ngs agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) has signed an exclusive contract with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) to provide the bulk of its financial planning research.
CBA is in the process of disbanding its in-house dealership research unit.
All four researchers, including head of research Patrick Bennett and senior research assistant Aaron Lee, have either resigned or have found other jobs inside the bank.
From October 1, S&P will take over the service that has traditionally been provided in house and do the bulk of research for CBA's dealer groups Commonwealth Financial Planning and Financial Wisdom.
The job includes model portfolio construction and reporting and participation in investment committee and educational forums.
S&P will also provide management for the dealer groups' approved product lists.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The dealer groups will draw on its existing panel of research houses, including Morningstar, Van Eyk and Lonsec for all other non-core research services, CBA said in a statement yesterday.
The decision to shut down the unit followed an internal review.
Earlier this month Commonwealth Financial Planning general manager Tim Gunning said it was becoming too difficult to retain and attract the research staff needed to keep up with demand from the growing number of planners.
In a statement yesterday, Gunning said the bank's strong relationships with S&P and other research houses would continue.
"We are confident that this new arrangement will ensure we are able to deliver the best research services possible to our expanding network of advisers," Gunning said.
The bank wants to boost its number of planners by 10 per cent over the next 12 months.
"The deal will add more than 1100 planners to our research footprint," S&P managing director Chris Dalton said.
There are 702 planners in Commonwealth Financial Planning and 420 in Financial Wisdom.