Dealer group mourns loss of founder

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On Saturday 3 May, Synchron dealer group founder and director Paul Riegelhuth died, after an accident at home a week ago.

The news shattered fellow directors Don Trapnell and John Prossor who said, “We have lost not only our business partner but a dear mate and lifelong friend.”

Yesterday Trapnell and Riegelhuth were to celebrate their 30th anniversary of working together. “That is longer than most marriages,” said Trapnell. “Paul was incredibly knowledgeable and professional in the life insurance industry. He really believed in the value of the work we do with our clients and was a passionate supporter of the industry.”

Riegelhuth was an avid Collingwood Football Club supporter, as well as an AC/DC and Jimmy Barnes fan. He entered the life industry as an insurance clerk with South British United in 1965, eventually moving to Mercantile Mutual where he became branch manager. He then met Trapnell when he moved to Friends Provident.

The passion for the life industry ran in the family, as Riegelhuths dad was a T&G insurance agent and his daughter is Synchron financial adviser, Sarah Riegelhuth. His stepson Shane Dreier also works at his retail business, WealthMap.

“People say that Paul’s greatest strength was that everybody loved him and his greatest weakness was that he wanted everyone to love him,” said Trapnell. “Judging by the hundreds of messages of support and sympathy we have received in the short hours since his death, we believe his wish was granted.”

Michael Nowak, president of the AFA said Paul has made a huge contribution to the AFA over many years. “He was an AFA Life Member, Victorian Director of the AFA Investment Fund, National Conference Chairman, former AFA Board Member and National Vice President. He will be greatly missed by many in the AFA Family.”

Business and finance industry PR specialists 64 Media also dealt with Riegelhuth for many years. “We remember Paul as an enthusiastic member of the Synchron team and we know his loss is being profoundly felt by his fellow directors, Don Trapnell and John Prossor, Independent Synchron Chair, Michael Harrison and the entire Synchron team. We extend to them all our sympathies,” said Julie Bennett