The new owner of mid-tier dealer group Madison Financial Group has revealed further details around its plans for the licensee, with increased investment in technology to play a key role in the group’s strategy going forward.
Clime Investment Management chief executive Rod Bristow told ifa that following the purchase of Madison from platform provider OneVue in June, the listed asset manager would look to build out Madison as a key retail advice offering for tens of thousands of self-directed investors currently making use of its managed funds and stock research.
“Clime is a unique business but if you look at our history, we’ve built up a loyal following of investors over a long period of time,” Mr Bristow said.
“We’ve got 50,000 people who subscribe to our newsletter, we’ve got a consumer share research service where people can subscribe to stock research – we’ve been working direct to consumer for many years.”
Rather than target its offering specifically to higher-value clients, Mr Bristow said the group was interested in providing solutions for the whole of the advice market, having received increasing demand for services from investors that did not fit into the wholesale definition.
“When I started, we launched a private wealth advisory business because we wanted to provide a deeper range of services for wholesale investors, but the clients are coming to us and saying ‘we want more from you’,” he said.
“We’ve got self directed investors we’re working with, we’ve got wholesale clients but we didn’t have a retail advice solution in the middle. It’s not a dealer group acquisition, it’s the opportunity to provide a range of high quality services for clients who aren’t necessarily wholesale clients.
“If they need advice and they aren’t wholesale clients they now have Madison – it’s about providing solutions across that whole spectrum.”
Mr Bristow said a key focus for the group would be using automation to cut the time involved in the advice process, which was key to remaining profitable given rising regulatory costs in the industry.
“Everything that’s come out of the royal commission and the shift in regulation – I think the pace at which it’s happened is faster than anyone anticipated, so from our perspective it’s about let’s understand that,” he said.
“We’ve been running a business listed on the ASX for many years so we know what it’s like, advice to some extent is similar. With the right level of investment, particularly around technology, to make the process more efficient, we think we can make a bit of a difference.
“There are a lot of technology providers in the space and new ones springing up every day, some have got great ideas and solutions.
“When you’re a small business it’s difficult to evaluate a whole different selection of providers, that’s one of the great benefits that a group like Clime can bring to the table – we’re ASX-listed, we can help identify the right partners and put those in place to support advice businesses.”
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