Melbourne firm Partner, Sue Dahn, was named number one, up from third place last year, and the first woman to top the list since the rankings began; Sydney firm Partner, Charlie Viola, was named fourth overall, ranking first in 2018; while Melbourne Partner, Adam Stanley, rounded out the top five - the trio securing recognition as three of the top five financial advisors in the country.
The list, compiled for The Australian newspaper by US publication Barron’s, looks at key factors including assets, fees, professional credentials, client retention and quality of practice.
Ms Dahn, who is a partner of Pitcher Partners Melbourne and key member of the firm’s Investment Advisory practice, was honoured by the win.
“After 21 years as a professional advisor at Pitcher Partners, it‘s a wonderful honour for myself and our firm to be recognised by the prestigious, nearly 100-year-old, global financial institution that is Barron’s.”
“Today‘s recognition is, in large part, possible due to the great people Adam and I are so fortunate to work with in Melbourne - a hugely talented, hardworking team of partners and staff collaborating to give the best possible advice to some of the best clients any advisors could ever hope to serve.“
Ms Dahn went on to remark, “There are not enough senior women in professional services, and financial services in particular, and I hope this recognition is an encouragement for early career and mid-career women to pursue their interests in what can be extremely stimulating and rewarding careers that help many people and organisations achieve their goals”.
Mr Viola is head of Pitcher Partners Sydney Wealth Management division, with a focus on high net worth individuals, retirement and superannuation planning, employee share scheme (ESS) advice to individuals and redundancy planning advice.
An executive board member of Pitcher Partners, he manages some 200 clients with average investable funds of over $4 million, and is a strong advocate for improving industry standards.
Mr Viola attributes much of his success as a financial advisor to the trust he builds with clients.
“I dedicate a great deal of time to getting to know my clients and understanding their unique needs to ensure I provide the best possible advice to help them achieve their goals. Sharing my personal story and experience also helps to build trust and rapport.”
Mr Viola says, “Do the right thing by your client and the rest will follow,” a mantra he claims has underpinned his success for the past 15 years.
Mr Stanley, who is partner-in-charge of Pitcher Partners Melbourne’s Investment Advisory practice, was pleased to make the list for the first time, accrediting it to the Melbourne firm’s client-centric model.
“Our advice philosophy is to provide our clients with the information and tools to make informed investment decisions. We aim to be our client’s trusted advisor and to put their interests first,” says Mr Stanley.
The Top 50 Financial Advisers in Australia list is designed and administered by Barron’s based on decades of experience running similar surveys in the US. The project was assisted by an advisory board of key figures in the Australian financial services sector.
Every advisor reviewed by the survey answered more than 50 questions covering client assets, fees generated on assets, size of staff (relative to client list) professional credentials and a range of other key factors.
Pitcher Partners National Chairman John Brazzale said the awards were a credit to Ms Dahn, Mr Viola and Mr Stanley, reflecting their drive and commitment to building their practices, supporting clients and developing the businesses in Melbourne and Sydney.
“Today’s results are a well-deserved recognition of Sue, Charlie and Adam’s commitment to their clients, and of the calibre of our senior advisors at Pitcher Partners,” he said.
“Pitcher Partners can be proud of the success and industry leadership demonstrated by Sue, Charlie and Adam, and this award is a clear endorsement of the client-led, professional approach that guides and underpins the way we do business.”