25-years ago, on the 1st of August 1996, our current Chairman and Head of Financial Planning, Paul Haslam, wrapped up his formal study and entered the doors of a small office in Armidale NSW to start paving the way to a meaningful offer of support to our community. He was on a mission to take an industry that had been segmented and primarily focused on insurance products and make what we did holistic in nature and truly impactful in people’s lives. He didn’t want to see the people in his community afraid for their future, confused about the best way forward, worried that they would not have enough to be comfortable, or exposed to unnecessary risk. “Haz” believes that we all deserve to live our best possible life. We work hard. We form strong personal values about what is important. And he wanted everyone he knew to be able to move forward with clarity and confidence, living out the best possible life that was personally meaningful to them.
It was a big vision. And 25 years on, we have succeeded in growing that thought into a thriving, wonderful company, supporting over 200 people and serving more than 6,000 elated clients and families.
In ‘business speak’ they often talk about the illusion of overnight success, and this is something we can attest to.
I personally started working with this business in 2001, and 20 years on, I have seen the effort that has gone into every step forward. What we do now stands strong on the pillars of an incredible culture, a rigorous discipline for business management and accountability to our clients, the imagination and input contributed from every seat and an absolute passion for empowering people to live their best possible lives.
Over the years there have been plenty of storms to weather – market peaks and troughs, technological revolutions, regulatory game changers, and the effort that goes into creating an environment where people who work in 20+ offices can feel connected and unified in their mission.
We have had many moments to celebrate! Seeing our clients realize their unique dreams, seeing our people achieve their own goals, maintaining industry high client engagement, being honoured by the National ‘Great Places to Work’ awards and holding our own in the top 10 best places to work in Australia, adopting the latest technology, shedding old practices that no longer serve our clients or people, watching as more and more of our people invested their money in what we were building and being able to reward that effort with growth and dividends.
The IB Board, headed by our chairman, Haz, continue to strive for what is best for our clients, people and all shareholders in an exciting future for our business.
From me, personally, I am just so grateful
- To our clients who walk into our meeting rooms, drop their guard and share the story of their lives with us. For their trust and engagement in what we do. For their ongoing successes.
- To our people who wear their hearts on their sleeve, who come to work prepared to think differently, have each other’s back, advocate for their client’s best interest and work through the barriers that may come their way. For their commitment to leave their ego at the door, learn from all the other people around them and give each day their best.
- To our communities who we do our best to support, and who also give so much back to each of us. For allowing us to be there with our ‘work hats’ on, and share in the human experience of being connected.
- To our partners who trust in our approach, who have confidence in our ability to deliver, who are prepared to innovate alongside us and who share their energy and inspiration to contribute to providing the best possible service to our clients.
- To our families who have been on this incredible journey with us and provided support, love and guidance along the way through the challenging times and the good times.
In the 20 years, I have been working with this family, I have grown. I have learned from many missteps. I have become connected to so many beautiful people. I have been heartbroken by the grief that life sometimes deals with and honoured to see our family there by their clients’ sides at those difficult as well as the beautiful times. It has been a WILD ride and I would not have it any other way.
Celebrating 25 years of growth and success, from our humble beginnings in Armidale to the thousands of lives we now directly impact, is such a huge honour. Thank you for that gift.
Til next time,
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What you need to know
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