New paper reveals the blueprint for building a Super firm

By Natalie Dolan

The only way the advice industry can achieve its mission and purpose to financially prepare Australians for the future is by raising an army of large, corporatised Super firms, according to a new paper by professional advisory company, AZ NGA.

Titled: Ready or Not? A guide to building a Super firm, the paper claims the industry’s current structure and composition is holding it back from reaching the 12.4 million Australians who need professional advice but aren’t receiving it, signalling the urgent need for a stepped change.

While small-to-medium enterprises play an important role in the advice ecosystem, the unmet advice needs of Australians demands a different approach and a new category of Super firm that is akin to the mid-tier in accounting and professional services, according to Paul Barrett, Chief Executive Officer of AZ NGA and the paper’s author.

“If the advice industry’s purpose is to help people get their financial affairs in order and, ultimately, achieve their goals then players need to supercharge their capability and capacity to see more clients and that means getting significantly bigger,” he said.

“While small, specialised business can do well too, we believe that size and scale create opportunities for businesses to offer a broader, deeper range of services and enhance their employee value proposition to include career opportunities. It also gives a firm’s people, business partners and clients greater confidence that it will be around for the long-term.”

The paper claims the blueprint for a Super firm is based on five essential components. They are a compelling employee value proposition, client value proposition and shareholder value proposition, a defined enterprise architecture and healthy corporate culture.

“To create a Super firm, advisers and business owners must fuse together the things that SMEs do really well with the things that only big businesses can do,” Barrett said.

“As advice businesses grow and increase in size, smaller firms will struggle to deliver a compelling proposition for employees, clients and shareholders relative to larger, better resourced counterparts.” Barrett said around 15 firms in the AZ NGA network had committed to pursuing and executing a Super firm strategy over the next 3-5 years.

For the majority, that strategy included a combination of organic growth and M&A, he said, citing the recent acquisition of Australian Unity’s Financial Advice business by AZ NGA backed Nestworth Financial Strategists in partnership with Fortnum Private Wealth.

The Australian Unity deal is the latest in a series of transactions enabled by AZ NGA.

“We have so much conviction that advice businesses need to scale up and get bigger that building and investing in Super firms has become a key plank in our refreshed strategy,” Barrett said.

“We want to be Australia’s leading professional advisory group and we will achieve this by investing in high quality advisory firms and supporting business owners to achieve their goals. Increasingly, that goal is to develop and execute a Super firm strategy.”

For more information, please contact:

Leng Ohlsson

Principal, Splash Content

M: 0409 509 516


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