Neil Younger

After acquiring Australian Unity’s financial advice business, Fortnum Private Wealth will create a new parent company called Entireti to cover both brands.

Fortnum acquired Personal Financial Services, the advice business of Australian Unity, last November.

Entireti will become the overarching brand identity that encompasses the group’s business services and licensing offerings, including Fortnum and PFS, as well as any future take-to-market propositions.

“This is a group identity,” Fortnum managing director Neil Younger says Professional Planer.

Younger says a key part of the business strategy going forward is building improved capacity for advice practices to take on more clients, noting the efficiency due to tighter regulatory compliance and business costs.

“With our investment in technology in particular, we can improve capacity,” Younger says.

“We need to reverse that trend [of reduced capacity]. One of our focuses is how we can introduce capacity back to our advisory businesses.”

Younger says the Entireti name implies completeness. “We’re not effectively restricted to traditional thinking of what licensing itself might be about,” Younger says.

“We think there’s an opportunity to expand services for advisers that are well beyond those that are traditional by an AFSL.”

Entireti employs more than 55 staff and serves around 400 financial advisers nationally. The group’s 170 advice businesses collectively oversee more than $30 billion in funds under advice, on behalf of over 60,000 clients.

Matt Brown was previously executive general manager of advice at Australian Unity will take on the same title with Entireti.

Younger says the acquisition brings the staff and business together in a way that will allow the combined group to expand its range of advisory services it markets to advisers.

The two brands are still individually critical the business strategy, Younger says, alluding to expanded investment capabilities and managed discretionary account services.

“We [also] have a number of utility capabilities as well that sort of sit outside the traditional licensing space – business services to advisory practices,” Younger says.

“We’ve got paraplanning and we’re looking at back-office solutions for advisers and their businesses as well. There’s a number of additional component parts in our strategic future that we see advisory businesses will benefit from.”

The Fortnum/Australian Unity deal capped off a busy second half of 2023 of licensee business changes, foretold by Professional Planner in the lead up to this publication’s marquee event Licensee Summit, which is returning this June.

Insignia announced it would let go of many of its licensees businesses, creating what is now known as Rhombus Advisory, while Godfrey Pembroke was returned to its advisers and Millenium3 was sold to WT Financial Group.

After being rebuffed in attempts to acquire Centrepoint Alliance, Diverger was instead acquired by Count, creating the largest non-institutional licensee.

Scale was the catalyst for the PFS acquisition, with Younger describing scale as “not nice to have, it’s a need to have” due to the cost structures of running a licensee.

He adds that operating a business with almost 400 advisers makes more sense than operating separate ones. Fortnum authorises 207 advisers in Fortnum Private Wealth, 10 in Fortnum Advice, and 161 in PFS, according to data from Adviser Ratings as of the end of March 2024.

“We’re at the part of the market cycle as well where we’re seeing a lot of fragmentation,” Younger says.

“We’re now starting to see people recognise that scale is necessary for the type of headroom to then invest in some of the future state-capability we’ll need and our future-state capability is about bringing back capacity.”