CountPlus has announced the completion of its $2.5 million acquisition of advice dealer group Count Financial from Commonwealth Bank.
The sale of the business with 160 practices and 359 advisers was first announced in June, with 99.7 per cent of CountPlus shareholders voting to back the deal in August.
The transaction saw CountPlus with Count Member Firm bought Count Financial, with CBA providing a $200 million indemnity and continuing to manage a remediation program for Count Financial customers affected by past issues.
The move for CBA is part of its effort to offload its advice businesses, having entered an assisted closure of Financial Wisdom and ceasing CFP Pathways following the sale of Count Financial.
CountPlus chief executive Matthew Rowe said now the sale is complete, the company can focus on integrating Count Financial into the CountPlus business and making sure it fits culturally.
“Any successful merger hinges on cultural alignment and we have commenced our process to help Count Financial reset its strategic plan, deploy the right team structure and embed new leaders who know what we expect from a values-based, high-performing professional services team,” Mr Rowe said.
“We understand that the changes across the financial advice industry are difficult for advisers, and Count Financial firms will be part of a business that is focused on helping them achieve success through a client-centric approach to all we do.”
He added CountPlus is looking forward to helping the firms transition to a “new world of financial advice.”
“This new world means meeting community expectations around quality advice outcomes, transparency in client dealings, a move to fee for service, meeting the new FASEA education and ethical standards and an approach to advice that is client-centric,” Mr Rowe said.
“We will ensure all member firms fit into the CountPlus family photograph.”
CountPlus mainly targets small business owners as its core clients, with Mr Rowe calling them the “cornerstone of the Australian economy.”
“We believe small business owners are aspirational, and value and seek out quality advice – both accounting and financial advice – to enable them to achieve their business objectives and personal financial goals,” he said.
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