30 Sep 2020

                           

NZFSG and Kepa partner for adviser powerhouse

NZFSG and Kepa – New Zealand’s leading providers of financial advice support services – today announced they are merging to create a national dealer group with more than 1,600 members, settling more than $17 billion of mortgages and issuing $30 million of life insurance premiums each year.

The merger aggregates Kepa’s network of 400 advisors with the 1,200 plus network of NZFSG and its affiliate Loan Market. It seeks to leverage the combined scale of the three dealer groups with mortgage and insurance providers, delivering increased and competitive product choice for customers.

The merger will also give Kepa members access to industry-leading technology, customer relationship management and regulatory compliance systems and drive operating efficiencies to keep adviser business management costs low.

The merger is conditional on Overseas Investment Office and New Zealand Commerce Commission approvals, with settlement expected on 30th October 2020.

NZFSG and Loan Market are part of the White Family Group of companies, which also includes Australasia’s largest real estate network, Ray White.

NZFSG Chief Executive Brendon Smith says: “NZFSG, Kepa and Loan Market share a commitment to ensuring financial advisers are well-trained, qualified, resourced and supported by a single, financially strong entity focused on high quality independent advice.

“With the industry facing complex and sweeping regulatory changes, including the delayed introduction of the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act (FSLAA) and the pending Financial Markets (Conduct of Institutions) Amendment Bill, New Zealand’s independent financial advisors are facing an increasing compliance burden.

“By combining our respective businesses and expertise we can support advisers to navigate these changes with the added benefits of genuine scale.

“Innovative tech is critical to navigating the imminent regulatory changes. NZFSG and Loan Market advisers have benefited through the industry-recognised proprietary client management system MyCRM, which has evolved into a dynamic sales and client management portal that powers every aspect of their operations. Under the partnership, Kepa advisers can benefit from these innovations.

Kepa Chief Executive Brendon Neal says: “NZFSG, Loan Market and Kepa are New Zealand’s largest life insurance and mortgage adviser dealer groups. While we are individually well-established and respected organisations, recognised for providing excellent support to advisers, together we are stronger.

“We will take the best from all three organisations to deliver superior services for the combined membership. Kepa members will immediately benefit from access to MyCRM and we’ll be able to add depth to NZFSG’s support services including online and classroom support for advisor qualifications; a learning management system for continuing professional development; advice audits and compliance checks; and many other options to support our members’ businesses.

“Our combined member bases will also give us genuine scale to leverage in terms of optimising coverage in areas such as professional indemnity insurance, which will be critically important in the coming years.

“We are excited about the challenges and opportunities ahead and we are looking forward to working closely with advisers and industry to help improve standards and access to independent financial advice for New Zealanders,” Mr Neal says.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Kepa’s members will be integrated within the NZFSG-Loan Market dealer network, expanding the network by more than a third to 1,600. Meanwhile all Kepa’s staff will transfer to the merged business.

Kepa’s general insurance arm will remain with Kepa’s holding company Kepa Financial Services (KFS). It is anticipated that these assets will be divested in the coming months and KFS will eventually be wound down.

About NZFSG

NZ Financial Services Group was formed in 2013 through the merger of two of New Zealand’s leading financial services groups, Allied Kiwi and Loan Market. NZFSG is home to more than 1,200 members that offer home loan and insurance advice across New Zealand. NZFSG members have access to more than 20 different lenders. Members have helped customers settle more than 45,000 home loans, annually.

About Loan Market Group

Loan Market is one of the largest and fastest growing retail mortgage brokerages in Australasia. Proudly family-owned and led, it was founded in 1995 by Sam White and is part of the White Family Group of companies comprising of Loan Market, Wealth Market, Home Now and Ray White. Today, Loan Market works with a panel of 62 lenders and supports a network of over 650 brokers across Australia and New Zealand with a further 850 brokers trading under their own brand. Loan Market has helped individuals and businesses in Australia and New Zealand secure over $32 billion in loans

About Kepa

Kepa is an industry leader that provides high quality licensee services to more than 400 financial advisers. It offers support and services across a full range of financial services for Life & Health, Mortgages, General Insurance and Wealth Management Advisers. Kepa provides a range of adviser benefits including Advice Audits and Compliance Checks, Adviser Training & Development, Templates & Tools, Technology plus many other options to give adviser businesses the support they need.

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