Commonwealth Bank’s NewCo moved one step closer to abandonment following an announcement today its leader Jason Yetton would leave the business in January without a plan for replacement. Yetton’s departure was foreshadowed in Professional Planner’s Sunday Sessions in late July.

CFS, meanwhile, has had an active search underway for a new CEO following the departure of Linda Elkins, who left in July to join consulting firm KPMG.

Michael Venter, CFS’s acting COO, is currently overseeing the day-to-day operations of the business, which includes the group’s FirstChoice employer and personal superannuation business. CFS’s super business is in the process of adjusting remuneration and service arrangements with advisers.

CBA is said to still be committed to the exit of its remaining wealth management and mortgage broking businesses, which comprises of Colonial First State, Aussie Home Loans and CBA’s 16 per cent stake in Mortgage Choice. However, the method of this exit will be different than previously thought, and the timeline is no longer clear.

NewCo was established in October last year to facilitate the spinoff of CBA’s wealth management and mortgage broking businesses. Yetton, the former SocietyOne leader and Westpac/BT executive, was appointed CEO at the time when listing the business on the ASX was a viable option.

In March, CBA announced it had halted the NewCo wealth exit. Since then its dealer group Count Financial was sold and Financial Wisdom has gone into ‘assisted closure’.

Industry sources who claimed to have some knowledge of the situation suggested NewCo is now relegated to abandonment although no official decision regarding the future of the business is believed to have been made.

CBA had no official comment on the record regarding NewCo beyond what was stated in Wednesday’s announcement.

Separately, CBA’s financial planning business, CFP, confirmed it had announced job cuts. Up to 100 adviser and support roles were cut from the business on Wednesday while other roles within the business have been reshaped.

“To improve the quality of our service and our customer experience, we need to reshape our business model and adviser footprint… We are now working with the people affected by these changes to ensure we support them during this period,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

In addition to Yetton’s departure, CBA CEO Matt Comyn said head of business banking Adam Bennett would leave the business. Bennett, who has been group executive of business and private banking since 2015, will also leave in January.

Smith is head of content and managing editor of Professional Planner and Investment Magazine.
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