In a statement to the ASX this morning, CBA announced its plans to create a new, separate business called CFS Group, which will include Count Financial, Colonial First State, Financial Wisdom, Colonial First State Global Asset Management and Aussie Home Loans.
Count Financial is an Australia-wide network of accounting and advisory based firms. It was particularly active in the accounting market during the phase-out of the accountants exemption, requiring accountants to operate under an AFSL to continue giving basic SMSF advice.
Commonwealth Bank chief executive Matt Comyn said the demerger of the wealth management and broking businesses reflects changes in the industry and consumer preferences.
“With innovation and disruption in wealth management increasingly favouring specialist companies, they will benefit from independence and the capacity to focus on new growth options without constraints of being part of a large banking group,” he said.
CBA also said its looking to simplify its services and focus on its traditional banking heartland.
“These initiatives will result in the creation of a leading independent wealth management business and enable CBA to enhance its focus on its core banking businesses in Australia and New Zealand and create a simpler, better bank,” CBA’s statement said.
Mr Comyn also announced changes to the executive leadership team, which includes new HR boss Sian Lewis, formerly of KPMG for six years during the 1990s.