Advice group SFG plans to address structural issues in competition with a major expansion as industry dynamics change on current economic and political conditions.
Chairman Eric Dodd recently expressed a desire for the Group to treble in size to the $1bn annual turnover mark in a time frame of approximately three to five years through 'transformational deals' to deliver increased competencies, products and services.
"I think that's an aspirational goal," said managing director Tony Fenning.
"The board's really saying we think there's a need for a different kind of competitor to what we've now got - which is the Big 4 banks and AMP/AXA, which are huge. You've got the industry funds aggregating and you haven't got anything in particular that's client/advice focused."
Fenning pointed to the current tough economic conditions and the rate of change at such a difficult time in the business cycle and said the government should think about the impact of policy decisions on long-term structure of the industry.
"We think there's a big gap in the middle emerging, so you've got the really big guys - they're fine with very diversified businesses, then you've got the really little guys - the individual adviser or two-man band," said Fenning.
"They're fine, but they're going to have to attach themselves mostly to one of the bigger players in terms of the cost of licensing and use of capital that's now involved in supporting businesses."
Fenning believes that in the past 10 years a gap has opened in the middle as contenders for the space are gradually swallowed by the larger players or suffer from adverse business conditions.
"That's an unusual industry structure for competition," Fenning said.
"You would normally want to see half a dozen players of medium size innovating and providing some sort of alternative - we think we can perhaps play into some of that space that's emerging through these dramatic changes."
Although Fenning identifies IOOF, Perpetual, WHK and Clearview as being in that middle space together with SFG, the concern is genuine competition that spans all changes in the market.
"They're all interesting companies and strong in some areas, but I'm not sure any one of them is a serious competitor across more than one part of the value chain and that's what's missing," Fenning said.