New Zealand investment administrator MMC has acquired the remaining half of Australian administrator IFAA Group from interests associated with its managing director and co-founder Neil Harvey.
Harvey, who remains in the managing director role after the deal’s completion, said the firm would continue to look for expansion opportunities outside IFAA’s traditional base of Queensland.
He has been speaking with super funds and other prospects in Sydney and Melbourne since last year, when MMC made its initial purchase in IFAA and was also looking to grow the company in other areas, such as non-super administration.
Tom Reiher, MMC co-founder and managing director, said IFAA’s historical success proved there were strong opportunities in the superannuation and managed investment services sector in Australia.
“We are very positive about the opportunities in the sector and that the IFAA Group is the right vehicle to expand our footprint in Australia”, he said. “The arrangement we made with the IFAA Group in early 2020 was always intended to be our long-term entry point into Australia.”
IFAA was founded in the late 1990s after Colonial exited that part of the market through administrator Jacques Martin Industry and Industry Fund Services first bought into the sector. IFS later took full control and started what became SuperPartners, now a part of Link Group.
Both Harvey and Cathy Connellan, IFAA’s general manager of client service, worked together at Jacques Martin. With MMC as its cornerstone investor last year, IFAA strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of Andrew Griffioen as CEO and Karen Walden-White as CEO of IFAA group company Superannuation Compliance Services. The third company in the group is Independent Professional Services, which provides admin, accounting and unit registry to investment platforms.
IFAA was a victim of consolidation in the super industry, losing most of its larger clients to amalgamation, which saw its total staff decline from about 160 to the current level of about 30.
Harvey maintains a minority interest in a Brisbane-based financial planning company, ‘My Super Future’, which started out providing intra-fund advice to IFAA clients and has expanded into standalone individual advice.
Harvey said: “Over our 22 years, we have proven ourselves as a client-focused and dedicated provider of tailored services and our team are keen to reset and grow the business alongside MMC. Our relationship with MMC has strengthened over the past 12 months and I am looking forward to their ongoing support to enable the Group to be a real alternative to other providers of services in our market.”