Why Count Financial was the best partner for Affinitas Financial Planning
Choosing a licensee is a decision to never be taken lightly. Affinitas Financial Planning recently travelled down that road and explain what impacted their decision to choose Count Financial. Brad Peters, Director, and Senior Financial Planner at Affinitas Financial Planning, took a lot of care and time to decide. “Starting with a matrix of assessment factors, I divided licensees into three general categories – Must, Preferable and Nice (but not necessary). Then, with the help of a consultant, I met with about 14 potential licensees. It then came down to a final three – where we went into a lot more depth.”
“Of all of the licensees, Count Financial was always ahead in terms of financial backing and potential long term stability.” Brad spent time getting to know people like Matthew Rowe and Andrew Kennedy – and spoke with some of the key people he would be working with on a daily basis to better understand the service offerings, cost structures, and cultural alignment. Brad also spoke with some existing Count Financial advisor firms and was made aware of how they were going to be remoulded and reinvigorated under CountPlus ownership.
“In the end, I felt Count Financial understood who we were, could provide what we needed, and valued what we offered,” explains Brad. “Count Financial provided a clear outline of the steps required, helped us prepare, and was always there to assist with advice and practical help at each step. Count Financial delivered on everything they promised as far as pricing and levels of support were concerned during the changeover process.”
As a result of transferring to Count Financial, Brad feels that Affinitas Financial Planning now has the right levels of support in key areas to ensure they can continue to service existing clients, write new business, and remain compliant.
“We have been able to contact key decision-makers/support people when needed, and have received real value from having ongoing access to a dedicated Practice Development Manager,” Brad explains. “Affinitas Financial Planning firm has operated as part of an overall business structure that includes an accounting practice. Support for accounting qualified financial planners has always been part of Count’s DNA. Therefore, practice development will always be mindful of how changes in the tax/accounting landscape will impact our overall business.”
In addition to support, Brad says the Australia-wide network of Count Financial firms and the CountPlus ownership model provides some potentially exciting succession planning opportunities.
“Businesses don’t change licensees for fun – because it is a labour intensive, time-consuming and potentially costly process.” However, Brad explains that it is going to be a necessary reality for many advisory firms who want to secure their long term future in the financial planning industry. Choosing the right licensee makes all the difference.
Operating for 20 years, Affinitas Financial Planning is part of the wider Affinitas group, a Brisbane-based business that provides individual and small business clients with a holistic offering covering accounting, tax, finance, investment, and personal insurance advice. The accounting practice services about 1400 clients, of which about 400 are an investment and/or insurance clients.
Article taken from CountPlus Annual Report 2020. For the full article, click here.