Australian wealth management group Ord Minnett (Ords) has increased its presence in the home market with the acquisition of rival EL&C Baillieu.

The acquired entity will retain its existing brand but will operate as a fully-owned subsidiary of Ords.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not shared.

Based in Melbourne, EL&C Baillieu focuses on stockbroking, private wealth management, corporate finance, institutional equities and philanthropic services.

Overall, the business has nine locations across Australia.

The deal is said to be Ords’ strategic move to bolster its position as one of Australia’s largest independent private wealth firms.

Ords CEO and managing director Karl Morris called the deal “a strong strategic and cultural fit”.

He said: “The combination of EL&C Baillieu’s brand heritage and history, private stockbroking business, its adviser network, its client-base and operational synergies will cement Ords as a respected Australian wealth brand.

“The scale benefits and self-clearing of the two businesses will allow us to be leaders in financial advice. This new amalgamation can only serve to benefit Australian investors and our clients for many more generations to come.”

EL&C Baillieu chair Jo Dawson added: “The transaction will bring together two of Australia’s longest standing stockbroking firms and provide many exciting opportunities for our clients and staff.

“Having received strong interest from the stockbroking community, Ord Minnett were determined to be the perfect fit for our business and I believe that the combination of the two firms will position EL&C Baillieu well for the structural changes transforming our industry.”

M&A activities have been rampant in the Australian financial services space this year.

In September, AZ Next Generation Advisory (AZ NGA), the Australian arm of Italian asset manager Azimut Group, acquired Matthews Steer Accountants and Advisors.

In August, National Australia Bank agreed to divest 100% of its MLC Wealth business to IOOF Holdings for around $1.4bn.

Earlier this year, wealth tech firm Iress entered into a scheme implementation agreement to buy 100% of the shares of managed fund provider OneVue.