Nicholas Sinclair

Written on the 20 November 2009

Nicholas Sinclair
Wealthfarm
Financial Planning

Age: 28
Business Est: 2001
Number of staff: 22
Growth: 15%
Turnover: $2m

IN true entrepreneurial form, Nicholas Sinclair has seized opportunities during the global economic crisis to attract new clients wanting fresh advice.

“I haven’t been through one of these (downturns) so we didn’t really understand what impact it was going to have, so we actually expanded the business,” says Sinclair, whose company now has around $140 million in funds under management.

“I see it as a cleansing and it has been a real opportunity for us. Too many people have done the wrong thing by clients in this industry with commissions and lack of transparency.

“We welcome the inquiries that are going on and have been able to grow our own brand as a result.”

Sinclair says one of the common misconceptions is that financial planning is focused solely on investment advisory.

“It’s one part of what we do,” he says.

“What the markets do doesn’t affect us, it’s about tailoring the advice to suit the conditions. When times are good, people think they can plan themselves, but when there’s a financial crisis, we get inundated with people seeking our expertise.”

The business has successfully tapped into demand for succession planning as a large portion of Baby Boomer business owners prepare for retirement within the next five to 10 years. A private business survey shows that 87 per cent of all small business will change hands in Australia in the next decade.

Sinclair is aware of the importance of building wealth creation before the income tap is turned off. His own parents lost everything they had in a failed business venture. This instilled a passion in the 28-year-old to assist others in avoiding similar financial despair.

“Our objective is to make an impact but be small enough to offer that boutique service,” he says.

“What we have learned from the GFC in the last 12 months is cash flow management and prudence in managing corporate governance. While our own forecasts are more detailed, we have seen many opportunities.”


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