Azimut strengthens Australian presence

Italy’s independent asset manager Azimut continues its expansion plan in Australia with the acquisition of financial adviser Empowered Financial Partners (EFP) via its Australian subsidiary, AZ Next Generation Advisory Pty (AZ NGA).

Azimut paid A$2.8m (€1.8m) for the acquisition, which is expected to complete in February 2016 following satisfaction of sale and purchase agreement conditions.

The agreement includes a share swap of 49% of EFP’s equity for AZ NGA shares and a progressive buy back of these shares over the next ten years.

The remaining 51% stake will be paid to the founding partners in cash over a period of two years, Azimut said.

This latest agreement is the eighth in line with a series of acquisitions, the most recent of which was that of advice practice RI Toowoomba (RIT).

AZ NGA was established in November 2014 and is part of Azimut Group, Italy’s leading independent asset manager, established in 1989 and today operating in 14 countries with more than €36.7bn in AUM (equivalent to A$56.7bn).

Empowered Financial Partners originally began trading in 1994 as Williamstown Financial Services and is led by its principals Jason Andrew, Bernie Cooney and Richard Owen who have entered into long term contracts to ensure business continuity.

Empowered Financial Partners is responsible for A$134m (€87m) of funds under advice and operates out of Melbourne.

Empowered Financial Partners provides financial planning services, which include investment and asset allocation advice, retirement planning, insurance, strategic financial planning advice and financial literacy services to its client base.

Pietro Giuliani (pictured), chairman and CEO of Azimut Holding, comments: “We are starting the year continuing to build our Australian franchise in line with what was successfully done in 2015.

“After achieving a record year at group level in 2015, with the best result in terms of net inflows (€ 6.7bn) and a strong growth in AUM (+22% year on year), we are happy to continue attracting talented entrepreneurs to our partnership and to develop further the business thanks to a strong pipeline.”

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