Count seeks to grow market share with brand hire

Countplus licensees financial advice market share

7 June 2024
| By Laura Dew |
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Count has appointed Leah Hitchings in a newly created role of group head of brand and experiences. 

Within the role, she will be responsible for developing and executing the overall brand strategy and marketing initiatives to drive growth, enhance brand awareness and increase market share.

She joins Count from Rest Super where she was a senior business manager and previously led brand transformations at AMP and Hillross. This included almost three years as head of advice transformation at AMP across brand and customer experience.

Hugh Humphrey, chief executive of Count, said: “Leah will be a tremendous asset to Count as we enter this exciting new chapter in our proud 44-year history. Her understanding of branding, marketing and consumer behaviour will be key in achieving our strategic objectives and supporting our national community of advisers, accountants and their clients.

“One of our highest priorities is giving Australians greater access to valuable accounting and advice services to support their financial wellbeing. We’re investing in our brand and improving our service proposition to grow our network and provide them with industry-leading events and experiences.”

Count is Australia’s third-largest licensee behind AMP and Insignia, and recently acquired rival licensee Diverger. The firm said it is seeking to become the leading integrated accounting and wealth services business in Australia.

The Diverger deal completed in March 2024, and Count has already upgraded the cost synergies from the deal by $1 million, expecting to see annualised cost savings of $4 million in FY25. This is a 33 per cent increase on previously forecast sum of $3 million, announced at the time of the transaction.

The Diverger acquisition is not the only M&A the company is embarking on this year as it has also acquired a majority stake in a Gold Coast accounting business and acquired Solutions Centric, an Australian company that provides offshore accounting, tax and self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) services out of India.

“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,” said Humphrey earlier this year.

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