WEEKLY WRAP: Guardian Advice enters deal with capital managers

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Guardian Advice enters practice equity deal with capital managers

Risk specialist dealer group Guardian Advice has launched its Practice Equity Model by announcing its first equity investment in West Australian-based financial planning firm, Capital Managers. The equity partnership will support Capital Managers’ succession and growth strategy.

The deal enables Guardian and Capital Managers to build a sustainable presence in the West Australia market through a growth strategy underpinned by Guardian’s new Practice Equity model.

Under the model, Guardian takes an equity share in a financial planning firm (up to 40 per cent of the value of the business) which supports the succession strategy of the firm, by enabling the transition of the remaining equity ownership to other key advisers.

Guardian is looking to support multi-adviser firms already part of its network, or those interested in joining the group who are seeking expertise and support in the areas of growth and succession.

Beacon signs on as OneVue’s latest platform client

The newly formed Beacon Financial Group is the latest independently-owned dealer group to sign on to use OneVue’s Unified Managed Account (UMA) investment platform.

Beacon group managing director Peter Daly, who departed as Australian Financial Services chief executive in May last year, said the UMA provides superior online transaction, administration and reporting services, as well as self managed super fund integration.

“The UMA incorporates one of the widest ranges of investment types in the market and provides comprehensive daily reporting across all tax entities and investment types,” he said.

“Our advisers and their clients can operate cash, margin loans and custodial shares on the UMA, and access a larger number of managed funds, exchange traded funds, term deposit providers and separately managed account model portfolios than most providers can offer.”

Marc Lieberman appointed to FSC Board

Marc Lieberman, Chief Executive Officer of MetLife Australia, has been appointed to the board of the Financial Services Council.

Peter Maher, Chairman of the Financial Services Council said, “We welcome the breadth and depth of local and international experience that Marc brings to the FSC board.”

Lieberman has held senior positions in the life industry in New Zealand, Europe and North America.

“Marc joins the FSC board at a significant crossroad for Financial Services in Australia as it moves from a heavy focus on regulatory change to a time of innovation and the development of new market opportunities”, Maher said.

Russell boosts actuarial consulting strength

Russell Investments announced three new appointments within its actuarial consulting team including the promotion of Louise Campbell to director and head of Actuarial, and two new hires Bill Buttler, director, and Margaret O’Halloran, senior consultant. 

The latest appointments expand the number of dedicated actuarial staff employed in the team to 30, one of the largest teams in the industry. Russell actuaries consult to seven of the ten largest Australian corporate superannuation funds, as well as some of the largest institutions in the country, and provide advice to more than $80 billion of superannuation savings.

Russell chief executive Asia Pacific, Alan Schoenheimer, said, “The traditional role of the actuary is changing driven by the complexity of regulatory demands and uncertain investment markets. This has resulted in a reduced focus on number crunching and an increased focus on a more collaborative problem-solving approach.”

“Russell is a multi-asset retirement solutions specialist and our actuarial consulting capabilities help us deliver the outcomes our clients demand,” Schoenheimer said.

Curve Securities grows team to increase adviser focus

Independently owned fixed income intermediary, Curve Securities, has further increased its focus on advisers, with the appointment of Shane Heard to the role of director TD Gateway – Advisor Relations.  The appointment follows the recent launch of TD Gateway, which gives advisers the mechanism to quickly and simply identify the best short and long term interest rates available in the market.

Managing director, Andrew Murray, said Curve Securities recognised the increasing pressure on advisers to improve efficiency and that the group was witnessing strong demand for the TD Gateway Service.

“We have been servicing corporates and middle market participants since 2009.   TD Gateway was launched in the past month and is now available to a number of dealer groups including William Buck Wealth Advisors (NSW) Pty Ltd.  Shane has joined the team to help promote education around the offering and to ensure we remain responsive to the changing needs of advisers.”

TD Gateway The Gateway typically caters for deposits of $50,000 to $5,000,000.  Curve Securities manages all the administration and application and ensures the term deposit is set up at the secured rate and nominated term. The service is free to advisors and funds are placed directly with the bank, building society or credit union concerned.

Guardian Advice launches medical reward program for advisers

Risk specialist dealer group Guardian Advice has launched a medical reward program offering an exclusive medical and pathology service to advisers, aimed at improving the client experience throughout the insurance application process.

Guardian Advice head Simon Harris said, “No client wants to go through the process of having to get blood tests or needles and getting questioned about their health history. If we can make that process as easy and efficient as possible, it will result in more revenue for our advisers and getting more Australians insured.

“Advisers and their clients will get preferential service and a better experience based on the service standards we’ve negotiated. This is also a mobile service, so medical professionals can see the client in their own home.”

High conviction fund manager enters Australian market

Altair Asset Management (Altair) announced the launch of its Australian equities business.

The Altair investment philosophy is based on understanding a range of “change factors” and how they might impact a company or industry, says Altair’s managing director and chief investment officer, Philip Parker.

“We believe that understanding prospective change and the pace at which it is likely to occur permits the capture of investment opportunities.  Possibilities arise from companies that drive or embrace change, in addition to those that may suffer negative impacts,” Parker said.

Altair has assembled a team of experienced investment professionals, including  managing director and chief investment officer Philip Parker; head of research and process David Langford; and chief economic adviser Stephen Roberts.

Parker was a co-founder and principal of Hunter Hall in the early nineties and then established his own private client wealth management business - Parker Asset Management - in 2000.  Altair has evolved from the success of Parker Asset Management, to now offer managed portfolios and managed funds to self managed super funds, adviser dealer groups and institutions as well as the existing clients, comprising individuals and family offices.

AMP Capital launches new website to educate SMSF investors on property and infrastructure investments

AMP Capital has launched a new campaign to highlight the benefits of investing in ‘real assets’ such as infrastructure and property in an SMSF portfolio.

Some SMSF trustees and their advisers limit their investment choices to assets such as direct investment in residential property as well as cash and term deposits, Australian shares and fixed income.

AMP Capital believes that SMSF trustees and their advisers can often improve their portfolio construction by considering a broader range of real assets, including infrastructure and other types of property.

The SMSF microsite is designed for use by SMSF advisers with their clients and highlights other investment options that could be part of an SMSF investment mix.