Long-term focus to beat compliance

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Bennelong Group has announced its intention to venture into wealth management and advice, following the acquisition of Melbourne-based wealth management and advisory firm Carnbrea & Co Limited (Carnbrea).

Chris Cunningham, CEO of the Bennelong Group, says that the group had been eyeing up the industry for the past 12 months, but wanted to make sure it had the right people to take the strategy forward. The opportunity then arose to take a controlling stake in Carnbrea, who Cunningham says was looking to partner with somebody to grow the business going forward.

“We’ve been watching the space, and finally over the last month or so we’ve got to a point where we can get started,” said Cunningham. And despite it being a turbulent time for the advice sector, he says the group’s long track record in dealing with compliance and regulation provides it with a good level of expertise.

“We’re a private group that can take a long-term view of things, and we think that change provides us with an opportunity. There will be individuals and organisations looking for a well-supported environment to operate within and we think we can provide that.”

However, he says that it is important to note that the fund management business is operated separately. “This business and strategy will be run quite independently, but as a group we’ve learnt an awful lot about the industry and compliance, and can take a lot of what we learnt about the advice space.”

Bennelong will focus on the needs of private clients and not-for-profit organisations. Cunningham says that it is not that they are underserviced, but he believes this is where Bennelong will provide the most value.

“From our perspective, we saw that segment of the market as one we can add the most value to longer term…Whereby it’s not just about investment advice – it’s certainly more than that – around full wealth management advice, including things like philanthropy, family governance, and the investment asset allocation as well.”

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