In a move to clean up the business, CountPlus has dropped its paraplanning and back-office service Wealth Axis.

CountPlus CEO Hugh Humphrey tells Professional Planner overall he’s pleased with the state of the underlying results which were released on the market on Monday morning.

“One of things I said I’d do in my first six months was meet with each of our equity partners and [review] all of our investments,” Humphrey says.

“Off the back of that review it became clear to me that Wealth Axis wasn’t performing at the level we would expect from our investments.”

Ultimately, Humphrey says the clearest option was a discontinuation of the services.

“[It] was a tough set of lessons learned, but it had some gaps in terms of leadership and capability,” Humphrey says.

“Its client experience wasn’t at the level we would need it to be. It was running at an annual loss and I didn’t want to see that drag on earnings continue.”

Countplus operates across three segments, accounting, wealth and services, the latter of which is a recent segment offering.

“I’m definitely committed to [the service segment], it has a lot of merit and our firms need high quality services to support their clients,” Humphrey says noting in this instance Wealth Axis wasn’t meeting the required standard.

Counting on Hugh

With just over half a year in the job, Humphrey says the opportunity for the business is to continue growing.

“Countplus is a good business with a very solid base,” Humphrey says.

“Part of the operating review was to make sure that we’re well positioned for growth and that we’ve got a clean base and that we’re not carrying any drags on earnings as well.”

Adjusted EBITA for the overall business increased 28 per cent to $5 million – adjusted EBITA (Earnings Before Interested Taxes and Amortisation) excluding once-off and non-recurring items.