Just months after the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) placed Count Financial in play as part of demerger plans, the financial planning group has been revealed as being much diminished in scale from the firm CBA acquired in 2011.
Count Financial documentation issued in late August and obtained by Money Management has revealed that the planning group is now made up of 178 practices, well down on the more than 300 practices which were under its umbrella in 2011 and the more than 200 practices recorded as recently as 2016/17.
The Count web site currently lists the group as having 200 member firms, but Money Management understands that in the wake of the 25 June demerger announcement the principals of a number of Count’s larger practices have been in talks with other licensees, including one owned by another major banking group.
The latest Money Management Top 100 Planning Groups research concurred with the data provided by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) data that the remaining Count practices accounted for 429 planners.
The Commonwealth Bank announced in late June its intention to demerge the wealth management and mortgage broking businesses including Count Financial, Financial Wisdom, CFS Group and Aussie Home Loans.
It described Count Financial and Financial Wisdom as being “aligned, distinctly focused financial advice businesses”.
The Commonwealth Bank is looking to complete the demerger next year.