2015 Financial Wisdom National Award Nominations
- Our business is called Time Advice because we help business owners, executives and families organise their financial world and pursue their ideal life. Life is short, time is precious. Make Time Work For You. That IS what we DO.
Practice Development Manager
- The wonderful Chris Burton. More about him below…
Awards Nominated For
- Practice of the Year
- Quality Recognition (Small practice)
- Our Responses and Supporting Details follow for each criteria.
1. Values the on ground relationship with their local support
- We started the business in 2011 with 10 clients and a short stack of files in progress.
- We haven’t bought a book or inherited a single client.
- We have built the business from scratch, organically.
Quite simply, without the on ground support from Financial Wisdom and the greater Colonial and CBA group’s tools and resources, we could not have grown the business to the point it is today and would not have the opportunities we are ready to capture in a burgeoning segment like Business Exit/Succession Planning.
Our PDM, Chris Burton has been nothing but encouraging, supportive, communicative, willing to help wherever he could, consistently involved in the goings-on in our business and very positive about our growth and future.
Before we started Time Advice, we were focused on building a business not a practice and Chris has not only understood this but assisted us enormously with our growth plans. State Manager David Gloury has similarly played a key role for us in our growth story.
With a background in the Business Risk space, David has provided invaluable advice and guidance to us in tackling this specialist and important area in addition to his usual commitment to supporting us as a Financial Wisdom practice.
He has gone above and beyond his regular responsibilities including numerous one on one meetings with us, to really understand our unique business model and to assist us ‘help more clients’ organise their financial world and pursue their ideal life.
Examples of on ground support we absolutely value include:
- Attending and contributing (both at 4 Howitt Street and 727 Collins Street) to some incredibly productive strategy sessions with us.
- Making us aware and booking us into enlightening training opportunities such as Vue Consulting’s ‘Client Referrals’ courses – this course has especially helped us with our ‘after sales service’ process which has led to more client referrals and a more satisfied client base.
- Meeting with and interviewing prospective advisers looking to join our business which has helped our growth.
- Providing ideas from other successful practices that we might adopt – why reinvent the wheel?
- Introducing us to a Commercial Finance brokerage firm who was interested in a referral arrangement with a financial planning firm. This firm now occupies space in our building and we send clients to each other on a regular basis.
2. Sees strength in the institutional parent
Time Advice relies on and uses the resources available from the greater CBA group in formulating outstanding advice for its clients.
Apart from the local team’s input mentioned above, we tap into the strength of Financial Wisdom’s parent, the CBA group, in multiple ways almost every day.
Times when we have accessed those resources include:
- Greg Ritchie of CommInsure conducted training sessions for our referral partners in a workshop we conducted both at Financial Wisdom’s head office and in our own board room. To have a professional who was not from either Financial Wisdom or Time Advice deliver this training to referral partners of ours was very effective and added to the impression we were looking to give: “we are ready to help you help your clients”.
- We rely on the research team at both Colonial and Financial Wisdom to clarify certain technical points that we want to get right before putting our advice together.
- Our Quality Coach has offered us some gems including the use of Generic Personal Statements for risk insurance clients when underwriting looks likely to be complicated. This suggestion has revolutionised our process in securing the right levels of cover from the best provider for difficult cases.
- We have compared notes with advisers under other licensees and their knowledge and training for both FoFA and FDS was alarming. We were able to tell them that we felt extremely prepared and understood exactly what was going on because the training and information flow was excellent.
Handling of the media during the CBA/Financial Wisdom negative media period and offering and providing a Tailored Plan reimbursement to practices such as ours.
3. Participates in the culture and camaraderie of Financial Wisdom
Since becoming part of the Financial Wisdom family, we have enjoyed getting to know the myriad of people involved at various events and functions through our own attendance and contribution:
With either a national or state background, we embrace meeting and interacting with everyone from ‘head office’ to other advisers and everyone in between.
Whether it be Professional Development days, training courses, conferences, Kick start days, peer group meetings, organised visits with other advisers, assigned meetings with our Quality Coach or any other ‘organic’ interactions - we love to attend, give our opinion and contribute to discussions and issues.
Roundtable discussions and break-out conversations in between formal sessions we have found are a terrific forum to both give and ask for ideas and suggestions; all in the name of increasing our IS and DO!
We think the Financial Wisdom culture is exceptional and love the ‘self-employed’ mindset of the other advisers in the group along with their typically giving nature and actions.
In addition to those described above, Time Advice has participated in some ‘extra-curricular’ activities which we believe have added to the culture and camaraderie of Financial Wisdom including:
- Contributing to the FNA redesign sub-committee which was formed after the Vietnam national conference in 2013.
- Being part of the Trowbridge Report group and what response Financial Wisdom should be making including discussing things with our Federal Minister, Josh Frydenberg. To this end, a meeting with Mr Frydenberg is occurring in early June 2015 with Time Advice’s owners, Anuj Shangle and Andy Gowers.
4. Bias for Quality
We have received numerous quality awards and reports from our Quality Coach have a consistent theme – no issues noted!
Time Advice was nominated for the Quality Recognition (Small practice) award last year too.
We explain to our clients that their advice will not be delivered quickly – we are intentionally methodical, considered, process driven, analytical and deliberate. The testimonials on our website back this up.
A prime example of our bias for quality is that Time Advice delivers a large amount of risk advice and will usually apply for a pre-assessment on behalf of the client.
This achieves a few critical things:
- The client is aware that we have effectively tendered their case to the market.
- We know before putting their SoA together that they are receiving the most appropriate cover given their circumstances due to many conversations with various underwriters.
- We can guide them through a discussion that sometimes needs brain power and always needs an expert – should I accept a loading or an exclusion? What am I better off doing?
- The issue of the price for their cover is addressed as we have been to the market before presenting their advice and the reasons behind it. We guide them from a position of knowledge.
5. Bias for growth
Time Advice was the number 1 Financial Wisdom practice (although we prefer to call ourselves a business!) nationally for GBE growth (at 78%) in the rolling 12 months period to March 2015. That achievement is wonderful but it is a small step for us in a much bigger growth path.
Over the next 5 years, Time Advice aims to deliver Business Exit/Succession plans to over 1,000 businesses by forming alliances with associations and industry groups that have large membership numbers.
This will involve significant sums of business insurance (buy/sell and keyperson) as well as numerous other areas of advice such as SMSF, investment and business growth and sales.
With the extraordinary number of business owners who need to transfer their ownership in the next 5-10 years in Australia, the market is certainly there. Time Advice is ideally placed to capture a slice of this lucrative market given its expertise and collaborative business model.
This collaborative ‘hub’ concept, which Time Advice has established, is destined to generate significant increased activity and therefore revenue streams both for Time Advice and its referral partners, by offering a variety of related services to our mutual clients. The key to this model is that our clients consistently ask us to help them in more and more areas which is why we created it.
In order to capture and suitably service this market, Time Advice has invested and is developing a new CRM system that will allow it to track, communicate and serve its target market via a purpose built, automated, ‘activity tracking’ technology.
Another way we demonstrate a bias for growth is by consciously increasing our FDS client base.
6. Which elements of the sustainable, successful and valuable diagram (that Mark always uses) is this practice's strength and give examples of how they share this with their peers
Time Advice’s strength is a time-tested, repeatable process that it sticks to religiously and delivers the best result for the client.
This has allowed it to grow into a consistent revenue generating business with a specialty in a much needed, large and under serviced market.
We have shared our approach with many advisers in the Financial Wisdom family including making a presentation to the Victorian risk peer group.
Additionally, we have had personal meetings with other advisers to share our thoughts and opinions and well as insights gained – again, so they didn’t have to reinvent the wheel plus we were more than happy to provide them with our view on things.
Names of advisers we’ve met with include:
- Keats Brydon
- Joe Vitale
- Dom Brasacchio
- Darron Rippon
7. What can we celebrate of how they made Australia wise
Time Advice has developed its own diagram to explain to business owners the process of Business Exit/Succession Planning because ‘a picture tells a thousand words’!
Through a combination of presentations to industry groups (e.g. Tractor and Machinery Association of Australia national conference; Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia state conference), company events (e.g. PLAN Australia national conference and state Professional Development days; AFG professional development day) and individual organisations who usually become our clients, Time Advice is sharing the message about the need for business owners in this country to plan for their exits.
In all instances, we are sharing this message with the accountants of our clients, most of whom are not equipped to help their clients in all facets of the Exit/Succession process and many have not planned their own Exit/Succession themselves, so their knowledge of this area is limited.
We have produced a case study where this has happened.
We post topics on LinkedIn to also make Australia wise on this and other financially related topics: http://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140415034802-142077-is-financial-advice-worth-it?trk=mp-author-card
The other way we make Australia wise is via our collaborative business model where we have surrounded ourselves with outstanding advice in areas related to ours e.g. legal, business, finance, property, private wealth and general insurance.
- We focus on what the client needs help with – if we can help them, we will.
- If we know of others who can assist, we can introduce them.
- If they want to use their own contacts, we have no issue as long as they actually receive quality advice.
For example, we see through to conclusion the estate planning side of a client’s world – it is too easy for them to procrastinate in this crucial area which is one of the main reasons we established Time Advice Legal in conjunction with our partner and solicitor, Alan Farrar.
8. How has this practice used their Tailored Plan reimbursement this year to enhance sustainable growth?
You are experiencing our rebranding on this new website made possible due to the Tailored Plan reimbursement.
We now are proud owners of a marque that we intend will be instantly recognisable, a logo and message that is consistently applied across all of our collateral, both digital and printed.
The marketing of our new, holistic offering via our professionally designed and applied corporate image gives us enormous confidence in achieving our business goals.
Yes, we have been the number 1 practice for business growth across the Financial Wisdom family nationally. But we expect and plan to turbo-charge our growth from here.
Referral packs for our referral partners including ‘Centre of Influence’ kits can assist in this regard and of course our website, image and branding all support our story.
Ultimately Time Advice’s sustainable growth will come from referrals from our partners – this is where we are seeing the bulk of our growth coming from.
Our financial services ‘hub’ encourages all members of the hub to look after their clients in all areas. This leads to increased client introductions and ultimately business growth for all services operating within the hub. Clients have their best interests looked after and Australians are wiser as a result.
Our challenge is to have the framework in place to cope with the flow of clients. When clients are referred to Time Advice and check us out on the web, they now see a firm that has a compelling and trustworthy story. They walk in our door for the first time, already well positioned by our referral partners, knowing they are in excellent hands.
That is helping Time Advice achieve sustainable growth.
The journey of this practice has humble beginnings with 2 advisers commencing their business from scratch with Financial Wisdom a little over 4 years ago.
With challenging conditions and a list of connections, this practice has grown into a thriving business with an additional SAR & 2 support staff.
The 2014 financial year was challenging for the business. Upon their own review, reflection & feedback from Financial Wisdom, this business had the catalyst for change & growth through a concentrated focus on what matters – clients.
Because of key strategic changes, this business now sits +78% up on business revenue and has become a standout performer nationally, as well as making a meaningful and important contribution to our Financial Wisdom community.