After spending a decade in a trustee company and feeling the need to do something different and then a month figuring out how to add value to clients’ lives, an idea was born on butcher’s paper.
This business idea by this year’s Financial Planner of the Year, Charlie Fraser, put financial management goals second, and put the health and wellbeing of clients who had been dealt a hard hand in life first.
Fraser said the business, which was almost a year old and operated in a niche market with the philosophy of “whatever it takes”, was born out of the realisation that he had only helped 10 per cent of his clients in the past because most of their problems were not money related and had nothing to do with his financial discipline.
“We’ve combined financial services, which is what people need, with human services and what we call ‘wellbeing advocacy’ which is what our clients really, really need in order to get on with their lives as much as they possibly can. It’s a bit of a unique offering in that we’re prepared to roll up our sleeves and really get involved in people’s lives,” Fraser said.
“A lot of our clients are deeply traumatised, very broken people and very broken family groups, and a lot of the work they need is not around making money for them.
“It’s not about making sure their financial future is secure – that’s important yes – but it’s that they’ve got somebody there who genuinely cares for them even if they just need a shoulder to lean on because it’s been a particularly difficult day.”
The judges said Fraser was inspirational for going beyond putting together a financial plan by embracing his clients through looking after their health and wellbeing.
The judges were also impressed with finalist, Ravi Agarwal for building a successful innovative business in the niche medical profession market, Jake Reuss for his communication skills with clients, and Andrew Kidd for his ability to tailor his advice to the needs of his clients.