Hard work and commitment to clients proves successful for Practice Principal, Michael Rowland, fellow Adviser David Thompson and the team at Rowland Financial Advisory.
Despite only establishing the business in 2013, Rowland Financial Advisory have proudly earned the latest in a series of honours, recently being announced as the National Winner, taking out Financial Wisdom’s Quality Award (Small Practice) for 2015.
Michael, shares how he and his team, have built a small but flourishing practice without compromising on quality in such a short time frame.
Rising to the challenge
The Small Practice award category recognises practices with advice teams of fewer than three advisers, who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to providing high-quality advice to their clients.
Michael, David and the team understand first-hand the importance of providing quality financial advice. From the systems and processes that have been implemented, through to a modest, professional and systematic management style, an ideal balance has been struck between ensuring the client receives the advice that they need, and is appropriate to their circumstances, while maintain high standards of ethics and compliance.
In the two years since building the business from the ground up, Rowland Financial Advisory has been named joint winner of Financial Wisdom’s New Practice of the Year Award in 2014, and Michael was one of only four finalists nationwide in Money Management’s Financial Planner of the Year Award for 2015. “The business and its advisers have achieved a lot in a short space of time and at the core of this is the desire to achieve improved outcomes for our clients” Michael explains.
Wisdom is Support
When it comes to ensuring quality, a little outside help can also go a long way. Operating under the Financial Wisdom Licence gives us access to a great deal of resources from areas such as research, marketing and compliance, to name just a few. We know we can call on the expertise of Financial Wisdom’s Compliance team whenever we are faced with challenges regarding personal financial advice.
Michael commented: “The Compliance team gives us the direction we need to keep the client’s best interests in play at all times. In turn, the Compliance team recognises the practice’s commitment to personalised advice that prioritises each client’s individual needs and goals.
“Michael is a modest and unassuming gentleman who takes his profession very seriously,” said Mandy Penkin, Financial Wisdom’s Head of Risk & Compliance. “You can see why clients are attracted to his empathy, as well as his thorough and detailed approach. Michael’s reviews have received great feedback and he has transitioned to running his own business in a very professional and systematic manner.”
Nigel Blake, Quality Advice Assurance (QAA) Manager for Rowland Financial Advisory, has also been impressed by the practice’s commitment to quality.
“They have such clean processes and are always looking for ways to make things better for their clients,” Nigel said. “The business continuously strikes an ideal balance between providing advice within their capacity and ensuring the client receives the advice they need.”
“Getting the basics right is a good first step for ensuring that your processes are consistent and repeatable,” said Geoff Steele, PDM for Rowland Financial Advisory. “With a repeatable process, everyone in the team has clear responsibilities and knows what they need to do at every stage along the way.”
Know your client
Providing the right advice every time means truly understanding each client’s needs and goals. So to gain even more value from client conversations, the Rowland Financial Advisory team have recently invested in new software to further enhance the advice process.
“The new software helps the client understand more about what we’re trying to achieve, and engages them right from the start. Being able to show graphical presentations of where the client is now, and the impact that some minor tweaks could mean for their financial situation is really powerful. We have found it especially useful when discussing transition-to-retirement strategies,” explains Michael.
With the team already seeing the benefits of investment in software, Michael is now looking for the next continuous improvement opportunities for his business. They have grown through this period and recently employed a new adviser to help with our increasing client base. Megan joined the business in January and under the training and mentoring provided by Michael and the team is well on her way to being a strong adviser in her own right. “We are also particularly interested in providing financial education events to the broader community and will be looking to launch a new event shortly”.
Whichever business initiatives Michael decides to pursue in the future, advice quality will always be a key consideration for his team.
This document has been prepared by Rowland Financial Advisory Pty Ltd ABN 66 163 488 480 who is an Authorised Representative of Financial Wisdom Limited ABN 70 006 646 108, AFSL 231138. Information in this document is based on regulatory requirements and laws, as at 1 July 2014, which may be subject to change. This document contains general advice. It does not take account of your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider talking to a financial adviser before making a financial decision. Taxation considerations are general and based on present taxation laws, rulings and their interpretation and may be subject to change. You should seek independent, professional tax advice before making any decision based on this information.