Troy MacMillan

The Italian-backed AZ NGA’s 130th transaction, and its 20th involving a Western Australian advice firm, will support Troy MacMillan’s The Wealth Designers to expand from its Perth base to the east coast of Australia.

As foreshadowed in Professional Planner last month, TWD plans to have a presence in every Australian capital city. The firm currently has advisers in Perth and Sydney. It has also recently joined forces with Switzerland-based former ipac adviser Patrick Canion to offer TWD clients cross-jurisdictional advice and investment services.

Prior to the AZ NGA transaction, announced on Wednesday, TWD was majority-owned by MacMillan, along with Graeme Hyland, Stephen Kostarelas and Michelle Nelson. Nelson will exit as a shareholder, as part of a deal which departs from the typical AZ NGA approach.

MacMillan, Hyland and Kostarelas will remain majority shareholders, “which is slightly different than [AZ NGA’s] previous model where they’d come in and take 51 per cent”, MacMillan says.

“The question of majority ownership by AZ NGA was “never really a discussion point”, he says. “It’s around having a minority interest to help grow the business. They really believed in the vision and what we could do and wanted to be a part of it. So that was music to my ears.”

The transaction provides TWD with the capital and the support it will need to pursue MacMillan’s growth plans for the business.

“Our vision is that we want to grow the east coast out as quickly as possible,” he says.

“And we’re really, really ready to get that going. By the end of 2024 we would like to at least double the size of our Sydney presence, but also have another major presence somewhere on the east coast.”

MacMillan says TWD is already in discussions with potential advisers in Brisbane.

“There are opportunities in Melbourne too, but it seems more [likely] for us in Brisbane,” he says.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we’d have Sydney and Brisbane, offices in both cities, and already be in early discussions with either Melbourne or Adelaide as well. We really do feel that within about 18 months, we can progress a lot quicker than what we’ve done the last five or six, seven years.”

Perth pods

TWD is structured as a series of advice pods, which draw on shared support services located in Perth and work to the same documented advice process, but are dedicated to servicing their own groups of clients.

Expanding into other cities simply involves establishing new pods, albeit operating at a distance. They will follow the same advice process, and draw on the same support services, but the advisers will be in different cities. TWD already runs a pod in Albany, south-west of Perth, in a similar way.