IFA’s Thought Leader of the Year, Glen Hare: Delivering a great digital experience

Blazing a new trail in the financial planning industry as this year’s IFA Thought Leader of the Year and Co-Founder of Sydney-based firm, Fox & Hare, Glen Hare is a part of a new generation of technology-enabled advisers looking to transform how they serve their clients and drive growth.

I was incredibly excited to sit down with Glen this week and pick his brain on the importance of tech for advisers and his advice for firms wanting to digitally transform in 2022. Glen mentions that technology is always front of mind, particularly given the challenges around delivering compliant, thought provoking, member-friendly advice. At Fox & Hare, not only do they look at FinTech when exploring ways to extend their tech stack, they also research the best of breed technology more broadly. Reflecting on Fox and Hare’s members, the majority of whom are millennials, they expect a great digital experience that can keep up with the other tech they use in their everyday lives and of course, a high level of service.

Glen’s tech stack is certainly impressive, some of the tools used at Fox & Hare include; HootSuite Social Media Manager, Hubspot, AdviserLogic and Nod. Glen also notes one of his favourites is Loom, which allows you to take video recordings of yourself and your screen so you can explain and show something to a client, rather than write it in email.

When it comes to technology that delivers on client engagement, Glen says, “We see myprosperity as a very powerful tool. It ensures that Fox & Hare members are across their entire financial world and it enables the advisers to hold their members accountable to the strategy but also uncover opportunity through the data. Members don’t expect to come to their meeting and be asked questions in the first 20 mins about their balances, they expect us to have that data already.”

For other advisers looking to incorporate a client portal into their practice, Glen notes the importance in exploring the portal with an end-user account to familiarise yourself with the capabilities of the platform. Embracing technology and ensuring clients understand the importance and benefit it brings them is essential in keeping clients engaged during the ongoing service. At Fox & Hare, the team introduce the myprosperity client portal at the very start of the customer journey to gather information, even before they become a member. This way clients can familiarise themselves with the portal from the very start and understand its use as a way to collaborate with their adviser during the ongoing engagement.

In closing, Glen’s advice to other advisers is, “Don’t wait until you’re not busy to pilot new technology. You will always be busy, you just need to prioritise appropriately in terms of what you feel will be the best outcome for your clients.”


Karolina Kuszyk (KK)

Head of Wealth at myprosperity

Karolina brings over 14 years experience in the Tech industry. Her previous role as a Field Partner Manager at MYOB, paved her way into the FinTech space. She joined myprosperity as employee number 8 and has played an instrumental role in driving growth since.

Trusted tech for the trusted Accountant and Adviser

A key focus for myprosperity is providing a platform that both our partner firms and their clients can trust. Therefore, we continue to invest in platform security to provide peace of mind. One element of this is maintaining our ISO 27001 certification, which verifies our platform at the global standard for data security and compliance.

I am pleased to advise that we have successfully retained our ISO certification in 2021 after extensive examination from Ampion auditors – thank you to Alan and Peter. This verifies myprosperity’s bank level data protection and encryption which ensures a secure transfer of data between accountants, advisers and your clients.

Our Executive Director, Peter McCarthy elaborated, “Many advisers and accountants still use applications like email to communicate with their clients and share valuable information. This is not secure and risks severe security breaches. From the beginning myprosperity has strived to deliver a platform that brings together the clients’ financial world, increases practice efficiencies and safely stores sensitive data. Our recertification with ISO 27100 in 2021 is part of this ongoing commitment to our users.”

There is a growing need for a secure platform to exchange sensitive information to facilitate tax returns, investments and a range of other financial services. Our team at myprosperity has worked tirelessly to achieve our recertification and continue to explore new ways of ensuring the best security measures, for example, our industry-leading e-signature feature.

myprosperity hosts your data in secure Australian data centres provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS), the best data security available in the cloud today.

This investment in security allows us to integrate with leading global platforms like Xero and Iress. We also implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), McAfee and Verisign to further secure data.

The usage of our platform has skyrocketed over the past year and therefore maintaining our ISO and security standards becomes more and more important as we become the trusted platform trusted advisers use to collaborate with their clients. Thank you for your support as we continue to develop myprosperity into a platform with an information security management system that delivers our users the efficiencies, reliability and peace of mind they deserve.


Josh Centner

Chief Product Officer at myprosperity

With a background in product innovation and agile management consulting for organisations such as IOOF, NAB, ANZ, PageUp and Xero, Josh brings over 13 years of knowledge in product innovation to the myprosperity team.

How this wealth manager uses technology to uncover deeper insights for a holistic advice service

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Much is written about how to grow your practice, how to scale using technology to provide personalised advice to more clients.

Not much is written about those who are happy with where they’re at. Exploring reasons not to grow but rather maintain their client base and the services they currently provide.

That’s what Integral Private Wealth’s Director, David Simon is doing. David has little interest in growing or expanding his practice. In fact, he is quite clear that he’s more interested in his existing clients and ensuring he is delivering clear value and earning the business from both his current and future generations of clients.

“Our clients have high expectations and our approach is to go very deep and detailed into their financial affairs and take a truly holistic view of our clients,” he said.

Boasting a pure advice play with a focus on high net worth clients, Simon is committed to turning his clients into “raving fans” with an unwavering focus on client outcomes. Any new clients have always been generated through word of mouth, but he admits that these days he is very selective about who he takes on due to the enormous amount of time he invests to really get to know a client.

myprosperity has become a vital element in how we engage and get to truly understand our clients. It effectively takes our Statement of Advice (SOA), which is invariably filed away after signing, and makes it a live and transparent plan for our clients,” Simon said.

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Implementing myprosperity several years ago, Simon says the platform helps his firm better understand the customer, serve their best interests and embrace a fee-for-service model.

Determined to build a commission-free advice business, Integral Private Wealth was founded on three advice packages as a flat fee for service, two of which have myprosperity bundled as part of the service to the client.

One of the benefits Simon experienced when moving to myprosperity was the ability to have a single source of truth on the financial position of clients and having the platform automatically maintain the data via live feeds. This has led to some positive unintended consequences with increased efficiencies achieved in how advisers within the firm are able to prepare for client meetings.

“In the past, it would take us 5 hours to gather all the data on a client in preparation for an annual review. For the clients on myprosperity the preparation has been eliminated. In fact, we often get comments from our clients that we know their financial situation better than they do which is exactly where you want to be as an adviser,” he said.

The future is bright for Simon and the team at Integral Private Wealth as they continue to embrace new innovations that are being made available in myprosperity. In particular, recent changes to the client wealth portal and the mobile app are making a difference.

“We recently undertook to have myprosperity build our own branded app and we are delighted with the client engagement that it has delivered. The customer interface is impeccably clean and easy to navigate which makes for a far better client experience and helps to reinforce our brand as a digitally progressive advice firm,” he said.

If you are interested in learning more about the technology that leading advice firms use, we’d be happy to show you around.

Janine Allis on the WoWcrowd


This month, we continue our WoWcrowd series with another brilliant episode, and leading the charge is arguably Australia’s most recognisable business woman, Janine Allis. Not only does Janine have an incredible success story with Boost Juice, she’s also a bestselling author, investor on Channel TEN’s ‘Shark Tank’, and has been named in BRW’s top 15 people who have changed the way business is done in the last 25 years. Janine Allis is a force to be reckoned with, and we were extremely thrilled to have her share her fascinating experiences on our latest WoWcrowd episode, ‘Boost your business performance.’

Beginning her story of growing up in Ferntree Gully, Victoria playing netball every chance she got, Janine knew she was made for something off the beaten trail. “I was never that entrepreneurial, I was never that person that sold lemonade at a lemonade stand… but I was an adventurer,” said Janine, when asked about her childhood. “At 21, I worked all sorts of jobs just to earn enough money to travel,” she says, casually mentioning the few years she spent in the South of France working on David Bowie’s yacht. It’s the extraordinary start to her adult life that Janine attributes to her first lessons in business. “First, is that there’s always a solution to a problem. And the second thing, living and working with rockstars on David Bowie’s boat, is that people are people. Years later, when I was thrown into the world of business, I never felt better or worse than anyone else in the room. I told myself, I’ve got a lot to learn. The person in front of me can teach me. I’m sure that everyone I have a meeting with can teach me something.” This mindset allowed Janine to never underestimate her own value, and served her well when it came to persevering with Boost.

When Janine founded Boost Juice in 2000, she admits her naivety may have set her back along her journey, but it also allowed her to learn important lessons. “Failing wasn’t an option. Naivety and the ability to learn played an important part. I was like a sponge.” She also remembers her fear of failure being an enormous motivator for her in those early days, however, her self belief and unrelentlessly positive outlook propelled her forwards. “I found some of my advisers were horrific in the early days. If you looked at my accounts back then, my focus was on getting more money in than out. I didn’t have any understanding of accounting, however, I made sure I did the accounts from the start. I then finally passed it on to a financial controller who completely stuffed it up.” Janine then approached a top accounting firm that charged her for outcomes she never saw. “I found that there were a lot of people out there who didn’t understand what it was like to run a business,” she reflects, highlighting the need for advisers that are on the same page as their clients. “I’ve now come across some really dynamic, forward-thinking advisers. Your answers can be with those accountants and advisers who really stop to understand the business.”

When looking for a new adviser, Janine’s approach is simple – are they innovation-led and willing to try new and better approaches? She wants to know that they are continually improving, not using the same stock-standard advice that just won’t cut it for her business. She mentions her new accountant’s approach, who said “Here are the latest systems you can use to make your life as automated as possible.” Janine talked about her experiences with tech and automation in her business when it first arrived, “I was an early adopter of tech. I wanted to make my life as efficient as possible.” This was especially important for her as she was raising three children under the age of 3 and needed all the time she could salvage to focus on her business. “With tech, back then it was always over promise, under deliver – all the time! Despite the fact that it had all these promises, it’s only now in the last 5 years, that the tech is truly doing what it’s saying it’s going to do. Compared to what it was like 20 years ago when I started the business and trying to increase efficiencies, we’re now truly seeing efficiencies in tech.”

Following our chat with Janine, we invited a panel of experts in financial services to share their perspectives and reflections on Janine’s experiences. Joining us from Sayers Wealth, we were thrilled to have Chief Brand Officer, Kate Keenan alongside BlueRock Accounting Managing Director, Trevor Gordijn and ChangeGPS CEO, David Boyar. Kicking off the panel, the topic of taking on start-up and entrepreneurial clients was discussed. David weighed in saying “Startup clients and high-growth clients are fantastic. They’re also unscalable, unbelievably demanding and require top-of-the-tree expertise. It’s very rare that advisers can take on too many of those clients. It’s as much about where you are, how good your practice’s internal processes and service standards are, as it is about backing the grit of the individual client.” This focus on streamlining internal processes will naturally prepare advisers to take on those more challenging clients.

Janine mentioned her main motivators of fear and naivety when she first began on her venture to build Boost Juice, which is rooted in a sense of grit and perseverance she had developed as guiding characteristics in her earlier life. Trevor Gordijn elaborated on this point when it comes to boosting your business performance as an adviser or accountant and the importance of identifying your own core values. “Just be really clear on your purpose and why you’re doing what you’re doing and your belief system. I think that helps guide the type of work you do and who you want to work with. If you can connect those things and you’ve got the passion and commitment to do it, you will boost performance naturally.”

Janine shared her experiences finding the right accountant and financial adviser for her business, mentioning the importance of a keen disposition for innovation and growth; “Is there a better way? I will find it.” Elaborating on this, Kate drew on the importance of getting to know clients, especially how they prefer to engage with their adviser. “Having that whole-of-wealth view on the one platform is really powerful. Clients want to be able to track their finances using their phone, so they can see exactly where they are at any point in time across their whole portfolio.” She continued, adding on to Trevor’s comments on finding your own purpose, “You need to understand your client’s purpose too. You’re not there to say, ‘Here are our products, I think this one best fits you.’ Really try to sit in their seat and think ‘If I was you, is this the product I would want?’” This emphasis lay in knowing your own values, truly understanding your clients’ needs, and where they align. This helps to guide you in implementing the right tools and processes that will boost your business performance, and build solid relationships with clients like Janine, who seek out advisers who ‘get’ their business.

This was an awesome episode with some great ‘wow’ moments and valuable takeaways on defining your guiding principles, entrepreneurial clients and boosting business performance to get ahead of the crowd. If you missed out, you can watch the full episode here and don’t forget to register your interest for the next star-studded keynote and panel discussion for advisers and accountants here.

Author: Lauren Main

Technology is the key to responsible lending


Earlier this week the controversial reforms that the Federal Government has been pushing for, with understandably strong support from the banks, have been postponed. The reforms would have seen Australia’s responsible lending laws overhauled but will now await passage through the Senate in the next round of sittings in May.

These reforms are designed to fundamentally change how responsible lending obligations work in Australia, reversing the post-Global Financial Crisis requirement for lenders needing to properly vet borrowers. Understandably, this proposal has been met with enormous criticism from opposition parties and consumer groups. They argue that the reforms are at odds with recommendations from the Hayne Royal Commission to protect consumers, particularly in situations where less financially literate people are placed into loans that they cannot afford.

Interestingly, the reforms also cover provisions to extend Best Interest Duty (BID) beyond just mortgage brokers to cover all consumer-facing brokers. BID is a series of legislative obligations regulated by ASIC, and stipulates that financial planners and mortgage brokers must always act in the best interests of their customers in the provision of their services, and avoid conflicts of interest when recommending financial products.

In actual fact, BID requires that advisers and brokers increase their reporting, research and justification of the actions and advice they give. This means that they need to undertake adequate research to gain a thorough understanding of their client’s situation and needs before recommending products. So, regardless of whether you support the paring back of the legislation or not, the fact remains that as a financial planner or mortgage broker dealing with clients and advising on lending, Best Interest Duty still applies. Which means you need to have done adequate due diligence before advising a client that they can borrow or extend debt.

This is where technology can play a vital role and is often overlooked. I noted a great interview in which myprosperity’s, Karolina Kuszyk spoke with Nathan Fradley of Lime Financial about his use of technology to support this very important aspect of his advisory firm. You can watch the interview here.

Nathan spoke about how he first took on myprosperity 4 years earlier and was expecting that it would be a “magical budgeting tool that would help with my clients’ cash flow and budgeting challenges”. In actual fact, he no longer views myprosperity as a budgeting tool but rather a comprehensive platform that underpins how he engages with clients on just about every interaction, from onboarding, gathering data and signing documents.

On the cash flow and budgeting front, he now views that feature more as a compliance tool. In the interview, he spoke about his obligation under FASEA to really understand his clients. “How do I get proof or evidence of what they spend? We can’t just accept what they have told us.” He went on to say, “Clients can give you a fantastic Excel spreadsheet budget, but is it real?”. Nathan spoke about how in the past he would validate spending patterns and determine discretionary spend by trawling through bank statements in an effort to evidence the real situation. “What I have found is that myprosperity is an absolute godsend. New clients are put onto myprosperity and amongst various actions to assess their financial position, bank data is pulled into the cash flow tool, so that discretionary spend can be assessed without any manual effort.”

Nathan makes an important point about how to use technology to do the heavy lifting. As we’ve learned through hundreds of advisers and accountants, detailed cash flow and budgeting management for clients is often a real challenge to execute profitably, so they’re seeking out tools primarily to validate cash in and out, and identify trends to help clients better manage their money.

From a client standpoint, and I know from my own experience, that rather than trying to manage my money down to every dollar earned and spent, the ability to auto categorise spending to see where money is going is something that I was never able to do before myprosperity. I think the following client review on myprosperity that was posted a few years ago on the Apple AppStore sums up the value of this feature for clients using myprosperity.


Author: Chris Ridd

COVID – a year on, and the year ahead


It was around this time last year that we entered into the first lockdown in Victoria, with a realisation that this COVID-19 thing was a serious global issue as we saw cases spiralling out of control. I recall at that time I was at a music festival on the Great Ocean Road and as the event drew to a close we wandered back to the beach house feeling a great sense of uncertainty about what lay ahead, and whether that would be the last social gathering for some time. Those fears turned out to be well founded.

Reflecting on 2020, the initial shock on the whole economic system led to a record-breaking crash on the ASX and other global indices. The property market went on hold with no auctions or inspections allowed, and businesses across all sectors of the economy, particularly hospitality and retail, bunkered down due to the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. With the exception of 2008 GFC, we had never had to deal with a pandemic on this scale before; there was no playbook or case study that we could refer to. This time around, rather than the consumer based economic stimulus the Rudd Labor Government deployed in October 2008, it was small business and the associated employment market that needed propping up through initiatives like JobKeeper, JobSeeker, tax relief and a relaxing of the insolvency laws.

Despite much debate at the time about the merit of these measures, there is no doubt that the swift action by the government to provide financial support to businesses averted deep and severe economic hardship, and helped prop up the small business sector. These measures, in particular JobKeeper, have been a significant win and have provided much needed cash flow for many business owners in covering operational costs and retaining employees through the lockdown periods.

There is however a flip side to JobKeeper, and it will be interesting to see how the small business sector will be impacted from Thursday 1 April, when stimulus measures are lifted. From one perspective, you’d be forgiven to think that everything now looks pretty rosy. We have had an unprecedented stock market recovery from that initial shock in March 2020, and only last week CoreLogic reported that property prices had increased by 2% in February alone – the biggest monthly gain since 2003. Moreover, many consumers and businesses are flush with cash from the various stimulus initiatives. Back in January it was reported that Australians had stockpiled more than $200bn in savings. Specifically, Treasury analysis has revealed that Australian households have amassed more than $112bn; while businesses, excluding financial institutions, have managed to stash away another $104bn in deposits, supposedly in preparation for a pandemic-fuelled recession.

So it seems there is a strong case for government stimulus to end and for businesses to start fending for themselves. The blanket approach to economic uncertainty through the various stimulus measures has meant that some businesses are in fact better off than they were before the pandemic. On the other hand, the stimulus has no doubt masked a number of systemic issues amongst businesses that are effectively ‘zombie companies’, and have used the various stimulus payments to keep afloat. Either way, there will be winners and losers that emerge at the end of the stimulus measures, and we will more than likely end up with some level of fragmentation in terms of economic recovery.

The role of the adviser in all of this becomes even more critical. Many analysts and economic observers are predicting uncertainty for some time ahead, with many indicating that it will be 12-24 months before we see the real negative impact of COVID-19 on the wider economy. The good news for advisers is that the pandemic shone a light on the need for good advice, particularly in areas of cash flow forecasting and advice on managing costs, applying for stimulus funding, delaying tax obligations, etc. The road ahead remains uncertain, albeit with some very positive signals, and it will be those advisers who remain closely aligned to their clients through the pandemic that will emerge much stronger, and with strengthened loyalty. It will be those advisers who lead the way to more prosperous times, and play a vital role in an advice-led economic recovery.


Author: Chris Ridd