The Hawke’s Bay-based Boutique Advisers Alliance (BAA) has rebranded under the Finzo banner ahead of the imminent new financial advice regime.
Nick Stewart, Finzo chief, said the group, which currently supports four underlying financial advice firms representing about $350 million under management, would apply for a full Financial Advice Provider (FAP) licence once the process opens.
Stewart said Finzo has opted to form a FAP from scratch rather than seek qualifying financial entity (QFE) status prior to licensing under the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act (FSLAA).
QFEs – and authorised financial advisers (AFAs) – would likely be grandfathered into the FSLAA transitional licensing system scheduled to kick off in the final quarter of this year.
“We want to comply straight away with the new [FSLAA] standards,” he said.
FSLAA stipulates a two-year transitional licensing period with all those caught by the law required to have a full licence some time in 2022.
Stewart said the new regime would create an environment akin to the Australian ‘dealer group’ model where FAPs could offer a home for like-minded advisers and/or access to shared services.
Finzo, which offers services across KiwiSaver, insurance, pensions and wealth management, could help advisers with “technology, customer relationship management, compliance, cyber-security, corporate governance and regulation”, according to a release.
Advisers would be able to select Finzo services appropriate to their individual business needs, Stewart said.
“The name Finzo represents the fresh and progressive company we are building for our clients, to become the foremost integrated financial solutions provider, enabling advisers, brokers, family offices and asset consultants run their businesses better,” he said in the statement.
BAA launched in 2015 with five partner advisory members, including the Hastings-based Stewart Financial Group, which houses the recently-refurbished Finzo HQ.
The Finzo advisory partners typically invest via Dimensional Fund Advisors factor-based strategies. Dimenionsal also acts as underlying manager for the Asset Class KiwiSaver funds devised by the Stewart Group in 2015 (and included under the Booster KiwiSaver scheme).
The Asset Class funds recently broke through $100 million under management.
In 2017, BAA switched platform providers from Aegis to FNZ.
Stewart said Finzo was in talks with a number of potential new advisory and wealth management clients.