AZ NGA expansion to benefit planners

16-May-2017

By Sarah Kendell

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Financial planning practice acquisition model AZ Next Generation Advisory (AZ NGA) has expanded into accounting, a move which the group believed would allow advice practices to benefit from a range of new services tailored to small business owner clients.

The acquisition of Sydney-based accounting firm Peters & Partners (P&P) would see the firm swap 49 per cent of its equity for AZ NGA shares, with AZ NGA to progressively buy back these shares over 10 years.

The move marked the start of the rollout of a national accounting footprint to go alongside AZ NGA’s existing planning practice acquisition business, with both arms of the business to work together where it was appropriate, AZ NGA chief executive Paul Barrett said.

“It will be a separate company, but we are looking for accounting acquisitions in locations where there is opportunity for firms to work together in a client-sharing way,” Barrett told financialobserver.

“This doesn’t mean we won’t acquire firms with accounting and planning integrated, but it gives us an opportunity to build a deep focus in accounting where we think there is going to be a lot of opportunity.”

Barrett said following the P&P deal, AZ NGA was looking to acquire accounting firms with specialist backgrounds that could offer additional beneficial services for its planning practices to take up and learn from.

“Firms who want to be able to offer more than just financial planning and a broader set of services will be able to do that – we are not just looking at vanilla accounting; it’s SME (small to medium enterprise) specialisations,” he said.

“A lot of the clientele in our financial planning firms are SMEs, so having accounting firms that cater to that segment is important – P&P also have a number of SME services outside of accounting, like marketing, IT and engagement activities, so we will look to leverage that capability.”

Earlier in May, the group acquired Financial Wisdom-aligned advice practice Menico Tuck Parrish Financial Services, with both deals bringing AZ NGA up to 29 acquisitions in the two years since it launched in the Australian market.

The Cairns-based practice has about $170 million in funds under advice and a team of nine staff, including two advisers.

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