A new online marketplace has been launched allowing financial advisers to buy and sell books of business – including life insurance – without the need to engage business brokers in the search for interested parties.
The site – www.buymyclients.com.au – allows advisers to post details of books of business they wish to buy or sell and receive notifications of possible matches and to communicate with interested parties via secure messaging.
Website creator and co-founder, Emanuel Millen said the service gave sellers a high level of exposure while allowing all buyers to have equal access to those books of business which are for sale. Millen added this did not always happen with books purchased through brokers, who he said can influence the shape of a purchase or sale.
“Since brokers are essentially market makers in client books, the seller does not know if they are getting the maximum value out of their book,” Millen said.
“The buyer doesn’t know where they are in the pecking order when a broker contacts them to offer them a book. Is it a good deal or has it already rejected by 10 other people?,” he added.
Millen said the site, which was launched recently, allowed buyers and sellers to communicate directly but advisers using brokers could also place their books of business on the site to increase their exposure.
He added that while he has come from a wealth management background he had considered financial advice in the past and found building a book of business was difficult and “we wanted to create something like SEEK for people buying or selling financial client lists” but not become involved in the transactions.
“The financial planning industry, in particular, has been going through a lot of changes. The average age of advisers is around 55 to 60 and many are looking to exit the industry so the buying and selling of client books is likely to increase significantly over the next few years.”