The firm raised a targeted $7.3 million, on the back of strong demand from institutional and retail investors.
“Growth has been steady for 11 years. This is not one of those IPOs where assets have been cobbled together… the firm has been run very professionally with a clear agenda to grow over time,” director of corporate development, Brendan Lyons, told Accountants Daily.
That growth strategy will not radically transform following today’s listing, according to founder and executive chair, Brett Kelly, who is also the majority shareholder.
“There are over 10,000 firms that we could partner with in our space — there’s no shortage of opportunities. But we aren’t desperate to grow fast,” Mr Kelly said.
The firm’s growth strategies are centred on organic growth driven by the Tax Act becoming more complex and market demand for advice related to that; network expansion; and new services including wealth management.
However, the pair stressed that wealth management and corporate advisory is a “very, very small” part of what a private client might want. Further, financial planning firms do not form part of network expansion plans.
“It’s a tax-led strategy, that’s our expertise, and the help the clients need,” Mr Kelly said.
While transforming to a public company can often see a cultural shift on the ground, Mr Kelly believes that the firm’s structure and historic approach to assurance will keep culture as is.
Central to this is the fact that the holding company — Kelly Partners Group Holdings — is what is being listed. This means that, technically, nothing changes for the 16 operating accounting practices.
“Genuinely, I don’t think it will change anything, from a cultural perspective. We don’t see any conflict in the long-term interests of our shareholders and our teams. What’s best for the business and the people and the clients is also best for the shareholders. And I’m the largest shareholder, so I’m in a pretty good position to judge,” Mr Kelly said.
“We always did our numbers as if we were a public company. If you are the largest shareholder, which is me, why would I want any less diligence or energy or focus around the reporting than a public company shareholder? I’ve always been more invested that anyone else. The idea that you’ve got public shareholders and therefore you should do more, is weird.
“We are accountants, which helps.”