11 November, 2020

Westpac NZ and Forsyth Barr confirm strategic wealth management partnership

The sale of part of Westpac NZ’s wealth advisory business to Forsyth Barr will deliver ongoing benefits for clients through a partnership approach, say the two organisations.

The two companies confirmed today they would proceed with a plan to transfer Westpac NZ’s high net worth advisory business to Forsyth Barr, following consultation with employees.

As a result, 32 members of Westpac NZ’s wealth advisory and operations team will join Forsyth Barr.

Westpac NZ Head of Private Wealth Management, Katie Christoffersen, says customers with large investment portfolios will remain with Westpac NZ for their transactional and lending needs, while their investments will be managed through Forsyth Barr.

“We expect this model to provide clients with the best of both worlds – great banking products and personalised service from Westpac, and dedicated investment advice with a wider product and service offering from the specialists at Forsyth Barr.

“When we considered selling this part of the business we knew it would only be possible if we found a partner that is well regarded and can provide great outcomes for customers. Forsyth Barr ticked all the boxes.

“In the past few weeks we’ve been in touch with the clients whose investments will soon be managed through Forsyth Barr and the overwhelming response has been really positive.”

Ms Christoffersen said Westpac NZ would continue to provide wealth advisory services to customers with small to medium investment portfolios.

“We retain strong expertise in offering advice to this group of customers and look forward to focussing our energy on meeting their needs.”

Forsyth Barr Managing Director Neil Paviour-Smith said Forsyth Barr was excited to be entering into a partnership with Westpac NZ that enables both organisations to serve customers with their established, complementary strengths.

“We are particularly proud of the calibre of our wealth management offering, and the research and analysis that informs our advice. This was supported recently when INFINZ awarded Forsyth Barr Sharebroking Firm of the Year for 2020, and placed us first for investment strategy and quantitative research for the 7th consecutive year.”

“In successful partnerships the key is always alignment. We believe that together we can deliver outstanding outcomes for clients. This partnership signals a commitment by both organisations to delivering the highest quality service to customers throughout New Zealand.”

Mr Paviour-Smith highlighted the announcement continued a period of very strong growth for Forsyth Barr.

“Over the last three years we have grown our adviser business significantly and with the Westpac team joining us we will have 180 financial advisers. We welcome the fresh perspectives that new people bring - they challenge us to keep evolving and improving how we deliver for clients.

"Most importantly, this partnership furthers our progress towards our goal of ensuring all New Zealanders have access to world-class advice to help them grow their wealth.”

The transaction will take effect on 11 December 2020.