Count lures four more IOOF firms

Count Financial has netted more adviser growth amid the changes being wrought because of IOOF’s acquisition of MLC Wealth with the company announcing today it has picked up four advice firms which had previously worked under IOOF licenses.

Following on from announcing the recruitment of three other advice firms affected by the IOOF/MLC Wealth transaction, Count announced that the four further firms recruited to its licenses had previously been part of the IOOF network, operating under the Bridges and Executive Wealth Management Financial Services licenses.

It said the three former Bridges firms will rebrand as:

  • Magnis Financial Planning (formerly Bridges Thornleigh, NSW) – with Alison Antoinette as the principal adviser;
  • Glenbuckie (formerly Bridges Launceston, Tasmania) with Glenn Torrents (principal) and Sally Bell as advisers; and
  • Aim Financial Advice (formerly Bridges Essendon, Victoria) with Susan and Luke Di Pietro, a mother and son team.
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Additionally, it said that Count was also being joined by Sydney-based accounting-led firm, Strategic Wealth Management (formerly licensed through Executive Wealth Management Financial Services) and led by principal Nicholas Moustacas.

Commenting on the decision to switch licenses, Moustacas said there were three key factors that stood out.

“The fact that Count Financial are not owned by a company that’s main priority is to sell product was important. Secondly, there are clearly no hidden agendas with their model. We have the support to succeed because they know our growth and success is linked to theirs,” he said.

“And thirdly, in my opinion their professional standards team is the best in the industry, which gives us comfort that the other advisers in the network will have the same high level of standards and processes that we strive to maintain.”

Count Financial chief advice officer, Andrew Kennedy said the appointment of all four firms was a huge coup for the licensee which continues to target quality advice firms to join its network.

“These are all quality advice firms that have a reputation for delivering exceptional client outcomes, so we’re extremely pleased to have them coming on board. They bring experience and expertise to our network and they will be a great cultural fit for the other advisers in Count Financial community.”

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This is just the tip of the iceberg. IOOF will lose many more Advisers unless the organisation starts listening to them.

IOOF has rolled out a new compliance regime under the guise of ASIC report 515 that adds many hours of additional admin per client each year. There is no benefit to clients or their advice network. The amendments only benefit IOOF.

Additionally, IOOF new professional standards regime has been rolled out without robust testing or proper training of their own staff. The rework and rework to resolve what should have been identified as systemic errors before rolling out is adding to adviser frustrations and confusion (not to mention IOOF internal staff).

The requirement to use cases and benchmarking via Xplan is clunky and has no regard for practices existing systems and processes. Xplan cannot accommodate their requirements in an efficient manner, resulting in significant duplication of data entry. Put simply, the organisation is forcing a cookie cutter approach to assist incompetent auditors to rush the annual audit process. It serves no other purpose.

IOOF's new Client Service Agreement model rollout has been a debacle (Not my words. The term "debacle" is how internal IOOF staff are describing the situation). It cannot even accommodate amendments mid-agreement where services or fees are changed due to a change in the client's needs and objectives.

"Advice-led and Client First?"

I am afraid actions speak louder than words. The board needs to step in and remove certain senior management before the organisation's brand is irreparably damaged. I am sure all would agree that destruction to shareholder wealth under the current management team has been disturbing. It is time for new a new team and a new cooperative approach.

Every large licensee is going to have much the same problems. It simply isn't possible for a licensee to supervise and monitor lots of self employed ARs without using inefficient, draconian, one size fits all approaches that massively stifle the ARs' business. The freedom that ARs enjoyed in the past was never sustainable, and has been brought to an end by the RC.

Either get self licensed or become an employed adviser. There is no future in being a self employed AR under another company's licence.

Sounds like ioof are having teething problems, and tbh without extraordinary competent staff at all levels it’s going to be a few hiccups until it gets ironed out. Pretty expected really for such a large group. Re your xplan gripe, well show me a large afsl that isn’t using all the same tools, benchmarking etc. count has the same problems. Xplan is generally a sub par software. Anyhow, don’t let you use your own ext paraplanner without it being on the panel and all this other draconian measures. I would give ioof time, I reckon they will work it out.

these new recruits have no idea. "not owned by a company that’s main priority is to sell product was important." They paid that bozo to spruik them. Really, they have got to make money some how... so what underhanded way do they do it? can you still white label to make advisers funnel all clients $ into the most expensive wrap in the industry? Or is it they still don't allow bulk transfers so they force adviser firms to stay....
Vertically integrated, at least you know how IOOF make their money and if they produce the best product with the best admin service, advisers will use it. That's pressure to have the best products. If you want independence, then get self licensed. Its one or the other.

Having been an AR of Count many years ago, I would never go near them. Very sub-standard in my opinion.

Four more firms who've chosen to leave the 'Death Star'. It would appear that none of the other AFSLs that IOOF are retaining are attractive enough to the firms that are leaving.

Good luck with the new venture and dealing with Mr ROWE - my way or the highway bully. Why is this even news?

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