The announcement from Centrepoint to buy Clearview’s advice business may bring the total number of advisers for the combined entity to over 500, making it one of the largest groups in the country by adviser numbers.
Centrepoint, which had seen pretty good growth in terms of adviser numbers in 2021 among the larger licensee owner with more than 50 advisers, owns Alliance Wealth and Professional Investment Services (PIS) which jointly had 336 advisers, according to data from Wealth Data which provided a weekly analysis of adviser movements based on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC’s) Financial Adviser Register (FAR).
At the same time, Clearview Group held two Australian Financial Services licences (AFSLs) operating under its umbrella, Matrix Planning Solutions and Clearview Financial Advice, which jointly had over 170 advisers on its books.
Taking this current data into account, it would mean that new entity would have over 500 advisers, which would make it the fifth-largest financial planning group in the country by adviser numbers, after IOOF (1,439), AMP Group (1,320), SMSF Adviser Network (671) and Easton Group (548).
However, when analysing the figures, it should be stressed that Centrepoint had an extensive number of advisers who were self-licensed and used their services which additionally gave the firm benefits of scale.
“They are also well positioned should more advisers elect to go self-licensed and as we move away from licensees subsidised via products, scale becomes very important,” Wealth Data’s director Colin Williams, said.
According to him, Clearview, on the other hand, had a total of 179 advisers listed via ASIC FAR and only an additional 106 self-licensed advisers using their services.
“Still quite large but with margins so small, it becomes a very difficult business to make the required return on investment,” Williams added.
Also, the prospect of growth for Clearview would be difficult, given a very competitive market and the prospect of the market shrinking further post FASEA (Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority) exam requirements.
Centrepoint through Alliance Wealth had shown a pretty good growth since January, 2020 and Centrepoint Group as a whole had been one of the leading growth groups, according to Wealth Data.
Meanwhile, although Matrix had done well in terms of adviser growth, Clearview Financial had struggled.
Source: Wealth Data
Chart of net growth since 1 January, 2019
In June, another mid-tier financial planning group, WT Financial Group Limited, the ASX-listed parent company of national financial advisory dealer group Wealth Today, announced the acquisition of 100% of Sentry Group Pty Limited, with the combined entity expected to have around 275 advisers, across over 200 practices in Australia, with Sentry currently providing licensing solutions to around 155 authorised representatives (ARs).
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