Crowe Horwath formally joins Findex Group

Acquisition of significant accounting firm creates important strategic pillar in Findex Group.

The Findex Group today formally assumed control of the Crowe Horwath businesses in Australia and New Zealand following the 98.25% vote by Crowe Horwath shareholders to accept the Findex Group’s offer of 50c per share on December 15, 2014.

Crowe Horwath will be delisted from the ASX on January 7, 2015 and become a wholly owned subsidiary of the Findex Group. Findex is a privately owned Australian financial services firm in which leading US investment group KKR is a significant but non-controlling shareholder.

Findex Group CEO Spiro Paule said “Today is a significant milestone in the development of the Findex Group. It marks the realisation of our vision of creating a financial services group with accounting as the cornerstone offering complemented by financial advice, risk, lending and other related services.

“Crowe Horwath is a strong business and strong brand with enormous unrealised potential. Like Findex, it has grown through the merger and acquisition of smaller firms. We are confident the combination of the Findex Group culture, systems and process plus our track record of successfully acquiring and integrating businesses means our prospects for success are excellent. This will translate into tremendous upside for clients, staff and shareholders alike.

“Crowe Horwath is the largest provider of SME accounting services in Australasia and we are particularly enthusiastic about expanding our reach in this very important segment of the economy by assisting and empowering business owners and entrepreneurs to fulfil their financial objectives in the most efficient manner. Indeed, our own business journey of sustained and quality controlled growth serves as a strong example of how we can similarly help them to fulfil their own ambitions”.

“It’s important to note both Findex and Crowe Horwath have inherently held a commitment to non-conflicted advice in the clients’ best interest. Accounting professionals hold a pivotal position of trust with clients which must not in any way be compromised. It is clear that transparency and non-alignment is where the market needs to go and we are comfortable being at the vanguard of this evolution”, Mr Paule said.

Prior to today the Findex Group comprised four distinct businesses and brands:

  • Financial Index Wealth Accountants, a broad based advisory business proving accounting and financial advisory services.
  • Centric Wealth, financial planning, wealth management and accountancy advice targeted at high net worth individuals.
  • Civic Financial Planning, based in Canberra and focused on providing advice targeted for members of the public sector.
  • MOVO (www.movo.com.au), an online financial advice platform targeting a younger, digitally orientated demographic.

The addition of Crowe Horwath, comprising more than 2600 staff in 110 offices across Australia and New Zealand will be the largest business in the Findex Group in terms of staff, turnover and geographic spread.

“The Crowe Horwath acquisition means the Findex Group will have a financial services solution across the full demographic spectrum ranging from individuals and small businesses, large enterprises, high net worth families, senior public sector clients right through to digitally engaged ‘millennials’,” Mr Paule said.

The transaction will also mean the Findex Group’s wealth advisory businesses will now have more than $15billion under advice, making it the largest non-aligned advisory business in Australia. Its combined accountancy businesses will strongly consolidate it as the largest and most diversified accounting services provider outside the ‘big four’ brands.

“Our goal is to provide the highest quality, one-stop solution for all the financial services needed by our clients.

“We believe the Family Office model, which amounts to a holistic or comprehensive suite of financial and related services currently only available to a small domain of very wealthy families is one that has intrinsic appeal to all our clients at an affordable fee.

“We are definitely heading in that direction and Crowe Horwath will be a significant enabler in that process as will be our ongoing commitment to meeting and exceeding our clients’ expectations, whatever they may be,” Mr Paule said.

More about the Findex Group: www.findexgroup.com.au

For all media queries please contact Shed Media:

Peter White: 0416 041390 or Simrita Virk: 0434 531 172

Shed Head Office: 02 9247 8533

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