Professional services utility, AZ Next Generation Advisory and national financial advisory business, Invest Blue, have joined forces to co-invest in Australian-owned, Philippines-based paraplanning and back-office solutions provider, Virtual Business Partners.

The companies says that under the deal, AZ NGA and Invest Blue will acquire a 40% interest in VBP with the group’s management team increasing their holding to 20%, and VBP’s founding shareholders, David Carney and David Deegan, retaining a 40% stake.
They say the transaction enables all parties to fulfil key strategic priorities.

It represents AZ NGA’s foray into the advice supply chain, “…giving the group exposure to a high-quality standalone investment, and securing capability and capacity in the midst of a skills and talent shortage.”

Similarly, it reinforces Invest Blue’s strategy “…to acquire capability and empower people on its mission to become Australia’s largest integrated financial advice brand.”

The deal also concludes VBP’s search for a long-term capital partner to help manage key-person risk and succession, and fuel the group’s growth and expansion plans.

David Carney, VBP Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, says the transaction will ensure VBP retains its lead as an outsourcing partner for financial planning businesses.

Paul Barrett, AZ NGA Chief Executive Officer, says VBP is not an outsourcing company “…but a human resources partner for advisory businesses looking to increase efficiencies, reduce their cost to serve and improve their net profit margin.”
David Stephen, Invest Blue Chief Executive Officer, says the group is continuously on the lookout for profitable, growing businesses.

Stephen adds they are also keen “…to attract and acquire other like-minded advice businesses, and we have the right structures and processes in place to enable advisers to deliver their client service proposition. VBP is a key part of that framework.”

Barrett notes that AZ NGA is not only interested in high quality accounting and advisory SMEs but sees opportunities to invest in key parts of the supply line.