Count upgrades cost synergies from Diverger deal by $1m

Countplus Diverger Hugh Humphrey M&A licensees

6 May 2024
| By Laura Dew |
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Count has upgraded the expected synergy benefits to be achieved from the acquisition of rival licensee Diverger. 

The company acquired Diverger in March 2024 to create a firm with 590 accountants, over 550 financial advisers, and $30 billion in funds under advice. 

At the time, Count CEO Hugh Humphrey said he expects to see “material scale benefits” from the deal including the ability to secure better platform and insurance rates, better technology and research services. 

In a statement, the firm now expects to see annualised cost savings of $4 million to be announced in FY25.

This is a 33 per cent increase on previously forecast sums of $3 million, announced at the time of the transaction.

Humphrey said: “Following this acquisition, Count cemented its position as one of Australia’s leading integrated accounting and wealth services providers with over 500 accountants and 550 financial advisers in our national community. The synergies we’ve identified so far will ensure we can continue to operate more efficiently, delivering better outcomes for our shareholders, firms and clients.

“Our people have moved quickly and worked hard to integrate the businesses and realise tangible benefits. I’m grateful for the hard work of the team to successfully complete the transaction, integrate the businesses smoothly and make doing business easier for all our business partners.”

The combined firm is now the third-largest licensee in Australia behind AMP and Insignia, but the gap is narrowing following Insignia’s divestment of the Godfrey Pembroke arm earlier this year and the sale of Millennium3 to WT Financial at the end of 2023.

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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