Bendigo Financial Planning (BFP) has acquired financial planning firm Wheeler Financial Services to strengthen its presence in the self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) advice market in Australia.

As part of the deal, Wheeler Financial’s staffs which include many SMSF specialists will remain under Bendigo Financial Planning branding.

Following the acquisition, the Wheeler’s advisers have now been shifted to Bendigo’s licence, and the practice has been re-named to that of BFP.

Additionally, the acquisition will expand BFP’s merger and acquisition activity as well as its corporate strategy to expand its presence in the SMSF market.

BFP said: "To help ensure minimal disruption, Wheelers staff will remain within the business and will continue to work from their existing office located."

John Billington, CEO Bendigo Wealth, said: "Our focus has largely been on connecting with our retail bank financial planners and customers, but now we are at a stage where we want to look at broadening our offering, and with SMSFs being half of the market we want to play in that."

"We really like this group and what they have done to grow the business; we want them to skill up some of our advisers so we can broaden our reach. The decision to adopt Bendigo branding on the acquisition, rather than a white-labelled authorised representative, is borne out of a commitment to transparency" he added.

Billington said that BFP expects to add two practices other before the end of the financial year.