Thursday 20 July 2017

When trust and transparency are key

For Phillip Win, trust and transparency are critical to successful business relationships. Which is why, as a financial adviser, he is willing to open up to his clients about his personal finances.

“I’m quite happy to disclose my financial position and my plan,” he explains. “You can’t expect a client to bare all if you aren’t willing to do the same.”

In fact, collaboration plays a huge part in all facets of business for Phillip. He is a member of Macquarie’s Virtual Advisor Network (VAN), which keeps him up-to-date with industry, business and consumer trends.

“It’s great to network with like-minded individuals to see what they’re doing,” says Phillip who is Managing Director of Profile Financial Services.

“For our business, we’re continuing to grow and there are a lot of firms in VAN that we can learn from” he explains.

And in turn, Phillip is happy to share what he learns with other firms in the network. For example, Profile’s evolving corporate governance framework began nine years ago when it appointed an advisory board. They have since hired a CEO, formalised their board structure and brought in an independent director.

“Our goal is to continue to improve the governance, transparency and accountability in our business,” says Phillip.

“Separating ownership and control supports our succession plans, and enables future growth,” he says. “It took a lot of work and effort – and it’s never over – but we’re really proud of what we’ve achieved so far.”

Employing vigilance in business also comes down to choosing the right bank to support their service.

“Any business decision that we make obviously has to be a win for the client,” says Phillip. “Which is why we highly value Macquarie’s responsive service. It helps increase our efficiency.”

Macquarie’s Wrap service delivers swift turnarounds and robust security, so confidence is assured for both Phillip and his clients.

“I’ve had phone calls saying ‘look the client’s signature doesn’t match the one we have on file,’” says Phillip. “Obviously we have very tight internal controls to minimise and mitigate risk for our clients, and it’s comforting to know that Macquarie does too.”

Learning from others’ successes and failures is part and parcel of the business of financial advice and Phillip has three key pieces of advice. “Be prudent with your money, spend less than you earn – and try not to get divorced!”

From Phillip’s experience, common sense is unfortunately not that common. That’s why he believes all Australians should see a financial adviser at some point – especially when life takes a major turn.

“There are the usual life moments – having a child, a redundancy, divorce or death that people may not be fully prepared for. We can help people navigate those complicated experiences.”

Phillip is committed to changing public perception of what financial planning is. “It’s so much more than just investment advice,” he says. “It’s about setting in place a realistic plan to achieve your goals.”

Commitment is a huge theme in Phillip’s life, to his business, clients, family and community. Just two months after he and his family moved to the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, the Black Christmas bushfires struck.

“I made a decision at that point, that once my kids were old enough I would join the volunteer fire service,” says Phillip.

He’s now been a member of the Warrimoo Bushfire Brigade for over 10 years. “I love my community and give back willingly. Even if I won $30 million, I wouldn’t move.”

Leading by example, Phillip also passes on his financial knowledge to his kids.

“I want to make sure my boys understand the value of money,” he explains. “My oldest boy now works at McDonalds, he’s saved nearly $3,500 in seven months and he’s buying his first car.”

It’s all part of being prepared for the real world. “I show them all the bills, and when they get old enough to earn an income from a decent job they’ll pay a percentage of each bill. They need to understand the true cost of living out of home.”

Transparency and accountability: in business and at home, these values are the foundation of Phillip’s success and underpin his relationship with Macquarie.

“We are as straight as an arrow with how we work and what we say is what we do. We’re accountable to ourselves, to our clients and to the businesses that support us – and we expect these businesses to be accountable to us as well.”

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