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Cooper diversifies into super market

Specialist taxation and business advisory firm, Cooper Partners, has expanded its self-managed superannuation fund expertise with the appointment of a new principal.

With more than seven years in the industry working for Goldman Sachs JB Were and Lehman Brothers Australia, Jemma Sanderson has come on board this week to lead Cooper Partners' SMSF division.

The company's expansion in the area of SMSF follows significant growth in sector in recent years.

According to the Australian Tax Office, assets held in SMSF reached $300 billion in the 2007-08 financial year, out of a total of $1 trillion in total super held.

Ms Sanderson will provide strategic advice on SMSFs, estate planning and business succession planning, as well as technical support to accounting and financial planning groups.

Cooper Partners director Michelle Saunders said the appointment provided clients with an expanded service to complement its existing taxation and superannuation services.

"The niche we're in there's definitely a demand of service requiring companies to look at exit strategies, succession planning and retirement planning," Ms Saunders told WA Business News.

"It's a great vehicle for people to accumulate wealth in a tax-efficient environment."

Started in July 2005 by Ms Saunders and founding partner Frank Cooper, Cooper Partners specialises in tax consulting services, with a client base covering most major industry groups, including IT, professional services, property, and building and construction.

Mr Cooper parted ways with the business just four months later.

Ms Saunders, an inaugural WA Business News 40under40 award winner, has grown the business from six staff to 14, and is currently in the process of recruiting two more staff members.

Self-managed super funds have experienced a growth in demand following the federal government's tax changes in 2007.

With its new appointment, Cooper Partners will offer strategic SMSF advice, extending through to estate planning and succession planning.

Ms Sanderson said an SMSF usually had fewer than five members with a minimum of between $250,000 and $400,000 invested to make it most cost affective.

Fellow staff member Marissa Bechta, who joined Cooper Partners at its inception in July 2005, was recently made partner at the firm.

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