CBA Sells Colonial First State

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The CBA has agreed to sell 55% of the superannuation and investment fund company ‘Colonial First State’ to KKR, a US private equity firm. So after 20 years of aggressive acquisitions and takeovers, the banks are now divesting their Advice, dealer groups and product wealth management. Incidentally, CBA purchased CFS for $10b back in 2000.

So what does this mean for clients and is the sale a good or bad thing?

Firstly, there are no changes to the underlying investments you hold. However, like most things, the devil will be in the detail! It is potentially a good move with CFS becoming its own separate entity. KKR will be investing in it to “simplify products, improve services and modernise technology”. That all sounds good but is it just marketing speak? Time will tell.

CFS is a very popular platform and has been used very widely amongst many advisers looking for a simple mandated platform due to its features, cost, and good service. It was particularly cost effective for small to medium balances. However in the past few years, technology has played a part allowing other platforms to become more cost effective at much lower balances. Some platforms also have far better features to help manage cash flow, pension payments and tax.

If you have a CFS super or investment account there is no need to panic. You will probably receive a notification that the sale has been agreed to and is likely to be finalised sometime next year, however it will be ‘business as usual’ for some time at CFS.

At the next review, we will naturally discuss what we feel is your best interest and what options are available.

Feel free to call us directly if you would like to discuss.

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