The Association of Goals Based Advice (AGBA) is the peak industry network for advisers and wealth management organisations that are committed to goals-based advice and investing. We recognise that there are many challenges to implementing a goals based approach in an advisory practice. AGBA brings the parts together, to help advisers operate efficiently and effectively whilst focusing on achieving the best outcomes for their clients.
Previously the domain of institutional investment houses and large endowment funds, we bring members the systems, tools, implementation and management methodologies required to implement this approach in their practices. Our practical tools focus on the advice process, portfolio construction, product selection, implementation, client communication and governance – helping you to offer your clients a better way to invest that’s more likely to achieve their goals.
Meet our Board of Directors
The Board of AGBA is made up of experienced advisers and industry representatives who are passionate about goals based advice and delivering better outcomes to investors. AGBA greatly appreciates the time and effort they put in to help the industry in general, particularly as their time is given on a purely voluntary basis.
Matthew Walker - Chairman
Matthew has been as a specialist financial planner since 1991 and has extensive experience in providing top quality advice to successful individuals such as senior corporate executives, professionals and self-employed business executives. His plain-English approach to complicated financial and regulatory subjects has won him a loyal client following.
WLM successfully introduced an end-to-end goals based advice process and DAA portfolios to their clients, who have all embraced the approach as being more meaningful and relevant to them individually. As the advice conversation has evolved to be even more focused on their personal needs it has greatly improved client satisfaction and lead to increased referrals and business generation.
WLM uses the Dynamic Asset Consulting Goals Based Portfolios which are typically CPI + portfolios implemented via an MDA platform.
Matthew’s experience with implementing goals based investing with his clients and willingness to help others in the industry makes him a valuable contributor to AGBA and the evolution of the advice industry in Australia.
Fergus Hardingham – Director
Fergus began his career in Financial Services in 2000 with FuturePlus Financial Services, as a Para-Planner then a Financial Planner, moving to the position of Senior Financial Planner by 2003. In 2004 Fergus left FuturePlus and established FM Financial Solutions with Margaret his wife.
In 2008 FM Financial Solutions was granted it’s own AFLS to guarantee the provision of independent Advice. Independent advice being free from any third-party influence or conflict or bias. Which is in our view, the only way to deliver quality advice and help clients achieve better financial and lifestyle outcomes.
The basis of our investment philosophy is that better outcomes for clients result from trying to increase the certainty of future investment outcomes or returns.
Greater certainty is mainly an outcome of reducing the level of risk (particularly volatility or the variability of returns), and by reducing the size of capital drawdowns (peak-to-trough decline during a specific period of an investment, usually quoted as the percentage between the peak and the trough).
We believe, and a lot of research supports our belief, that over the longer term lower volatility portfolios will produce better outcomes for clients.
In addition we do not seek to beat markets or indexes, as these have no relationship to the achievement of your personal goals and objectives. Instead when building portfolios for you we aim to achieve a target return of CPI +3% (with minimal volatility or variability of portfolio returns).
Hence when selecting investments to hold in client portfolios we are looking for investments that are not all correlated to each other (ie those which don’t all move in the same direction, particularly during an event like the GFC) and that have the ability to deploy strategies to reduce losses. Importantly we do not wish to rely on only one asset class or manager for returns and are mindful of valuation (as buying expensive assets reduces future returns).
Sarah Abood - Director
Sarah started her career in financial services with AMP in 1989, holding diverse roles including IT analyst, technical adviser and sales manager over nine years. Sarah has continued her career in the finance world ever since, holding senior marketing and management roles with Rothschild, Westpac, BT, Colonial First State, and most recently with Fidelity International before joining Profile Financial Services as CEO in 2010. She is passionate about financial planning and firmly believes that every Australian should have access to high quality advice to help them reach their financial goals. Sarah holds a BA from Sydney University, an MBA from MGSM, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Profile Financial Services offers goals based advice to their clients and has implemented two CPI+ diversified portfolios, as well as sector fund and Australian Shares model portfolios, to assist clients in meeting those goals.
Stephen Furness – Director
Stephen has more than 30 years’ experience in banking and financial services and has spent the last 18 years in private practice. Throughout this time Stephen has built an outstanding reputation for delivering high level strategic wealth management solutions to his clients, including high net worth individuals, professionals and executives. Joining MGD Wealth in 2008, he has been a driving force behind the vision for our investment portfolio offering and total wealth management philosophy. As chair of the MGD Wealth Investment Committee, he works with investment partners and researchers to develop a leading edge investment strategy. Stephen also works closely with other MGD Wealth directors and client advisers to deliver robust investment portfolio solutions to clients.
MGD Wealth offers goals based advice to their clients and has three absolute return diversified portfolios to assist in meeting those goals.
Andrew Fairweather - Director
Andrew has over 25 years’ experience in the financial services market specialising in funds management. He commenced his career in retail funds distribution for Prudential, working in similar roles nationally for JP Morgan Investment Management and Salomon Smith Barney Asset Management before joining AMP limited where in his last role, he headed the Business Development function for AMP’s largest sales division, the Savings and Retirement unit. Following this, Andrew became the Chief Executive Officer of Australian listed financial services company MMC Contrarian, responsible for building the funds management incubation model, funds management M&A and developing fund manager startups. Andrew’s most recent role has been as the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Multi Asset and Alternatives specialist Select Asset Management. At both MMC and Select, Andrew was a member of each firm’s Investment Committee. Andrew is the former President of the Sydney University Conservatorium of Music Foundation where he successfully launched a major endowment fund, supports an Australia wide student composition scholarship and is an adjunct lecturer in Marketing at the Australian Graduate School of Management.
Winston Capital offers a number of absolute return products that suit may goals based investing portfolios.
Damian Crowley - Director
Damian Crowley is the Director of Distribution for Pengana and has responsibility for the distribution of Pengana’s funds in Australia and offshore across multiple channels and client segments. Damian joined Pengana in July 2011 and has over 25 years’ experience in financial services distribution. Prior to joining Pengana, Damian worked at Perpetual Investments for 17 years most recently as General Manager Distribution for the past 12 years. Before working at Perpetual Damian worked for Prudential Assurance. Damian has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of NSW and Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment(FINSIA).
Pengana offers a number of absolute return products that may suit goals based investing portfolios.
Meet our Management Team
Rebecca Jacques - General Manager
Rebecca is a highly experienced senior investment specialist who has worked across many facets of the advice chain. Highly regarded for her strong commercial acumen, her persuasive personality and her ability to work with senior and multidisciplinary stakeholders, she has built her reputation through her passion for industry knowledge and her ability to transform complex information into simple and understandable key messages.
Rebecca has 20 years’ experience as an analyst in Funds Management, commencing her career with FPI Research/Navigator where she built the first Australian downside deviation investment model portfolios. Rebecca then joined ASSIRT Research where she implemented and built the leading Research Process in the Australian Marketplace for the ASSIRT Research Business to look at Alternative Assets and Structured Products, in addition she led a team of 6 Investment Analysts and ultimately became the CEO of ASSIRT Research. Rebecca then went on to become the COO of a start-up hedge fund manager in Australia and then joined Deutsche Asset Management as an Investment Specialist where she worked with the Global Head of Risk Management, the Global Head of Research, Product Development and various Portfolio Managers to build, launch and gain ratings on a number of investment vehicles.
Rebecca is now the General Manager of AGBA which is an industry association set up to assist advisers in the implementation of goals based investment outcomes. In addition, Rebecca works as an Investment Consultant to a number of businesses in the financial services industry.
Rebecca brings years of experience and expertise at a very senior level to the management of clients’ portfolios. Previous roles have included:
- CEO ASSIRT Research and Head of Manager Research
- COO of Vertex Capital Management (boutique market neutral manager)
- Investment Specialist – Deutsche Asset Management
- Risk Management Consultant – Naos Asset Management
Investment Committee Experience
- Securitor Investment Committee
- ASGARD Model Portfolios
- Melling Capital Management
- ARRIA Meet the Manager Due Diligence Forums
Amanda McGowan – Events Manager
Amanda joined ARRIA as Events Manager in 2014 and has produced all ARRIA and AGBA Meet the Manager and Roundtable events in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Amanda has over 15 years experience in managing corporate events in the finance industry having worked in Australia and the UK for a leading investment bank, a mortgage insurance company and professional services firm. Amanda also manages AGBA's membership base and works closely with AGBA's General Manager in producing member communications and newsletters. Amanda's focus is now on managing events for professional associations, providing high quality events with key speakers nationally.
Meet our Research Faculty
To help AGBA and its members make sense of the myriad of products and strategies offered by fund managers in the market, we have partnered with some of the most experienced research and asset consultants in Australia. They play a crucial role in independently reviewing products, providing portfolio construction advice and in facilitating various workshops and industry events.