Australian Unity Personal Financial Services has entered into an agreement to acquire estate planning and administration specialists Flinders Australia Limited.
The acquisition is scheduled to complete on 1 July 2015 and will give Australian Unity a broader platform of in-demand services for their clients and members as well as the clients of their financial advisers and accountants.
Flinders provides trust administration, agency, administrator, executor and estate planning services. Additionally, Flinders assists with the provision of services for native title trusts.
Flinders’ chairman, Mr Adam Levine, said his board was attracted to Australian Unity because it is culturally and philosophically aligned with Flinders.
"Australian Unity is a well-respected, 175 year old mutual, and has always prioritised their clients’ best interest, combining advisory integrity, with an open architecture environment for investments and insurances," Mr Levine explained.
“We have significantly grown the business over the last few years but in order to achieve our full potential we felt it was the right time to pass the baton.”
“This acquisition will give Flinders the wherewithal to realise our growth vision for the business through seeking to become a licensed traditional trustee company and developing a broader service offering that will assist the clients of Australian Unity and their referral networks.”
“All in all it is a great outcome for our clients and our staff,” Mr Levine added.
Mr Steve Davis, chief executive officer of Australian Unity Personal Financial Services, said the desire is to retain the Flinders operating model and client proposition, but extend the service offering by becoming a licensed traditional trustee company (subject to regulatory approval).
“We have been searching for a solution in the estate planning and trustee-type services space for some time because these services are increasingly in demand as the population ages. Individuals and their families need protection, support and certainty through what can be an extremely difficult time,” he said.
“We see a strong need to support the community in this area and there is significant demand for assistance from the clients in our retirement, aged care and home care services businesses as well as the clients of our 180 financial advisers and more than 300 accounting firms who currently refer clients to us for finance broking, general insurance broking and financial planning,” Mr Davis explained.
"Acquiring Flinders strengthens our commitment to Australian Unity’s members, our advisers and accountants and is aligned to our objectives of driving growth in complementary businesses that help improve people’s wellbeing. In particular, we are focused on helping middle Australia, rather than just chasing high net worth clients," he said.
Mr Davis added: “Flinders is a successful business that has a similar culture and client focus as ours, and will provide valuable assistance to clients and members, and increase the scale and strength of Australian Unity Personal Financial Services.”