Melbourne-based brokerage eSelect has merged operations with financial services provider UFinancial as part of a new succession planning model for independent brokerages.
Under the new agreement, the Hawthorn-based brokerage eSelect will merge its operations under the umbrella brand of UFinancial and take up residence in UFinancial’s head office in Melbourne.
eSelect director Jim Henwood said that the move would enable the brokerage to service its existing clients even after his retirement.
Mr Henwood stated that partnering with UFinancial also provides existing clients with a more comprehensive list of financial services, given that UFinancial also offers financial planning, property advisory and accounting services.
He said: “Our current focus is purely on mortgage broking, and we have always known that one day we would need to expand into other areas of financial advice to offer our clients a more holistic solution to their financial affairs.
“Partnering with UFinancial allows us to maintain our independence and client database whilst also offering additional services to existing clients. This was an extremely attractive options for both me as the broker and more importantly the client.”
The eSelect director added: “Thinking ahead to when I eventually come to retirement age, I wanted my clients to continue to be looked after to the same high standard that eSelect delivers.
“With aligned values and quality of service offering, I knew this was something that UFinancial could assist with.
“The need for brokers like myself to ensure my business has longevity was paramount, and this is where our partnership will ensure clients are indeed clients for life,” Mr Henwood said.
Mr Henwood added: “Although the thought of the partnership seemed daunting, the long-term benefits our clients will enjoy far outweigh any concerns I had about a new identity.
“Our team is the same; it’s just the place we work from that is different.”
The partnership reportedly forms a part of UFinancial’s new succession-planning model, which aims to provide independent brokers with an ‘exit strategy’ for when they wish to move on or retire from the industry.
UFinancial reportedly intends to scale the model, in order to provide succession planning for both sole traders and larger brokerages in the future.
UFinancial co-director Bryce Deledio stated: “Essentially we have created a mutually beneficial alternative, giving those in the industry the opportunity to achieve business longevity while maintaining their independence and client portfolio, giving them the ability to scale and leverage our resources, processes and service offerings without the headache of the everyday mundane tasks that come with offering clients a broader range of financial services.
“The partnership with eSelect is only the beginning,” Mr Deledio added.
“We now have a model that is scalable and replicable for any broker, whether they are a sole trader or a larger operator.
“It suits any business that has one main player that is sitting there asking themselves, ‘How do I expand and enhance the offering to my clients, secure all I have worked to build now and in the future if I ever decide that I don’t want to write loans anymore?’”
[Related: Succession Planning 101]