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FS Power50

 

The 2021
FS Power50

The financial advisers in this guide are a diverse group: some specialise in responsible investment advice, some provide financial advice to specific professions, and some focus on addressing market gaps, be it financial advice for women or the LGBTQI community.

But they all have one thing in common, they wield influence that can create the blueprint for financial advice in the future.

Not all of them are familiar names but just because they are not making a lot of noise doesn't mean they are not making waves. Meet our 2021 FS Power50.

DUSTIN BARTHOLOMEW
MBA Wealth Solutions
Dustin is an active community member in the Bathurst region and was instrumental in submitting a grant application for the local football team, ensuring more than just his clients benefit from his expertise. As a director of MBA Wealth Solutions, he specialises in complex business and superannuation advice. He takes the time to understand his clients' goals and will set them on the best path to reach them.
NICOLA BESWICK
FMD Financial
From science to intellectual property law to advice, Nicola's background sure is diverse. But it's this rich knowledge base that has shaped Nicola into the respected adviser she is today. An aged care professional, Nicola is passionate about helping people achieve the life they desire and deserve, both through her work at FMD Financial and as chair of the Pro Bono Financial Advice Network. As a committee member of the Financial Planning Association, she is an advocate of both the profession and its community.
MANISHA BHUDIA
Wealthwise
Manisha immigrated to Australia in 2007 from Kenya, after passing a Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (UK) certification as she sought a better future for her children. In her home country she earned a Certified Public Accountant (Australia) qualification and worked for a few years before switching to advice. She is a learner, who strives to positively impact one life at a time every day.
JESSICA BRADY
Fox & Hare
Diversity and inclusion are core to Fox & Hare's business model, while empowering the young client base with a financial game plan drives Jessica to help them get excited about their finances. Also passionate about breaking gender stereotypes surrounding money, Jessica co-launched Ladies Talk Money in February 2020, an online platform and resource that helps women discuss all things money related.
MARSHALL BRENTNALL
Evalesco Financial Services
Marshall is a dedicated director and senior adviser at Evalesco and is the firm's representative on its licensee's investment committee. He specialises in assisting professionals move towards optional working as well as ensuring older clients enjoy a smooth retirement. As a leader in the industry, Marshall was heavily involved in creating his licensee's new sustainable model which is a diversified portfolio with best-of-breed managed funds and ETFs.
MICHELLE BRISBANE
Ethical Investment Services
Michelle was an early mover into ethical investing back in 1999, when she decided to provide advice with an ethical overlay. In the 22 years since, she has pushed fund managers for change. Her firm Ethical Investment Services marries her personal beliefs with advice. The former science and mathematics teacher is a Certified Financial Planner and a member of the Responsible Investment Association Australasia.
MARISA BROOME
Wealthadvice
As the chair of both the Financial Planning Association of Australia and the Financial Planning Standards Board, Marisa is helping to shape the future of the advice industry daily. She also helps shape the financial futures of professionals and small business owners as managing director of her practice, Wealthadvice. In addition to being a staunch advocate for advisers and her clients, Marisa advocates for increasing the number of women working in financial services.
JENNY BROWN
JBS Financial Strategists
With nearly 30 years' experience in financial advice, Jenny has won several nods, including the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) Adviser of the Year Award. She believes advisers are in a privileged position to help Australians achieve their dreams and aspirations and has extensively engaged with regulator ASIC on important issues impacting advisers. She is currently the Oceania chair of the Million Dollar Round Table.
JOHN CACHIA
AFA Group Wealth
John is passionate about working with ambitious people, helping them to achieve financial freedom. He is an outspoken advocate for a goals-based approach to financial advice which allows clients to develop a clear understanding of what they really want to achieve and a legacy they can be proud of. His passion for financial advice runs in the family, John started working in an advice firm owned by his cousin when he was just 14. He was only 20 when he founded AFA Group Wealth.
CHRIS CARLIN
Master Your Money Now
Chris is the founder of Master Your Money Now and was the 2019 AFA Rising Star of the Year. He is passionate about helping everyday millennials achieve their financial goals and live their dream lifestyle. Chris is also an advocate for mental health, regularly lending an ear to those in need and sharing his own experiences with the advice community to break down stigmas. Innovation is at the core of Master Your Money now, with the business built on a subscriber model.
MATHEW CASSIDY
Partners Wealth Group
Mathew is the one of the original founders of Partners Wealth Group and managing director. Now with two decades under his belt as a financial adviser, Mathew's passion and commitment is building the business and advising high-net-worth clients and family groups. He is also playing a key role in developing the next generation of advisers, with the Partners Wealth Group two-year "assistant adviser academy", which includes the professional year and another year of practical education.
SUE DAHN
Pitcher Partners
Sue is one of Australia's most respected and influential advisers, regularly appearing in the Barron's Top 50 list and as one of the visionary forces responsible for taking Pitcher Partners from a mid-tier accounting firm to a $5 billion wealth management giant. Not only does she influence her clients and the advice industry, she also influences some of the nation's largest investors and advice industry partners by way of directorships and seats on investment committees.
VICTORIA DEVINE
Zella Wealth
In a few short years, Victoria has cracked the code to younger Australians' language about their finances. Her podcast, She's on the Money has amassed 130,000 followers on Instagram alone. This year also brought a partnership with investing app Six Park, a best-selling personal finance book, and a foray into YouTube. During her rapid rise, her philosophy has remained the same - empowering women to make smart money decisions.
FINN DORNEY
Shadforth Financial Group
Finn is passionate about developing and maintaining long-term relationships with his clients and enjoys helping people achieve their personal financial goals. He is also committed to helping emerging musicians realise their dreams via the Nick Balcombe Foundation and is a champion of Tasmania's amazing produce and agriculture by way of his work with Eat Well Tasmania. This is his second time appearing in the FS Power50 and he is also a former Barron's Top 50 adviser.
ANDREW DUNBAR
Apt Wealth Partners
Andrew won the Financial Planning Association of Australia Certified Financial Planner of the Year in 2019 because of his passion for helping clients with complex family needs who might be going through some challenging times. Andrew was also commended for giving back to different charities. He regularly contributes to thought leadership programs by writing financial education guides, presenting at educational events, and mentoring the next generation of advisers.
BRETT EVANS
Atlas Wealth Management
Brett is seen as a thought leader and frequently quoted in the media from his position as an expert in advising expats. His niche has led to a thriving business and Brett recently established a Dubai office to meet growing demand. Brett's passionate advocacy for his overseas clients has seen him active in public debate around reform, including most recently petitioning for expat property investor rights.
SCOTT FARMER
Bravium
Scott believes financial advice is important for helping clients overcome complexities in their lives and changing behaviours to achieve greater financial success. He founded Bravium in 2007 and counts pivoting the business to a values-based, annual fee engagement model long before it was necessary as one of his biggest achievements. Scott believes in the value of technology-led advice, both for the consumer and the adviser. He also founded a cash flow app, Savvy, to simplify the client experience.
NATHAN FRADLEY
Lime Financial
Nathan is chair and founder of the XY Ethics Committee and has previously been awarded Affinia Adviser of the Year. He is passionate about ethical advice and proud to have built an ethical advice business. He is also a co-director of ethical fintech platform Ethos, an engine for values-based investing. Outside of advice Nathan is an amateur competitive strongman at the national level, volunteers with refugees and makes his own mead (honey wine).
SIMON GROWDEN
Shadforth Financial Group
As the head of advice in WA for Shadforth and having spent 25 years with the group, Simon knows how to steer the ship better than most. Simon is a FS Power50 regular and has appeared twice on the Barron's List. While his three boys keep him on his toes, Simon manages to find time to actively participate in his local clubs and community, which includes chairing the Fremantle Dockers AJ Diamond Club. A cycling enthusiast, he supports Hawaiian Ride for Youth, a charity event.
MATT HALE
Rising Tide Financial Services
A past winner of the AFA Rising Star award, Matt is passionate about helping his clients achieve financial security. A straight shooter, Matt says great advice can help Australians be less apathetic to their money. He also believes financial advice helps people to improve their mental health and retain their freedom to say 'yes'. He has over 13 years' experience and, as a director of Rising Tide, has been instrumental in the firm's growth in recent years.
WILL HAMILTON
Hamilton Wealth Partners
As a member of the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics (FASEA) board, Will has influenced the future of financial advice in Australia. And he's been doing so for quite some time, having also sat on the Professional Standards Council. Will is considered an expert and thought leader in his field, regularly contributing to various publications. He is also a member of Responsible Investment Association of Australasia and senior fellow of FINSIA.
GLEN HARE
Fox & Hare
Glen co-founded Fox & Hare nearly four years ago to dispel the myth that financial advice was only for the old and wealthy. Now, a younger demographic from all walks of life flock to Fox & Hare. Glen is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion, working closely with the LGBTQI+ community and proudly supporting organisations like Wear It Purple, which fosters a safe and inclusive environment for young rainbow people.
GARY HASLER
Boutique Advisers
Gary is a stalwart of the West Australian financial advice community. Since founding Boutique Advisers in 2003, the practice has grown to 28 staff and Gary puts much of the firm's success down to investing in them. He is committed to Boutique Advisers being a generational firm that provides a clear career path for all that come through its doors. For 10 years he served as chair of the Fremantle Foundation, having a significant impact on the WA community.
JOSEPH HOE
Wealthwise
What client can resist an adviser who is also an expert in tax and accounting? Joseph rounds off technical skills with a desire to give back to the advice community through the Future2 Foundation. He speaks two other languages (Cantonese and Mandarin), has won awards from both FPA and AFA, and works with a wide set of clients. The Perth-based adviser runs the gamut from Centrelink to high-net-worth tax planning.
FRAN HUGHES
Nexia Perth
Fran guides her clients through the complex industry jargon and helps them understand complex topics so they can not only reach their goals but also have a healthy relationship with money. She is particularly passionate about empowering women to achieve financial independence. Fran is a public speaker and a loud voice on social media, as well as a regular voice in media, offering her expertise to several publications.
MICHAEL KENNEDY
Capital Focused
Michael started off at the big banks, but in 2011 he pivoted and started a new financial firm called Capital Focused. It works with families and business owners, who often have complex needs. It has won many awards within Lonsdale/IOOF and the AFA. In 2017, Capital Focused started to build an AI-powered newsfeed on financing planning with IBM Watson - pushing forward towards the future of financial advice.
SHANE LIGHT
The Hopkins Group
Shane's expertise in accounting, auditing, compliance and financial advice have been valuable in helping him lead boutique The Hopkins Group. A dedicated volunteer, he cofounded a rare cancer support charity and has been a volunteer firefighter for over 12 years. He is also passionate about animal welfare, and advocates for educating communities for a sustainable beekeeping industry.
TROY MACMILLAN
The Wealth Designers
Innovation is at the core of TWD. At the outset, Troy divided his clients into tiers based on where they were in their wealth journey and marshalled a group of expert investment analysts and advisers to deliver on the investment side. He also added an investment committee. The service is wrapped into a single fee for 12 months and has won Troy and TWD awards including AFA Practice of the Year, AFA Adviser of the Year and a Telstra Small Business award.
JAMES MCFALL
Yield Financial Planning
James is widely known as an expert in property and share market advice. His expertise in the field has been recognised by media outlets and the FPA as one of the top three CFPs in Australia in 2018 and 2020. James takes a holistic approach to advice and has operated on a fee for service model for over 15 years. His clients have said this has led to life-changing outcomes.
BEN NASH
Pivot Wealth
Wearing multiple hats as a financial adviser, business owner, podcaster, author and media commentator, Ben still finds time to operate Pivot Wealth with a purpose by being part of B1G1 Business For Good, meaning that for every client gained, the practice pays it forward. Ben and the Pivot team have helped build homes for the disadvantaged in India and provided meals to orphaned koala joeys. A co-founder of XY Adviser, Ben recently celebrated becoming self-licensed.
RAYMOND PECOTIC
Empire Financial Group
With a history in establishing community-based superannuation schemes, ensuring positive retirement outcomes for Australians is a top priority for Raymond. With more than 20 years' experience, Raymond is a regular contributor to various West Australian media and often called upon to speak to his financial planning expertise with other fields, such as real estate agents and accountants.
ROGER PERRETT
Viridian Advisory
Roger works with Viridian's clients out of its Sydney office and has a strong interest in financial literacy. He is also founder of More Done, an automated platform that helps busy parents manage kids, home and money so they can get more done and have more fun. He started his career as an analyst at IBM Global Services and used to be a competitive sailor - surely a helpful history when navigating the choppy waters of the advice industry!
LAURENCE POULTER
Bentleys Wealth Advisors
(a member of Partners Wealth Group)
Laurence is a one-time aspiring professional cricketer and now the youngest equity partner at his firm and a strategic wealth adviser. When a knee injury yanked his athletic ambitions, he turned to financial services for a career with a similar sense of satisfaction. He now provides strategic advice to clients and leads the New South Wales team and operations.
DONNA LEE POWELL
DLP Life Design
Donna specialises in advising those who have suffered the loss of a partner. She draws on her own experience with tragedy and provides the support to her clients that she needed at the same point in her life. Donna has travelled around the country highlighting the value and importance of advice when clients are experiencing death, disablement, and other life-changing events such as divorce or aged care transition to her peers.
RONALD PRATAP
RP Wealth Management
Ronald is passionate about helping self-employed or employee tradespeople, clients going through a divorce or have been recently widowed and those planning for retirement. He puts his client's lifestyle at the forefront of his process to provide realistic advice and better outcomes that will not sacrifice what is important to them. Ronald is also a well-known advocate for the advice industry, speaking out on issues impacting advisers and providing support to others.
REBECCA PRITCHARD
Rising Tide Financial Services
Rebecca has come a long way from poring over the Dollarmite Club guidebook and establishing a car-purchase fund for herself when she was eight. These days she is one of the most recognisable advisers honing in on millennials' planning needs. She returns to the FS Power50 this year after cementing her credentials as a voice for financial education with several contributions to Money magazine and an engaged social media community.
DAVID RAE
Federation Financial Services
When it comes to ethical investing, it's difficult to find a more passionate and trusted adviser than Dave. Not only is he a certified Responsible Investment Adviser by RIAA, he also sits on the board of the association. He strives to build a portfolio of purpose for his clients who are ethically motivated and regularly writes opinion pieces on ESG issues, appears on panels and at conferences to spread the word.
JAMES RIDLEY
Atlas Wealth Management
James is an experienced financial adviser specialising in expats. Formerly an accountant, he combines his accounting and financial advice expertise to assist individuals, families and SMSF clients with retirement planning, portfolio management, debt reduction and cash flow management. James works to educate as many expats as possible to ensure they have the best time overseas. He goes above and beyond for his clients to ensure they are making informed decisions for their financial goals.
HUGH ROBERTSON
Centaur Financial Services
Hugh is a Gold Coast adviser with a drive to improve both his clients' lives and the advice industry, believing his job first and foremost is to help. He often weighs in on advice matters in the media and is a co-founder and director of the Australian Advice Network. He is also passionate about making financial advice an attractive option for those considering a career in the wider industry. In 2018, he was named the AFA's Financial Adviser of the Year.
TROY SCOTT
Scott Wealth
Troy started Scott Wealth in 2017, providing holistic advice to professionals and small business owners. He is part of Australia's Most Trusted Adviser network, something he is extremely proud of. Troy believes in the benefits of continuing to upskill and is currently studying towards his Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning. He is involved in the community and raised $100,000 for a charity assisting children with cancer through his passion for golf.
LIAM SHORTE
Verante Financial Planning
The multiple award winner is a trusted voice in the SMSF industry and is no stranger to the FS Power50 list. As an educator, expert commentator and specialist SMSF adviser otherwise known as The SMSF Coach, Liam has earned the praises of his peers, industry associations and media publications. He has been actively involved with the SMSF Association since 2014 and is currently a board director. After several decades in the industry, Liam is a go-to source on all things pre- and post-retirement.
CAMPBELL SORELL
Shadforth Financial Group
Nearly 30 years on from his first job at Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC), Campbell has parlayed his career into advising private wealth clients. He specialises in cash flow modelling, goals-based investing, and non-profits. He is a part of Shadforth's leadership team, and his name frequently appears on whitepapers and at industry events. He is passionate about pro bono advice and mentoring new entrants, including through working with the University of Melbourne.
WARREN STRYBOSCH
Find Group
The founder of the Find Group of companies draws on his diverse background, which ranges from teaching, to serving in the army, to taxation and accounting, to coach and help clients live their best financial lives. A multi-award winner, Warren's innovative approach to business means he was a champion of virtual financial advice long before the pandemic. Warren established the Find Foundation, which owns and operates community newspapers across Victoria.
CHRISTINE SWONSON
Prominent Financial Services
Christine has frequented the FS Power50 and has a wealth of experience, starting her career in 1987, one month after the stock market crash. In addition to her business, Christine is proud of what Prominent Bono Service has accomplished, a pro bono program she offers to her community for people who are affected by serious illness or disability, providing financial advice and assistance, investment and superannuation guidance, and debt and cash flow management.
TROY THEOBALD
RFS Advice
Troy started his career as an accountant and financial planner at a Tweed practice. A senior colleague (and now friend) guided him towards building client investment portfolios and defensive asset allocation strategies, eventually moving to asset structuring and protection. RFS was born under CWL Accountants' banner. Since then, Troy has won multiple awards and built a thriving practice that works to his simple philosophy of providing the services that clients want and need.
DAWN THOMAS
Integro Private Wealth
Dawn's ability to connect with clients and their life stories is her driving force, which has led to a standout career and strong social media following. When she is not using social media platforms to break down complex financial concepts, Dawn is either cooking up a storm or playing hockey. In 2019, she won the Association of Financial Advisers' Female Excellence in Advice Award and has since gone on to chair the association's Inspire committee, encouraging women in the industry to embrace leadership opportunities.
CHARLIE VIOLA
Pitcher Partners
Charlie is one of Australia's most respected financial advisers and a wealth of knowledge on the financial services industry. He advises on approximately $1.8 billion, providing clarity and assurance to high-net-worth individuals, families, charities and universities. Charlie is regularly featured across all forms of media, whether it be for his investing expertise or his second love, race car driving. Generous with his knowledge, Charlie regularly appears on industry podcasts and webinars to share his insights.
COREY WASTLE
Verse Wealth
Verse Wealth founder Corey took home the inaugural Financial Planning Association of Australia Advice Innovation Award in 2020 not based on technological recognition, rather on the ability to create a better connection with clients and make their experience as simple and meaningful as possible. Obsessed with clients having the best experience, the firm boasts a five-out-of-five Google rating from nearly 130 reviews.
CARA WILLIAMS
Sufficient Funds
An emerging leader in the financial advice industry through her involvement in the AFA Genxt Committee, Cara is actively involved in the industry's philanthropic programs. She has received a distinguished service award from the FPA for her involvement with Future2, and trekked the Kokoda Trail for charity. Taking great pride in providing her clients with the reassurance and confidence to make informed decisions about their future.
JAMES WRIGLEY
First Financial
James is part of a new breed of financial advisers, finding his voice on social media to educate a younger demographic and help those in the wealth-building phase of their financial journey. He regularly volunteers at RMIT and Deakin University to help students looking to enter the financial services industry. James feels strongly about helping those in the wealth-building phase reach their full potential but says it's not all about the money; it's about helping people lead more fulfilling lives.

2021 FS Power50 - announced

Financial Standard has conducted the search for the FS Power50 once again in 2021, revealing the 50 most influential financial advisers in Australia.

This list is made up of the 50 most influential financial advisers in the country according to the readers of Financial Standard and FS Advice - The Australian Journal of Financial Planning.

In the making of this list, we defined 'influential' as individuals who have been, or continue to be, instrumental in shaping the future of the financial advice industry.

The selection process

Financial Standard's Power50 list is made up of the 50 most influential financial advisers in the country according to the readers of Financial Standard and FS Advice - The Australian Journal of Financial Planning.

In the making of this list, we define 'influential' as individuals who have been or continue to be instrumental in shaping the future of the financial advice industry.

These are financial advisers who have actively participated in industry-based activities, community-based projects and/or other initiatives designed to promote the important role that financial advisers play in the country's socio-economic future.

They could be active participants of relevant industry associations, financial advisers with strong social media following, or those known among their peers and the industry as role models in the way they conduct their professional practice.

They are also successful business owners, award-winners, policy influencers, mentors and educators.

As part of the selection process, we will invite relevant industry associations to nominate outstanding members of their associations and combine that list with the list of nominations from the Financial Standard editorial and research teams. Financial Standard will nominate outstanding advisers based on feature and profile stories we have done on FS Advice - The Australian Journal of Financial Planning in the past 12 years.

Then we open up the nomination process to our readers, ensuring we cast the net to the widest set of nominees.

Following this, a shortlist of financial advisers who get the highest number of nominations proceed to the voting process, which is once again open to our online readers. They can choose to vote for one or as many advisers featured in the shortlist.

All shortlisted candidates will be screened to ensure they are fully-licensed advisers, have met minimum professional educational standards and are members of at least one industry association.

The 50 individuals who attract the highest votes and pass the final editorial vetting screen will be featured in our FS Power50 Most Influential Advisers Guide, out 1 November 2021.

 
 
Gold partner
 

Gold sponsor - Zurich

 
Silver partners
 

Silver sponsor - La Trobe financial

Silver sponsor - Praemium

Silver sponsor - Praemium

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Gold partner
 

Gold sponsor - Zurich

 
Silver partners
 

Silver sponsor - La Trobe financial

Silver sponsor - Praemium

Silver sponsor - Praemium