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Possible $7bn merger between Mirvac and Australand

Speculation has been rife all week that Mirvac is considering a $7m merger plan for rival Australand, a deal which would create one of the largest diversified real estate investment trusts in the country.

While investors and analysts reacted positively to the news, Mirvac has not confirmed the deal, saying they “continually assess opportunities”.

If the Merger proceeds, the trust  would hold one of the most valuable portfolios in Australia, including Mirvac’s 8 Chifley Square in Sydney and Australand’s Southbank tower in Melbourne.

ASIC warn customers of investment scam

ASIC have uncovered a scam running under the premise of licenced financial services business Prestige Private Wealth.

The scammers offer consumers opportunities to invest in a managed share trading fund operated by ‘experienced stock brokers’. Consumers are invited to invest $1000 for a trial period of 2 weeks and then the minimum investment of $10,000 is recommended.

ASIC’s concern is that the scammers, via their website, promotional material and cold calling, appear to be fraudulently using the Australian business number (ABN), Australian company number (ACN) and Australian financial services (AFS) licence number of Prestige Wealth Planning Pty Ltd, a licensed financial services business with no connections to Prestige Private Wealth.

Intensive three-day course for financial services professionals

One of the world’s leading specialists in business valuation will deliver an intensive three-day residential course for Asia-Pacific professionals in Adelaide, South Australia,  from March 5 to 7 (2013).

It is tailored for bankers, corporate finance consultants, accountants, M&A and private equity professionals and others who are involved in investment decision-making or responsible for corporate finance strategy.

Professor Kevin Kaiser, who delivers executive and MBA programs at INSEAD, (Business School of the World) has previously worked with global leaders such as Microsoft, KPMG, Shell, Macquarie and Morgan Stanley.

His message is that businesses must distinguish between value creation and value destruction if they are to ensure long-term competitive success.

The one-off program has been organised by the Government of South Australia.

DomaCom announces new executive appointment

Recent new entrant to the platform space, DomaCom, has announced the appointment of Ross Laidlaw to the role of Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer to be based in DomaCom’s Sydney office.

DomaCom CEO, Arthur Naoumidis, said, “We are extremely pleased to have someone of Ross Laidlaw’s experience join our team to help drive the DomaCom business model forward. He has a proven track record in developing greenfield financial service companies and is well known to the Australian financial planning community for driving the award winning Skandia platform from zero to $15b in 7 years. His return to Australia is a golden opportunity for us and we believe Ross will contribute significantly to the development of the DomaCom platform, which is unique in many ways”.

Laidlaw has recently returned from 4 years in Europe where he was most recently Head of Baltic and International Sales for Swedbank Robur, Sweden’s largest asset manager, and prior to that CEO/CIO of Skandia for Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Investorfirst transfer to Wilson HTM

 Investorfirst’s Stockbroking and Investment Advisory activities, including a number of advisers and analysts employed and engaged by Investorfirst in Sydney and Melbourne, will transfer to Wilson HTM. This business currently generates revenues in excess of $4 million, with Investorfirst’s private clients holding in excess of $400m in Australian equities portfolios, cash and other investments.

The addition of Investorfirst’s investment advisory team, led by Melbourne investment identity Hugh Robertson, will further bolster Wilson HTM’s focus on emerging and mid cap companies. The addition of three research analysts from Investorfirst will allow Wilson HTM to increase its research coverage by around 20 companies, taking the total companies under coverage to around 120.

 Australia’s first Islamic superannuation option unveiled

Australian investors will be able to invest their superannuation savings in an Islamic-compliant superannuation option for the first time following a deal that will make Crescent Wealth’s suite of investment funds available through leading independent financial planning association, the Association of Independently Owned Financial Professionals (AIOFP).

The landmark agreement will allow retail investors in Australia to transfer all or part of their superannuation savings to Islamic-compliant investment options offered by Australia’s first Islamic wealth manager, Crescent Wealth.

“We envisage this new investment option will be very appealing not only to Australians of the Islamic faith but to all Australians who are seeking conservative, value-based investments,” Crescent Wealth Managing Director Talal Yassine said.

“For Islamic investors it is welcome news because, for the first time, they will have an opportunity to invest their superannuation savings in a manner that complies with their faith.

Merry Christmas from Wealth Professional

We'll be taking a short break until 3 January 2013, when we'll be back with more industry news, opinion and analysis.

Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to hearing more from you in the new year.