Wealth Enhancers CEO Finn Kelly has a message to all advisers out there: Take control of your future. And he is leading by example.
Kelly’s qualifications are varied to say the least: A Bachelor in science, Diplomas in financial planning, management and government, and a Graduate Diploma in education.
After seven years as an army officer, Kelly got into trading currency and equities. Another couple of years later he wanted to utilise his education training, and that’s when he met his fiancé and business partner, Sarah Riegelhuth. He was introduced to the financial planning profession, and six weeks later the pair started their own business, Wealth Enhancers.
Kelly says Riegelhuth was his mentor from day one, but they both bring a lot to the table. “We take turns leading the team. We take turns being in the limelight, and we make sure we maximise each other’s strengths. At times someone will want a break, or someone will feel really energetic and want to take over, and we just really support them.”
This sort of variety in backgrounds is essential to the Wealth Enhancers team. As well as Samantha Gash – a professional ultra marathon runner and ex-lawyer – they have two ex-army officers and an ex-footy player on board. “We’re just bringing in all these different people who can bring their own great attributes to the business,” says Kelly. “You need to find a business with values that align with your own, and support you to help as many people as possible.”
A sports fanatic at heart, Kelly has taken an interest in advising AFL stars. Wealth Enhancers even has their own head of sports and entertainment, Andrew Swallow, who is the current captain for North Melbourne. Kelly calls it ‘a bit of a passion project’.
“I just realised it’s criminal that these guys are earning good money and ending in really bad situations and it’s not because they’re bad people…it’s just because they’re not educated or they’ve been given really bad advice from people who they trust.”
Far from being a money-maker, Kelly says that it is a lot of hard work and advisers face a lot of barriers to entry into the ‘insular’ community. “We love it because you don’t get to be a professional athlete unless you know how to set goals and follow them. So we try to give them that analogy when they’re working with us. It’s a big reward thing for us.”
The good thing about having such a young office is optimism for the future. Kelly says that the next generation advisers are looking more towards specialisation, and are excited to make the advice profession ‘an amazing industry’. But he still has a deep respect for the older generation, and in particular, their sales skills.
“They still have that love of sales which gets a lot of criticism in the advice world, but I think sales is the most important thing. Ultimately, everyone’s in advice because they want to help people, and if you’re not out there getting sales, getting your clients in, you’re not really doing your cause”
Kelly has a clear vision for the future of his company: “We're going to be a serious national player and eventually global who wants to change the perception of the industry and who have a mission to create a generation of young people who are not afraid to follow their dreams and achieve their goals because they fully understand as are in control of their money."
The biggest hurdle he sees is finding the right people for the job. “We don’t want people who just accept things. We want them to really believe what we do and go out there and believe in the cause.”
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