Tech firms to buy up dealer groups

Business man with binoculars looking to the future

Many mid-size firms are set to disappear as technology firms, hungry for distribution, hunt down dealer groups, says Forte Asset Solutions. 

Speaking at the 15th annual Wraps, Platforms & Masterfunds conference in the Hunter Valley, NSW, Forte Asset Solutions managing director Steve Prendeville said the financial services landscape is set to “morph” in the coming year.

“The market is hot at the moment, and there are not many dealer groups in the country that are currently not for sale,” Mr Prendeville said.

There will soon be very few mid-sized dealer groups in the financial planning sector as a ‘dumbbell effect’ occurs, he added.

“We’ll see small boutiques and we’ll see a substantial amount of growth in self-licensing,” Mr Prendeville said.

Mid-sized players are being targeted by the software and platform providers such as OneVue, Managed Accounts and Hub24.

“OneVue have been one of the most active acquirers in the market and I don’t see [chief executive] Connie [Mckeage] stopping yet,” Mr Prendeville said.

“They’re cashed up, they need distribution and they’re going to be a lot more active in this space. And I think you will see dealer groups with technology partners and owners,” he said.

The big end of town is not immune from the influence of big technology players either, Mr Prendeville said.

“We will see Google, Apple and Amazon come into the financial services market,” he said.

“They’ve got the trusted brands, they’ve got the depth and penetration, they’ve got technology, they’ve got capital.

“When you’ve got a trusted brand that’s going to be enabled with the robo-advice technology, all of a sudden they’re going to become the new dealer groups and the new fund managers,” Mr Prendeville said.

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