A pair of Christchurch-based fee-based financial advisory firms have merged to create a new entity with national ambitions.
In a deal inked last month the long-established Bradley Nuttall group and fellow Christchurch business iQ² Private Wealth united under the Cambridge Partners banner.
Jacob Wolt, Bradley Nuttall founding partner, said the combined business would have up to eight Christchurch-domiciled advisers.
Currently, Bradley Nuttall has four authorised financial advisers with two others close to qualifying while iQ² Private Wealth principals, Richard Austin and Steve Mander, complete the Cambridge Partners set.
He said the founding groups were “philosophically-aligned” on investment strategies, advice process and “where we want the business to go”.
Both groups subscribe to the “evidence-based investing” school epitomised by the US manager Dimensional Fund Advisors.
According to Wolt, the merger would bring together the “complementary skills” of the two advisory groups to deliver “better client services”.
He said in 2015 Bradley Nuttall laid out a 10-year growth plan that included a target of doubling the business by early in 2019.
“Part of the plan was to find a merger partner,” Wolt said. “As regulation bites advisory firms will need scale – especially if they want their businesses to last beyond their lifetimes.
“There’s not a great future for the one- and two-man band practices.”
However, he said the move wasn’t prompted by the impending financial advice law reform that will see entity licensing replace the current individual-based regulation.
“We’ve always liked to be ahead of the regulatory curve,” Wolt said.
He said the merger would also allow Cambridge Partners advisers to specialise while also offering career paths to all staff as well as succession planning options for business owners.
Cambridge Partners will physically unite next March at new Christchurch premises on Hereford Street. The group already services clients around the country and offshore from its home base but Wolt said Cambridge Partners planned to expand around NZ with like-minded advisers.
This week the group will launch a new book on retirement planning it co-authored with Canadian expert on the subject, Barry LaValley.
Bradley Nuttall has about $540 million under management on the Aegis platform but also operates in the consulting space to a range of wholesale investors and family offices across NZ with between $10 million to $100 million of assets.
An iconic NZ advisory firm, Bradley Nuttall has been around for about 25 years while iQ² Private Wealth formed more than 10 years ago. Earlier this month another stalwart financial advisory brand departed NZ after AMP retired Spicers in favour of the more prosaic AdviceFirst label.
Wolt is also a director and shareholder of the Consilium adviser services group which offers an FNZ-backed investment platform that recently broke through $2 billion in funds under administration.