Pakenham, Cranbourne & Beaconsfield
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In just four years, Trevor Thompson has built Insight Wealth Partners into a highly successful advice practice. This is largely thanks to a business model that is designed to strengthen Trevor’s industry relationships and drive a steady rate of referrals. The fantastic business outcomes Trevor has already achieved have also earned him Financial Wisdom’s 2016 Rising Star Award, which recognises advisers who have joined the Financial Wisdom family within the last five years.
A strong referral model
After almost two decades as a financial adviser, including nine years working in chartered accounting firms, Trevor felt he was ready to leverage his strong relationships and experience to start his own practice. In 2012 he set up Insight Wealth Partners as the financial advice arm of an established accounting firm, Insight Accounting – and he hasn’t looked back since.
According to Rory Toal, Practice Development Manager for Insight Wealth Partners, the wins that Trevor has achieved in a short space of time have been extraordinary.
“Trevor started his business with no existing revenue, no acquired book and only a promise of a formal relationship with an accounting firm – but no guarantee that this relationship would generate outcomes,” Rory explained. “He developed that relationship with the accounting firm to a level beyond anything I’ve seen.”
Mark Ballantyne, General Manager Financial Wisdom and CFP–Pathways, says the high number of referrals Trevor receives from Insight Accounting is testament to the effectiveness of the partnership between the two businesses.
“Insight Accounting have embraced Trevor’s presence in the firm, with referrals that are going strong at over eight appointments per week,” said Mark. “In a short space of time, Trevor’s business has already seen significant growth, averaging 33 new FDS clients per year.”
The strength of Trevor’s referral relationship means he now receives 90% of his new client referrals from Insight Accounting’s three Melbourne offices. It also means those clients now have direct access to a more comprehensive range of financial services.
“Trevor’s business has gained its own momentum,” Rory said. “It also benefits the accounting firm because they’re now able to deliver a significant service offering to their clients.”
Tailored solutions and strategies
Although Trevor has been an adviser since 1994, his main professional driver is the same now as when he first started out: to improve his clients’ lives through tailored financial strategies.
“I really like helping people, and as an adviser you can have a direct impact on people’s lives,” Trevor said. “Our practice motto is ‘Putting You First’ – I believe we’re successful because that’s what we actually do.”
As part of his personalised approach to client engagement, Trevor invests a substantial amount of time upfront in getting to know each client and understanding their goals and challenges. At each step of the process, Trevor’s also makes sure his clients are clear on what they can expect from his advice.
“To initially bring the client on board, we have an informal meeting where we do basic fact finding on where they’re at and what they’re trying to achieve,” Trevor explained. “We discuss different types of strategies so they can get an idea about what will come out of the formal advice process.”
As a self-employed adviser, Trevor recognises the importance of looking outside of his own business and immediate referral network for support and guidance. He regularly attends Financial Wisdom’s networking events, forums and PD Days so he can connect with other advisers and exchange insights and business tips.
Trevor Thompson (centre) receiving the 2016 Rising Star Award from
Maria Lykouras, CBA’s General Manager Licensee Services, and Mark Ballantyne, General Manager Financial Wisdom, at the
2016 Advice Professionals Conference in Hobart
Trevor commented: “I think it’s useful to talk to advisers from all types of different businesses. Advisers from bigger practices are where I aspire to be, and I can share ideas with advisers from smaller practices on how to grow their business,” he said.
Trevor also relies heavily on Financial Wisdom’s support teams, who help ensure his practice maintains high standards of quality.
“The support network is a real positive,” Trevor said. “I especially value the strength of the research team and the compliance team,” he said.
Ready for the future
With a business model in place that will continue to generate ongoing referrals, Trevor knows how important it is to find ways to streamline his systems and processes. This continuous-improvement approach will ensure that Trevor’s two-person team – he and his wife Kerrie – can manage the flow of clients more effectively and prepare to grow their business even further.
From left: Trevor Thompson, Kerrie Thompson, Insight Accounting director Tony Karadeas, Rory Toal
“The strength of the business is our relationships, but technology is crucial for managing them,” said Trevor. “That’s what we’re working on at the moment, to make the business more systemised.”
This means working closely with Rory to identify ways to capitalise on the business’s strengths and drive greater efficiency, with a view to then taking on more staff.
“We’ve done process-mapping to identify which functions could be handed over to a support person,” Rory said. “The next step will be to build some depth into the behind-the-scenes administrative functions, so we can create a stronger business going forward.”