Affinity purchase offers advice to all stages

21-Jul-2017

By Megan Tran

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Wealth management firm Affinity Group has launched a Brisbane practice offering ‘life cycle’ advice services by purchasing 50 per cent of a practice formerly operating under AMP advice group Hillross.

Speaking to financialobserver, Affinity Group founder and senior partner Keith Jones said the move was part of a strategy to cater for the firm’s three divisions: accounting, financial planning and specialist aged care advice.

The Sydney-based firm’s three arms are designed to navigate clients through the financial life stages of accumulating assets, retirement and aged care living.

Jones said he believed operating under an independent licensee meant practices such as the firm’s new acquisition could provide more boutique services and investments to their clients, unhampered by the large institutions’ "one glove fits all” approach to compliance and asset management.

“Affinity has been built upon the fundamental principle that ‘clients come first’. This was the primary reason they made the decision to leave a large institutionally-owned dealer group and instead establish a privately owned boutique wealth management company,” he said.

Jones said the company saw opportunities in the investment advice space from the new Brisbane practice, which would complement its substantial market position in Sydney and see the group’s funds under management increased to more than half a billion dollars.

“Affinity actively manages client investment portfolios via its managed discretionary account (MDA) licence,” Jones said.

“The business employs a ‘go to cash’ mandate across investment portfolios. In the event of severe market stress, Affinity will advise clients to protect their capital position by reducing their exposure to growth assets and increasing cash and fixed interest investments.”

Hillross Brisbane founder Paul Hocking said Affinity’s resources and market knowledge were attractive to the firm when deciding to switch to an independent licensee.

“Moving away from a large dealer based operating model was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up because I will be able to offer my clients so many more options when it comes to managing their wealth portfolios,” Hocking said.

The newly renamed Affinity Brisbane practice would retain Hocking’s services and Sydney-based partner Kate Golder would manage the Brisbane operations from next year, the group said.

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