July 24, 2024
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The Australian Wealth Advisors Group (AWAG) has made its first equity partnership scheme (EPS) investment into a Victorian financial planning firm.

AWAG was founded in 2021 and includes a senior team of experienced financial planning professionals, including executive chairman Lee IaFrate, founder of Prime Financial Group and Easton Investments; and Mark Stephen, former chief executive of Lonsdale Financial Group.

In an ASX statement, the firm said its business strategy revolves around taking consultative equity positions into successful, highly profitable and sustainable businesses nationwide. Its EPS model will see AWAG make a 20 per cent investment in a financial services business for cash, scrip or a hybrid cash/scrip option, and receive a royalty payment based on the gross revenue of the business.

The firm, which listed on the ASX in February 2024, has taken its first 20 per cent stake in Melican Financial Planning, a financial planning business in Greensborough, Victoria, for a cash consideration. Part of Melican Partners, it offers retirement planning, estate planning and wealth management services to its clients.

“The Melican transaction has now established our EPS onboarding process and established a solid foundation for the model, covering due diligence, legal, compliance and general administration for future transactions.”

AWAG said the EPS deal is “one of many in our pipeline”, with further announcements expected in due course.
As well as the Melican deal, it has onboarded a Melbourne financial planning firm called Murdoch Wealth as an authorised representative into its wealth management advisory services business, CHPW Financial.

“We welcome both firms and look forward to their overall success and contribution to AWAG.

“AWAG has an active pipeline of both EPS investments as well as the planned onboarding of authorised representatives into our wealth management advisory services business, CHPW Financial. As the advice market continues to see significant change and consolidation, we are systematically growing our operations profitably and establishing AWAG as a key participant in this sector.”

The combination of the two deals means funds under administration and management at AWAG now exceed $2.1 billion.

AWAG was founded in 2021 and describes itself as a diversified financial services firm specialising in wealth advisory and M&A activity within financial services. It includes two subsidiaries: dealer group CHPW Financial and boutique investment management firm Armytage.


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