Count forecasts limited advisers as pipeline for future business growth

22 February 2024
| By Laura Dew |
expand image

Count CEO, Hugh Humphrey, believes plans for super funds and banks to offer advice will benefit the firm’s business model by creating a new breed of advisers looking to set up their own business.  

Plans in the government’s Quality of Advice Review proposed banks, superannuation funds and general insurers to deliver financial advice from an adviser, known as a “qualified adviser”, who is restricted to providing simple advice. 

Minister for Financial Services, Stephen Jones, said: “On scope, qualified advisers will focus on providing simple financial advice. On fees, qualified advisers will be prohibited from charging a fee and from receiving a commission, which will help to restrict their advice to simple advice. 

“And on qualifications, as the name suggests, they will be required to meet a government-mandated education standard. The exact level of education will be determined in time, but a minimum standard of a diploma may be the right balance to be less onerous than the requirements for professional advisers.”

Reflecting on this and the opportunity it presents for Count, Humphrey said: “We believe that industry and retail, superannuation funds and insurance companies will become the new training ground for advisers who want to develop the skills and then move beyond being just an employee to control their own destiny as a business owner.

“This comes with another advice category in limited advice. We see that as a big upside for the pipeline of future advisers because at some stage, people will want to do more than just limited advice and just being an employee, and our self-employed or equity propositions resonate with that.”

Meanwhile, he also confirmed the firm is not resting on its laurels regarding M&A activity and will continue acquisitions post-Diverger. It has closed on seven transactions in the financial year to date, with three more yet to complete.

“Undoubtedly, FY24 will be a transformative year for Count, especially with the scale and depth of the businesses that Diverger transaction brings. Even without the Diverger transaction, Count is expected to exceed the number of business-as-usual acquisitions compared to prior years in the form of equity, tuck-ins and services acquisitions,” he said.

“We’re very deliberate in how we target businesses for transactions that make sense strategically, that have the right cultural fit and comply with our disciplined approach around risk and capital management.”

The Diverger deal, which will create Australia’s third-largest licensee, was announced last September and has since received both court and shareholder approval with an expected completion date of 1 March.

Diverger stated this week in its financial results that managing director Nathan Jacobsen will not be moving over to the new firm, but Count has not yet clarified what the new leadership will look like. 

“We’ve wrapped a really experienced team around the acquisition and the integration to ensure that it delivers. We’ve got a team in place and plans ready to go from 1 March. We know there will undoubtedly be problems to address and issues to resolve.”

Read more about:


Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Recommended for you



sub-bg sidebar subscription

Never miss the latest news and developments in wealth management industry


My view is that after 2026 there will be quite a bit less than 10,000 'advisers' (investment advisers) and less than 100...

3 days 16 hours ago
Jason Warlond

Dugald makes a great point that not everyone's definition of green is the same and gives a good example. Funds have bee...

3 days 17 hours ago
Jasmin Jakupovic

How did they get the AFSL in the first place? Given the green light by ASIC. This is terrible example of ASIC's incompet...

4 days 16 hours ago

AustralianSuper and Australian Retirement Trust have posted the financial results for the 2022–23 financial year for their combined 5.3 million members....

9 months 1 week ago

A $34 billion fund has come out on top with a 13.3 per cent return in the last 12 months, beating out mega funds like Australian Retirement Trust and Aware Super. ...

8 months 4 weeks ago

The verdict in the class action case against AMP Financial Planning has been delivered in the Federal Court by Justice Moshinsky....

9 months 1 week ago