The importance of having the right team of experts on your side.
Life is unpredictable. You may think there’s still time to make plans for your business, to put things in order for your retirement—but significant life changes can happen in the blink of an eye.
When our Dad was diagnosed with a terminal illness our family was left scrambling around to find answers and make decisions on the fly, without a solid plan in place. We weren’t ready.
Professional support during that time would have made things easier. Having an independent voice in the room, giving us advice to steer our family business on the right course, would have provided
stability in an extremely unstable time.
This is why it’s important to assemble your own team of experts to provide sound, practical advice on your affairs. By engaging their services now, they’ll always be there to provide professional
support and advice, so you can successfully plan for your future no matter what happens.
We call this your Circle of Advice.
How to select your Circle of Advice
It’s important to select these professionals on their credentials, and their reputation, rather than who they work for. They need to be independent advisors who you trust are working in your best
interests, and not for the interests of their firm, or the bank they’re affiliated with.
Being truly independent means they’ll go out of their way to avoid conflicts of interest, and any referrals they make come from objective advice, not from financial motives.
By surrounding yourself with this independent wealth management team, you can begin the process of putting a holistic, long-term wealth management plan in place.
You’ll be ready.
We recommend seeking the services of the following specialists, at a minimum, as the basis of your wealth management team.
Wealth Management Advisor
Your Wealth Management Advisor essentially operates as your family’s CFO, coordinating your wealth management team, and planning your wealth management with you. They help you
articulate and cost your retirement vision so you know what you’re working towards. They’ll manage your assets to ensure sustainable capital for your future, and advise you on the proper structures
and most suitable products to ensure you maintain your wealth.
Particularly important for family business owners, they can provide you with a plan for successfully transitioning out of your family business, and a succession plan to allow you to pass it on to the next
generation. They’ll put the right steps in place to ensure your business lives on, and manage any business obstacles so the transition goes smoothly, with minimal disruption to your clients.
It’s important to choose an accountant who is an expert in your industry, so they understand the bigger picture. Your accountant can analyse your current finances, and work in tandem with your
wealth advisor to determine a robust financial plan that sustainably manages your wealth. They’ll identify any tax concessions needed to minimise your tax liability, and make your business exit as
tax-effective as possible.
Commercial Lending Specialist
Your Commercial Lending Specialist helps with your business succession. They’ll assess all aspects of your business, and prepare a proposal to put to financial institutions that help you obtain finance for your successor, so they can acquire a portion of your business (if they don’t already), enabling them to take over later.
Trust and Estate Lawyer
Personal and professional assets are often intertwined. Your Estate Lawyer can help you manage these affairs, by planning for the distribution of your assets and putting mechanisms in place to
ensure your partner is taken care of if you predecease them. They can also help you plan for the event that your family business successor decides to exit the business prematurely, and help you put
contingency plans in place should anything untoward happen to them.
Outside of this team, you can look into engaging the services of property advisors, specialist accountants and lawyers, specialist finance brokers, and even outsource a CEO role.
The important thing is that you’re putting steps in place now so you’re prepared. With this team by your side, you know how to answer when someone asks you: “Are you ready?”
Director, Stephan Independent Advisory
Joe Stephan graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Business (Fin Plan) under the tutelage of his father (Program Leader of Financial Planning at RMIT University).
You will hear Joe bandy about the idea of “pure financial advice”, which is given objectively and focused around the needs of individual and not the internal needs of the business providing advice.
Joe is realising his vision every day through his Independent Advice Firm which he owns and operates with his brother James. Joe also spends a portion of his time teaching tomorrow’s Financial Planners at various Melbourne Universities including RMIT & LA Trobe.