutique in Queensland.
Speaking to ifa from New York, Focus Financial Partners director Rajini Kodialam has confirmed the global firm has acquired Gold Coast-based boutique Financial Professionals.
Established in 1999, the family-run practice specialises in servicing high-net-worth individuals and SMSF trustees in the Gold Coast and Brisbane metropolitan areas, and also has a number of CPAs within the business.
Financial Professionals is the third M&A play in the Australian market for Focus, having already acquired a minority stake in Melbourne-based MW Lomax. Following the injection of offshore capital, MW Lomax subsequently acquired the Westwood Group in Brisbane.
Focus is backed by a consortium of American private equity investors, including major players KKR and Stone Point Capital, and has a niche interest in profitable financial advice practices that are not aligned to financial institutions or product manufacturers.
In a statement to ifa, Financial Professionals founder and chief executive Ross Rickard said the transaction will open new doors.
“As we consider various growth opportunities for the firm, we have been looking for a strategic partner not only to explore these avenues but also to provide us with management support,” Mr Rickard said
“We are excited to join the group of high-caliber Focus firms. We are looking to form more strategic partnerships to extend our client offerings and deepen our bench strength.”
Focus principal Molly Bennard spoke to ifa at the Wraps, Platforms and Masterfunds conference in the NSW Hunter Valley in August about the firm’s M&A war chest and plans for the Australian market.
Correction: A previous version of this article mistakenly inferred that Focus had previously acquired both MW Lomax and the Westwood Group. It has now been amended to reflect that Focus owns a minority stake in MW Lomax, which owns 100 per cent of Westwood Group.
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