Oreana's Jonathan Christie

Mid-tier licensee Oreana Financial Services has posted the biggest growth in advisers numbers so far in 2021 according to researcher Wealthdata, with the group’s success contrasting against stark losses for the large institutions in advice.

According to Wealthdata, which tracks movement across ASIC’s Financial Advice Register, Oreana has been one of the few dealer groups to post significant growth in adviser numbers while the supply side of advice is dwindling.

“Viewing net change by licensee owners with 50 or more advisers, Oreana are now well in front with a net gain of 35 with a big gap to second spot held by Centrepoint Group at 10,” states Wealthdata’s Colin Wiliams. “Capstone is third on the list at seven and three groups [are] all on six, these being Bombora, Count and Fortnum.”

Oreana is a licensee that often takes stakes in the advice business it brings into its fold, with general manager Jonathan Christie telling Professional Planner in 2019 the licensee looks for up to 40 per cent equity in firms, with the rest shared by the principals.

“We don’t want to run the businesses,” Christie said. “Up to about 40 per cent and we’re up to our shoulders.”

Back then, Oreana had just picked up “three or four” practices from Westpac. According to Williams the latest boost for Oreana, with seven advisers coming on board in the last week, has come mainly at the expense of Ord Minnett, which lost five advisers to the group.

On the other end of the spectrum, IOOF is down 435 advisers for the year according to Wealthdata, while AMP have lost 291 advisers and SMSF advice provider licensee NTAA are down 181.