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Ex-rivals of CBA prepare to share

Ex-rivals of CBA prepare to share

He built a brilliant business bashing banks, but "Aussie" John Symond is poised to do very well indeed out of his dealings with Australia's biggest bank, Commonwealth.

Symond has been progressively selling his stake in the mortgage broking business he built, Aussie Home Loans, to CBA, to the point where the bank now owns 80 per cent. As a result, Symond's private company, Dawnraptor, is now CBA's 13th-biggest shareholder, holding 2.75 million shares valued at about $195 million.

With CBA paying a $2-a-share dividend, he can look forward to a cheque for $5.495 million to lob in the postbox in October.

Also seeing the benefits of selling his business to Commonwealth Bank is the founder of Count Financial, Barry Lambert.

Under the terms of the 2011 sale of Count to CBA, Lambert was able to take scrip or cash for his stake in the financial planning network. He has emerged as the bank's 20th-biggest shareholder, with more than 1.6 million shares valued at more than $115 million. That's a dividend of more than $3 million.

Sailing season

It might be the middle of the busiest time of the year for corporate Australia, reporting season, but that didn't stop the great and the good migrating north for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.

Wesfarmers boss Richard Goyder and Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli were among those at the opening weekend of the annual boat regatta in the Whitsundays, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, 10 of them with the Oatley family at the helm.

Patriarch Bob Oatley - who made much of his dosh selling Rosemount Estate at the top of the Australian wine boom - was on deck, telling party gatherers to "have fun to the max" this week. Not bad for a bloke who is 83.

In his opening speech Bob proved much sharper than Queensland's Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games, Jann Stuckey.

She welcomed guests to "Hayman Island" in her speech. That gaffe went down with the yachties as well as One Australia at the 1995 America's Cup in San Diego. At least John Bertrand's boat broke up and sank in just two minutes and 15 seconds. Stuckey's pain went on much longer.

Art of acronyms

When it comes to TLAs, it seems IPA is no longer AOK.

The nation's peak body for administrators and liquidators,

the Insolvency Practitioners Association of Australia, is to ditch the three-letter acronym in favour of the five-letter ARITA, in a bid to stem the chaos.

"It's sort of a little bit confusing," president David Lombe told CBD.

"We've had people trying to register for the courses at the Institute of Public Accountants paying their money at the IPA and vice versa."

The initials IPA seem to possess some kind of magnetic attraction: in addition to the insolvency mob and the ledger of accountants, there's the Institute of Public Affairs, the Institute of Public Administration, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and CBD's favourite, India pale ale.

Lombe said the new name, the Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association, reflected the fact that these days his members were more than corporate undertakers.

"Most of the firms you'll find have changed their names - they've got a bit of restructuring in it, or they've got turnaround, so that's what's behind it."

The move has been in the works for two years and will take effect within weeks - subject to the approval of members, who were to vote on the change on Monday night.

Lombe said he was "not interested in spending a lot of money" on the change.

"We're not wetting our pants to have a fantastic launch at the beginning of it," he said.

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