Australian Unity has acquired close to 97 percent of Premium Wealth Management, with shareholders overwhelmingly electing to accept the acquisition offer. It is intended that the remaining shares will be acquired in the near future.
Premium Wealth will now be part of Australian Unity’s Personal Financial Services offering.
The transaction was completed on 22 December 2014.
Premium chairman and founder Mr Simon Wu, and Australian Unity Personal Financial Services CEO Mr Steve Davis, welcomed the strong shareholder support for the deal, which will create a significant participant in the independent-minded financial planning space.
The combined entities will boast 106 financial planning practices, with approximately $6 billion in funds under advice, 23 mortgage brokers as well as a general insurance broking capability.
Mr Wu said his board was attracted to Australian Unity for many reasons, including its long term involvement in the accountants' market, and that the organisation clearly sees Premium’s value and quality of practices.
"Australian Unity is culturally and philosophically aligned with us. The business is a well respected, 175 year old mutual, and have always prioritised client best interest, advisory integrity, with an open architecture environment for investments and insurances," Mr Wu explained.
Australian Unity said the desire is to retain the Premium brand strategy, operating model and client proposition.
Mr Davis said the addition of Premium would increase Australian Unity's financial advice capability and its exposure in the accountants' space.
"This acquisition should also better position Australian Unity Personal Financial Services to take advantage of opportunities arising from the significant regulatory and environmental changes impacting the profession," Mr Davis said.
"Premium is a successful business, with a high quality group of advisers that has substantial revenue, funds under advice and clients, and will be a significant contributor to increasing the scale and strength of Australian Unity Personal Financial Services.
"Importantly, it will effectively be business as usual for Premium's authorised representatives and clients.”
Mr Paul Harding-Davis, CEO of Premium, said FoFA was a catalyst for Premium to explore other options.
"FoFA effectively closed down many organic growth options, and it became clear we would need to either engage in mergers and acquisitions of our own, or invite a like-minded organisation to partner with us, to enable us to compete in a predominantly vertically integrated world,” Mr Harding-Davis said.
"In the end, we thought the option of engaging with a culturally aligned entity to acquire us made the most sense, has delivered the best outcome for the shareholders and will, we believe, deliver the most benefits to each practice and their clients."
For media enquiries contact:
Premium Wealth Management
0416 041 390
03 8682 6778