Azimut makes sixth acquisition in Australia

Azimut has acquired the entire capital of Harvest Wealth (HW) via its Australian subsidiary, AZ Next Generation Advisory (AZ NGA).

The agreement includes a share swap of 49% of HW’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.

This latest agreement follows the recently announced deals reached with Eureka Whittaker Macnaught (EWM), Pride Advice (Pride), Lifestyle Financial Planning Services (LFPS), Financial Lifestyle Partners (FLP), and Wise Planners (WP) 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.

AZ NGA was established in November 2014 and is part of Azimut Group established in 1989 and today operating in 14 countries with more than €35.3bn in AUM.

Harvest Wealth was created via a merger of three financial planning firms in 2006, and is led by its principals Lyn Heaysman and Matt Tuohey, who have entered into long term contracts to ensure business continuity.

Harvest Wealth is responsible for €112m of funds under advice and operates out of Victoria, and provides a comprehensive range of financial planning services including investment and asset allocation advice, retirement planning, insurance, strategic financial planning advice and financial literacy services to its client base.

Over the past decade the business has developed a sophisticated operational platform that enables efficient delivery of services and a highly consistent client experience.

For the past seven years Harvest Wealth has been the recipient of Financial Wisdom’s “Practice of the Year” award for South Australia, and won the National award in 2012. In 2015 the Harvest Wealth team won the highly sought after national award for “Quality” which reflects their commitment to achieving the highest standards of advice.

The Mildura-based team has established great depth within their ranks with Jack Forbes being a previous recipient of Financial Wisdom’s “Centres of Influence” award, and in October this year Kylie George won the prestigious industry award “AFA Rising Star”.

The total value of the transaction considering both the cash and share swap entails a purchase price of around A$ 2.6mn (net of A$ 0.4 million negative net financial position). The closing of the transaction is expected to occur in December 2015 upon satisfaction of some conditions precedent provided in the sale and purchase agreement.

HW operates under the Australian Financial Services License regime overseen by ASIC; the acquisition is not subject to the approval of the local authority.

Paul Barrett, AZ NGA CEO states: “Lyn and Matt run a modern, client-centric financial planning practice. They are committed to educating their clients, and their staff and provide an outstanding example of how a professional firm should be run.”

Lyn Heaysman said “We are proud of what our business has achieved for its clients and staff, and are very confident that the partnership with AZ NGA will enable this to continue for many years to come.”

Pietro Giuliani, Chairman and CEO of Azimut Holding, comments: “We are approaching the end of 2015 with a solid track record built in only 7 months of consolidating Australian financial practices. Our partnership approach, corporate values and focus on growth is enabling AZ NGA to become a reference point for those quality financial planning firms driven by an entrepreneurial spirit.

“Our local management team is supported by a solid and international organization, which closed the first nine months with the best net profit in Azimut history, overcoming the entire 2014 figure and on track to reach the 220-300 million euro net profit guidance given for the full year.”

AZ NGA announced its first acquisition on May 8th, 2015, when it acquired EWM. This was followed by the acquisition of the Pride Group on May 27th 2015, LFPS on July 15th 2015, FLP on Sept 24th 2015, Wise Planners on Oct 19th 2015, and now Harvest Wealth.

This latest deal is in line with AZ NGA long term business plan to continue to acquire high calibre businesses. AZ NGA, who reached A$ 1.6 billion assets, has shortlisted a number of financial planning firms for further potential consolidation.

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