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CountPlus ready for ‘new world of adviser remuneration’

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CountPlus has told shareholders the business is in position to thrive in the advice industry despite a number of significant challenges on the horizon, including changes to remuneration models as part of government reforms to move away from grandfathered commissions.

CEO and MD Matthew Rowe says the business has completely rebuilt its adviser value proposition, a move that has led to record enquiries from advisers wanting to join Count Financial, the advisory practice it bought last year for $2.5 million from Commonwealth Bank.

As of today there are formal enquiries from 240 advisers but the business will remain “vigilant” in its growth plans and only three out of five who proceed to the due diligence stage have met the required standards to be part of the group.

“Count Financial is now operating a ‘clean’ model bolstered for future challenges ahead,” Mr Rowe said at the company’s virtual AGM this morning. “The ‘clean’ model also means that Count Financial and its member firms must pivot to charging a sustainable fee for their financial advice services.

“While well advanced in our plans to move to the new world of adviser remuneration in 2021, we expect adverse impacts of this change to be felt in the financial year ending June 2021.”

He says Count Financial expects to remain profitable in the current financial year but earnings could be weaker as structural changes become embedded and a client-centric advice model takes shape.

The advice industry is gearing up for a major change next year when grandfathered commissions will be banned from January.