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Certe acquires Genesis Financial Partners

Certe has acquired Genesis Financial Partners with a vision to create a large, integrated professional services firm with over 20 staff and nine advisers.

Under the deal the specialist insurance advisory firm has acquired 60% of Genesis upfront and will purchase the remaining 40% at a later date.

The combined group's client base, which includes many large legal and professional services firms, will gain access to a broader range of advisory solutions under one roof.

The deal also looks to expand Certe's risk insurance and employee benefits business, and bring additional capability in holistic financial advice and wealth management.

According to its chief executive Jeremy Boller, the transaction forms part of a growth strategy, which includes organic growth and mergers and acquisitions, supported by the group's capital and growth partner AZ Next Generation Advisory (AZ NGA).

"Demand for strategic financial advice among our corporate clients and their employees has been steadily rising. Many are partners and executives of large professional services firms, so they are time poor and want convenient access to high quality advice on insurance, superannuation, investing and retirement planning from someone they trust," he explained.

"This acquisition fills a gap in our value proposition, strengthens our existing employee benefits service and enables us to help more people. It strongly positions us as a serious challenger in the employee benefits space."

Genesis co-founder and joint managing director Phil Robbins said the deal represents a win for all parties by expanding the breadth and depth of services available to both Genesis and Certe clients.

He added it also provides greater career development opportunities for the senior staff at Genesis, as well as a path for him to gradually step back from day-to-day management.

Under the deal, Robbins and fellow Genesis joint managing director Wilton Wong will remain with the group for a minimum of three years.

"We had been looking for a partner to help take our business to the next level for some time," he said.

"Outside of the big three international broking firms, Certe and Genesis together will be right up there in terms of the size of our group risk and employee benefit portfolio. We're keen to continue building our business and taking care of our clients and staff.

"Certe is also a leader in the employee benefits space. The way they approach things is quite unique and innovative, which Genesis clients will benefit from."

Both firms will continue operating independently for the next 12-18 months, before merging some functions to extract synergies and cost benefits.

AZ NGA chief executive Paul Barrett said accounting and advisory firms of the future need to get bigger and scale up in order to expand their capacity and capability, and meet latent demand for quality advice.

"We are supporting our accounting and advisory firms to grow and build stronger businesses by not only providing capital funding for growth but the systems, expertise and experience necessary to properly structure and execute deals," he said.

"We are focused on helping our partners achieve their personal and professional goals, and we're willing and able to be flexible to make things happen."

Read more: CerteGenesis Financial PartnersAZ Next Generation Advisory AZ NGAJeremy BollerPaul BarrettPhil RobbinsWilton Wong