WT Financial Group (ASX:WTL) – diversified financial services, November 2021Craig Foley
WT Financial Group Limited (ASX:WTL) Founder and Managing Director Keith Cullen provides an introduction to the company's range of services to wholesale and retail clients.
Melissa Darmawan: Hello. Melissa Darmawan for the Finance News Network. Joining me today from WT Financial Group (ASX:WTL) is Founder and Managing Director Keith Cullen. Keith, nice to meet you.
Keith Cullen: Yeah. Thanks, Melissa. Nice to meet you too, and appreciate the opportunity to be here.
Melissa Darmawan: It's great to have you, and welcome to the network. First up, could you provide an introduction to the company and what WT Financial is all about?
Keith Cullen: WT Financial Group is a diversified financial services group — which sounds pretty broad, but really we've got two channels in the business. We've got the channel that we originally started the business with, which is our direct to consumer channel, providing financial advice, mortgage brokering, accounting and tax services direct to consumers. But we've really scaled back that and sold off parts of that business over the last couple of years, because we saw this massive opportunity coming in what's known as the dealer group space or that we refer to as our B2B division, which is providing services to independent financial advisors operating under one of our two licences. That's our Wealth Today licence that we acquired back in 2018, and also our more recently acquired Century Group licence. And collectively now we've grown to a significant number of advisors, around 275.
Melissa Darmawan: Thanks Keith. Talk us through the financial advice landscape and what problem you're trying to solve.
Keith Cullen: It's really interesting, Melissa. In the wake of the Royal Commission, we've seen a real disintegration of what was traditionally a vertically integrated model, where we've seen the banks all exit the playing field and the emergence of, ourselves included, a group of now really significantly growing independent operators. The problem we're trying to solve is just the landscape has become very complex for financial advisors. The type of advice being demanded by consumers because of the complexity of superannuation legislations and the investment landscape and risk management landscape is changing. So, advisors are needing to upskill significantly. The demands on them from a regulatory perspective across education and compliance are increasing. And so advisors are looking for a dealer group that understands the space they're in. What we bring to the table in that regard is we built our entire business, as I mentioned before, dealing directly with consumers. So, the management and the operators inside our business are all very familiar with really sitting in the room with clients. And I think it's this very pragmatic and commercial approach that we bring to supporting them that is setting us apart from others.
Melissa Darmawan: You recently acquired Century Group, as mentioned earlier. Could you comment on the impact of this acquisition?
Keith Cullen: Very significant and transformational impact for us, really, is when we'd initially moved into the dealer group space through the acquisition of Wealth Today, as we had just 40 advisors operating under the licence, we grew that organically to well over 100, and the acquisition of Century now has taken us to some 275 advisors across 105 practices spread pretty equally across Australia. And so it's been very significant. It will take us from gross revenue in the 2021 year of around $13 million to some $70+ million on our guidance for this year. And will deliver us a strong profit both before and after tax for this financial year. We are targeting around $2 million, possibly more than that.
Melissa Darmawan: Last question from me, Keith. What can investors look forward to from WT Financial?
Keith Cullen: I think they can look forward to considerable further organic growth. Advisors are still on the march and looking for someone to support their requirements in terms of upskilling, and support them in that commercially pragmatic way we talked about. So, we're looking forward to strong organic growth, and there's definitely transactional growth opportunities out there as these smaller players become marginalised, and then amongst all of us that are emerging as the larger players. So, I think it's dual-pronged, Melissa — organic growth and transactional opportunity into the future.
Melissa Darmawan: Keith Cullen, Founder and Managing Director of WT Financial, nice to meet you and thanks for the introduction.
Keith Cullen: Thanks so much, indeed.
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