Milford Asset Management has embarked on a nationwide advice blitz with plans to open at least six new branded offices across the country.
Philip Morgan Rees, Milford head of private wealth, said the Auckland-headquartered boutique fund manager, was currently recruiting for authorised financial advisers (AFA) in several locations.
Morgan Rees said Milford already had financial advice offices in Auckland, Christchurch and Wanaka but the group was now looking to service high net worth clients directly in the regions.
“We already have advisers in Christchurch and Wanaka but we’re getting increased demand from other centres too,” he said. “Many high net worth investors really like dealing with a local adviser who knows the communities they live in.”
Milford is targeting AFA-qualified advisers to set up shop in the major centres of Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga as well as in regional wealth hotspots Nelson, Kerikeri and Hawke’s Bay.
According to the recruiting blurb, Milford – identified only as an “outstanding fund manager” – is “establishing a new wealth leadership role” in each of the six regions.
Prospective Milford recruits would be charged with providing “consistently high quality of investment advice to existing clients”, the ad says.
Milford has almost doubled funds under management since 2017 to about $8 billion, bolstered by strong performance in already bullish markets and solid inflows chiefly from its loyal – and growing – direct client base.
The manager has a private wealth service team of more than 25 including 15 AFAs (mostly Auckland-based).
Morgan Rees said Milford had no firm timeline for opening its proposed regional offices.
“It depends on whether we can find the right advisers,” he said.
Milford has launched a new KiwiSaver advice service (either face-to-face or by phone to members with balances above $250,000.
Milford has historically had limited success in distribution via independent financial advisers (IFA) in NZ. However, the manager’s recently-launched Australian operation is pitching to the IFA market.
(In aside, Milford hired its first Australian-based global equities manager last week, poaching Alexander Whight, from the country’s largest superannuation fund, AustralianSuper. Milford plans to launch an Australian version of its Diversified Income Fund this April.)
The AFA recruitment battle is likely to heat up further ahead of the impending Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act (FSLAA) regime. FSLAA transitional licensing kicks off this June, compelling all advisers to operate, or work for, approved Financial Advice Providers (FAPs).
Job-hopping AFAs have plenty of opportunities to consider aside from the Milford offer with Kiwi Wealth, JMI Wealth and Westpac currently in the market. The niche MedCapital – an advice firm linked to a group of companies founded by David Hazledine – is also hiring AFAs in Christchurch and Auckland.