CBA demerger set to impact big super, wealth brands
The Commonwealth Bank has announced it will demerge its wealth management businesses, including Colonial First State and Count Financial, which provide a range of superannuation and SMSF services.
In an ASX statement today, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia announced it will demerge its wealth management and mortgage broking businesses and create an independent wealth management business called CFS Group.
The demerged business will include Colonial First State, Colonial First state Global Asset Management, Count Financial, Financial Wisdom and Aussie Home Loans businesses.
Colonial First State is a superannuation, investment and retirement product platform with over $135 billion of funds under administration.
It has a range of superannuation products including FirstChoice Wholesale Personal and FirstChoice Employer Super and also targets SMSFs with its managed funds.
Count Financial is an accounting-focused dealer group with around 300 accounting firms nationwide.
Advisers under the Count Financial licence provide advice on superannuation, SMSFs and retirement savings accounts as well as investment advice on a range of different asset classes.
CBA also stated that it will undertake a strategic review of its general business, including a potential sale.
The implementation of the demerger is subject to final CBA board, shareholder and regulatory approvals under a scheme of arrangement.
CBA chief executive Matt Comyn confirmed that CBA’s salaried financial advice business, Commonwealth Financial Planning, will be retained by CBA and will form part of its consumer financial services business within its retail banking services division.
“Ultimately, we have made a decision that the best thing for CBA shareholders is for us to focus on our core banking business and seeking to become a simpler and better bank, and to demerge our wealth management businesses, so they can continue to grow strongly,” said Mr Comyn.
“I think a demerger offers a couple of important benefits. Firstly, it is a clean and timely exit of all of these businesses. I think each of them are good businesses in their own right. We think the best chance for these businesses to perform at their potential is outside the Commonwealth Bank Group.”
Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.
Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.