Azimut makes fifth acquisition in Australia

Italy’s independent asset manager Azimut has signed a binding sale and purchase agreement to acquire the entire capital of Wise Planners (WP) through its Australian subsidiary, AZ Next Generation Advisory Pty Ltd (AZ NGA).

The agreement includes a share swap of 49% of WP’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 follows the deals reached with Eureka Whittaker Macnaught (EWM), Pride Advice, Lifestyle Financial Planning Services (LFPS) and Financial Lifestyle Partners and is a continuation of AZ NGA’s objective of consolidating high quality Australian financial practices providing wealth management services to retail, HNW and institutional clients in Australia.

Gareth Hall will remain CEO of Wise Planners under the terms of the new arrangement. At present, Wise Planners is responsible for $410m (€262m) of assets under advice and operates out of Chatswood, on Sydney’s North Shore.

The total value of the transaction considering both the cash and share swap entails a purchase price of around A$4.5m (including A$800,000 as negative net financial position).

The closing of the transaction is expected to take place in November 2015 upon satisfaction of some sale conditions.

Paul Barrett, AZ NGA CEO states: “We are thrilled to be able to announce our latest partnership with Wise Planners. Gareth and Shane have built a leading reputation in the Superannuation sector over nearly two decades and run a model practice in terms of operational efficiency”.

Gareth Hall said “We’ve been looking for the next step in our business journey for some time, and are delighted to partner with AZ NGA in order to continue to grow as well as ensure our succession objectives can be met. Most importantly our partnership with AZ NGA ensures that we can continue to service our clients for decades to come!”

Pietro Giuliani (pictured), Chairman and CEO of Azimut Holding, comments: “Our entrepreneurial spirit is picking up momentum among many people in Australia. A number of professionals have decided to join our Australian venture and we are all committed to create a success story for those joining today and for the many more to come in the future”.

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