Managing Director Stephen Edmunds says the decision to partner with Count was based on a strong cultural fit between the businesses, particular with regard to Count’s client-centric values and strong sense of community.
“When we began having conversations with the Count team, it was clear that there was a genuine focus on community and not just numbers. For us, that was important because we pride ourselves on the work we’ve done in our community, supporting the people and organisations that we have worked so closely with since my father Bruce started the company in 1966.”
Bruce Edmunds originally founded the business in the Melbourne CBD, but soon realised the challenge of commuting each day was largely unnecessary given that most of their clients were living in the suburbs. That led him to relocate to Beaumaris, around 25km from the city, and closer to clients who were mainly located in areas around Dandenong, Moorabbin and the Mornington Peninsula.
That geographic shift began a new era of community involvement which has long been central to Edmunds’ business philosophy.
“We have a longstanding community engagement program which includes being a major sponsor of the Beaumaris football club and supporting a local charity called ‘Cottage by the Sea’, which provides short-term care within a holiday environment for children in need. We’ve proudly donated more than $160,000 over the years to this terrific cause. It’s something we’re really passionate about and we encourage all of our staff to get involved with it.”
As a family business with a long and successful history, Edmunds also understands the importance of appropriate succession planning, which is one of the main reasons he was initially interested in a partnership with Count.
“Succession planning has been on my mind for some time. We have more than 50 years’ history and I want our business to thrive for at least another 50 years too. When we first spoke to Count, we were impressed with the range of succession opportunities they could help facilitate and the services they could offer that would help our day-to-day operations.”
As a result of the strategic investment, Count now has a 40% stake in Bruce Edmunds & Associates.
“The minority stake means we still maintain control, but with all the added benefits that come from being part of a national network of like-minded businesses, which is a great outcome for our business and our clients.”