An increasing number of accounting firms across Australia and New Zealand are partnering with financial planners to take their practices to the next level.
Elston, one of Australia’s largest privately owned wealth and asset management firms, is a leader in the space with a record of successful relationships with accountants nationwide.
Eric Armbrust, partnership executive at Elston, discusses how partnering with the financial services firm, which currently manages A$3 billion in assets, can help accounting firms grow their practices and strengthen client loyalty.
Picture: Eric Armbrust, partnership executive at Elston.
Q: For accounting firms keen to add financial advice to their offering, what are some of the key benefits of partnering with Elston?
EA: We’re seeing more accountants understand the benefit in delivering to their clients financial planning services as well as conventional tax and accounting services.
One of Elston’s major points of difference is our unique investment solution, which we believe really works for accountants and their clients. Elston has an in-house investment management capability, enabling us to tailor and manage the portfolio from an after-tax perspective. This often can’t be achieved using a managed fund model.
Additionally, we have an experienced team of 35 highly skilled advisers, meaning we possess a significant depth and diversity of skill at the firm. We also have specialist insurance, philanthropic and not-for-profit advisers to meet various partner needs.
Q: Elston is known for tailoring solutions to suit the specific needs of accounting partners. Can you tell us how accounting firms go about engaging with Elston?
EA: We’re very flexible with how we engage with accountants. Many of the trusted relationships we’ve formed have started with a referral, which means accountants get to see how we work and how we communicate before committing to a more formalised arrangement.
When it comes to formally partnering with Elston, accounting firms can benefit from fee sharing. This option can also create an additional income stream for an accounting practice.
Alternately, there’s the option to set up a full-service financial planning business within an accounting practice. In this case, a joint venture with us can be established, allowing an accounting firm to grow its business without adding staff or taking on a compliance burden.
Q: Communication is integral if a partnership is to work long term. How does Elston ensure its accounting relationships stand the test of time?
EA: We know there are quite often challenges when accountants introduce financial planning advice into their firm. That’s why we provide our accounting partners with training and resources including regular meetings, business development and marketing support.
What’s more, we make sure our accounting partners’ clients get to work with not just one adviser, but get the support of a full advice team. This team approach also serves to introduce different personalities into the mix, creating a better match between client and adviser, which leads to more collaboration and easier communication.
It’s all part of our overarching approach at Elston aimed at achieving great outcomes for partners. We’re not here to sell products, but to deliver tax-aware investment solutions to meet the current needs of our partners and their clients’ long-term financial goals.
Find out more
Contact Eric Armbrust, Partnerships Executive on [email protected]