Small broker plus small broker makes big broker

Broker group Bell Financial will buy Southern Cross Equities for $150 million, with the price subject to performance targets being met by Southern Cross. The combined businesses will generate cash flow of $300 million and be Australia's largest independent broker network. Bell has 290 advisors and will add Southern Cross' 30 advisors to that as well as employ more staff in the future despite market downturn. Plans to expand overseas will be accelerated. Bell's profit for the 6 months to June 30 was down 46 per cent to $9 million because of lower fee and commissions.