St George & Sutherland Shire Leader

UK acquisitions, strategic growth & post-IPO plans: Interview with AAIG Director George Paxton

AAIG provide a range of investment advisory services to a mix of retail and wholesale clients. Picture Shutterstock
AAIG provide a range of investment advisory services to a mix of retail and wholesale clients. Picture Shutterstock

This is branded content.

Who Is AAIG and what does it do?

AAIG is a diversified financial services company. We provide a range of investment advisory services to a mix of retail and wholesale clients, including both general and personal advice models.

At certain times, we have also operated like a private equity firm, seeking to generate a return for investors and shareholders through the acquisition, improvement and eventual sale of businesses.

Our senior management team are highly experienced financial and funds management executives with a proven track record of innovation, finance sector management and growing businesses.

How does AAIG make money?

The companies within the AAIG Group currently offer a range of investment advisory services which provides general advice to their clients.

The Australian Stock Report and ASR Wealth Advisers provides clients with quality investment research related to investing in equities, fractional property investments, cryptocurrency trading and managed fund products provided internally or by external partners, such as DomaCom Limited.

ASR Wealth Advisers employs an in-house equities research team which generates several research reports such as its Income Report, Investment Report, Resources Report, Property Report and Cryptocurrency Report. Through its corporate finance division, it also advises and supports external companies seeking to raise capital including via an IPO.

Australian Stock Report also works closely with HALO Technologies through the Referral Agreement which exists between the two businesses. This grows HALO's client base and provides an ongoing source of revenue for AAIG.

How Is AAIG a dsruptor & innovator In the sector?

AAIG has always looked for opportunities to be a developer and incubator of online investment tools on a wholesale basis, distributed through a broad network of established financial services providers, as well as sold directly to retail investors.

This is precisely what we achieved with HALO Technologies. The genesis, development and eventual divestment of the major part of the Company's holding in HALO is a good example of AAIG's value creation strategy.

Ongoing investment in proprietary technology, along with accelerated growth through highly targeted acquisitions and strategic collaborations are key to this.

What Is AAIG's strategy for future growth?

AAIG benefits from an extensive distribution base with both retail and wholesale business channels. This helps us develop new products that can deliver early-stage revenue as well as ensuring that the business has the ability to migrate its products through to the wholesale market.

We work closely with external partners to create and market new product lines. Some good examples of this are DomaCom, an ASX listed fractional property investment platform; and Success Publishing, an innovative media business based in Sydney, Australia, which holds the exclusive Australian licence for Forbes Australia.

In addition to pursuing organic growth, we consistently review the market for suitable opportunities which may be progressed to a due diligence process.

We have established a full acquisition due diligence team based in the United Kingdom under my personal leadership. The creation of a specialist team to pursue acquisitions in the UK and Europe, which possess a combined population of around 270 million people, is a major milestone in the global expansion of AAIG.

We only target investments in areas where we possess existing expertise that can be applied to their restructuring, enhancement and integration to position them for value-capture opportunities over time.

Since HALO Technologies' Recent IPO Last Year, How Does AAIG Plan To Support HALO Technologies Into The Future?

AAIG has retained a 4.6 per cent interest in HALO following its IPO. As part of the IPO, HALO Technologies entered into service provision and referral agreements with AAIG and Australian Stock Report. These are designed to help grow HALO's Funds Under Management and client base and also ensure an ongoing revenue stream from HALO Technologies to the AAIG Group.

This strategy has already been very successful. In 2023, HALO's Funds Under Management has grown by 101.5 per cent to $417.9 million while client numbers have grown by 21.6 per cent.

AAIG and HALO benefit equally from the work of our UK-based acquisitions team. In February, we announced the acquisition of an inactive fund's management business with existing regulatory permission as the platform for HALO's move into the UK market.

In September we received the required regulatory approvals from the UK's Financial Conduct Authority and will soon launch the brand-new UK-based HALO Invest, which will serve as the distribution hub for HALO products in the UK.