Two dealer groups merge into “adviser powerhouse”

by Ksenia Stepanova01 Oct 2020

NZFSG and financial advice support provider Kepa have announced that they are merging, a move which will create an “adviser powerhouse” dealer group with over 1600 members.

The merger will bring Kepa’s network of 400 advisers together with NZFSG’s 1200, plus its affiliate Loan Market. The new dealer group will be settling over $17 billion in mortgages, and issuing $30 million in life insurance premiums each year.

Kepa says the partnership will also give it access to “industry leading technology” and customer relationship management systems, along with regulatory and compliance tools which will help push business management costs down.

Commenting on the merger, Kepa chief executive Brendon Neal said it would bring the best of every organisation together to benefit both customers and advisers.

“NZFSG, Loan Market and Kepa are New Zealand’s largest life insurance and mortgage adviser dealer groups,” Neal said.

Read more: Are dealer groups becoming more important to advisers?

“While we are individually well-established and respected organisations recognised for providing excellent support to advisers, together we are stronger.”

“We will take the best from all three organisations to deliver superior services for the combined membership,” he added.

“Kepa members will immediately benefit from access to MyCRM and we’ll be able to add depth to NZFSG’s support services, including online and classroom support for advisor qualifications; a learning management system for continuing professional development; advice audits and compliance checks; and many other options to support our members’ businesses.”

NZFSG’s chief executive Brendon Smith says the three groups are all committed to ensuring they have well-trained, well-resourced and properly qualified financial advisers, and will be focusing on being a strong single entity.

“With the industry facing complex and sweeping regulatory changes, New Zealand’s independent financial advisors are facing an increasing compliance burden,” Smith said.

“By combining our respective businesses and expertise, we can support advisers to navigate these changes with the added benefits of genuine scale.”

The merger is conditional Overseas Investment Office and New Zealand Commerce Commission approvals, with settlement expected on 30th October 2020.

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