Equity Trustees on cusp of acquisitions

Two planning businesses for the elderly

Victoria Tait
Mon 01 Aug 2011

Two niche financial planning practices are about to be acquired by Equity Trustees.

Equity Trustees has nearly finished due diligence on two financial planning businesses that cater for the elderly, and its acquisition of the niche players is imminent.

The ASX-listed group has said it was in talks with Melbourne-based Paragon Care to buy Lifetime Planning, which provides financial advice to the elderly, and Tender Living Care, a nursing home-placement consultancy, for about $1.6 million each.

For Paragon, which is also listed on the ASX, the sale would represent an exit from financial and other services for the elderly, leaving the ASX-listed company with its core, aged-care equipment supply businesses.

As for Equity Trustees, it would add another notch to its services offering which revolve mainly around wealth management, estate planning and trustee services.

Equity Trustees’ head of wealth management Philip Galagher said the group’s services were well-suited to high net-worth individuals and the need for money management into the twilight years, when people often needed to arrange nursing-home bonds, was evident.

“We’re looking at businesses that would allow us to focus on people well past retirement,” he said.

He said the businesses, though small, would position Equity Trustees to help manage the billions of dollars of retirement money that would accompany an aging demographic. He said it would dovetail well with its wealth management, estate planning and philanthropic services.

Equity Trustees has said the acquisitions were growth businesses that would contribute straight away to earnings.

Asked whether Equity Trustees was looking at more acquisitions in the area of financial management for the elderly, Galagher said: “There are other things we could do, not in that space, but that would sit alongside that business.”
However, he declined to elaborate.

Asked whether Equity Trustees aimed to be a cradle-to-grave wealth manager, he said: “We don’t do much at the cradle end.”


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