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MFS buys Northplan but Syms to stay on

Published 12 December 2006


Listed Australian investment & financial services group MFS Ltd has contracted to acquire Northplan Financial Services Ltd (Kelvin Syms, Bret Jackson & Simon Purvis) for NZ$52.5million. The transaction should be completed by the end of January.



Northplan is one of New Zealand’s largest financial advisory firms. It has $670 million of funds directly under management & under advice, for 3400 clients served from 9 North Island offices. The company also provides back office & portfolio services to a number of financial advisory groups and holds strategic stakes in them. They have $330 million under management & under advice for 1500 clients.


MFS will pay $42.5 million in cash and satisfy the balance by issuing MFS shares to some of the vendors, including key management shareholders & Northplan founder Kelvin Syms.


The acquisition follows MFS’ announcement in June that it had agreed to sell 60% of its New Zealand operations to a group of financial investors in both Australia & New Zealand, including a subsidiary of the Babcock & Brown Group.


At that time MFS indicated it intended to grow MFS NZ Ltd (renamed MFS NZ Adminstration Ltd in May) into a substantial player in the New Zealand financial services sector, including businesses operating in the funds management, financial planning, investment banking & property structured finance sectors.


MFS NZ chief executive Jason Maywald said Northplan would ultimately be merged with MFS’ existing New Zealand businesses, which began operating in 2003. He said the Northplan acquisition the first in a series of transactions that would see MFS become an influential force in New Zealand financial services.


Mr Syms created Northplan in 1989. He will remain actively involved in the business and will be appointed managing director of MFS NZ. Members of Northplan’s executive team will also be appointed to new roles within MFS NZ.


Mr Syms said: “We recognised there was an opportunity to significantly expand the Northplan business, and to be able to do so with the support of MFS will provide our clients & staff with enormous benefits, whilst still retaining our ability to offer our clients the high levels of good old-fashioned service they expect from us.”


MFS Ltd has interests in funds management, investment, structured finance & tourism and has $A3.9 billion of assets under management. MFS owns 40% of MFS NZ and maintains management control of that business. MFS NZ has $420 million of assets under management and is made up of a number of specialty investment businesses, the most significant being MFS Pacific Finance Ltd.


Websites: MFS


MFS Pacific


 


Earlier story:


2 August 2006: Northplan buys 50% of Strang business in Dunedin


 


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Attribution: Company release, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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