On 19 March 2019, Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX: WBC) announced changes in its wealth strategy which included realignment of its major BT Financial Group (BTFG) businesses, and exit of face-to-face personal financial advice in BTFG. Exiting the Advice business and realigning its wealth businesses will result in $20 million of productivity savings from operating one less business division.
Following Westpac’s announcement regarding the exit of BTFG’s financial advice business, Viridian Financial Group Ltd (Viridian) has announced, that it has entered into an agreement to acquire part of Westpac’s BT Financial Advice business. If this transaction is fully executed, Viridian will become a leading financial services provider with a substantial national footprint in Australia. Viridian is planning to establish a new Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) to support Westpac’s BT Group Licensees.
While commenting on this acquisition, Viridian CEO Mr Glenn Calder told that it was an exciting and momentous transaction for Viridian. He stated three key points as to why Viridian was excited, about this opportunity which are as follows:
Firstly, Viridian deeply understands the business that they are buying, and many of the Viridian executive team and staff had spent years working with the BT financial Advice network.
Secondly, this was an extension of existing partnership between Viridian and Westpac. Both groups have been working together for several years, and now they are recommitting to work together for many more years.
Thirdly, since its foundation, Viridian is committed to innovation and driving their part in the financial advice industry forward. Viridian is excited that Westpac can see the potential in their model for the future. For Viridian, this transaction is an opportunity to extend their impact. It’s also a compelling deal for both their clients and shareholders. This opportunity is compelling because it now gives Viridian a national scale and will make them one of the most substantial advice businesses in the country. This transaction is giving Viridian an opportunity to continue to invest in their customer experience and their technological outcomes. This will also help Viridian’s people to specialize in areas, that are most meaningful to them which means that they can offer more services to their clients. As per Viridian’s CEO Mr Glenn Calder, this transaction is compelling because it’s a business, that Viridian knows and understands, and their business is full of some great people.
Now, let’s have a glance at the company’s stock performance and the returns it has posted over the past few months. By the end of the trading session, the stock of the company stood at a price of A$26.340, down by 0.303%, with a market capitalization of ~$91.08 billion as on 20th March 2019. The counter opened the day at $26.360; reached the day’s high of $26.450 and touched a day’s low of A$26.150 with a daily volume of ~6,782,289. The stock has provided year to date return of 7.92% and posted returns of -6.31%, 8.59%, -0.75%, respectively, over the past six, three and one-month period. It has a 52-week high price of A$30.440 and touched 52- weeks low of A$23.300, with an average volume of ~6,367,753.
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