Professional services leaders make top financial advisers list

25 October 2023 3 min. read

Contending against the pure-play financial advisory houses, more than half a dozen professionals from the nation’s traditional accounting and consulting firms have made this year’s top financial advisers list.

A number of professionals from Australia’s mid-tier consulting and accounting networks have been named among the country’s top 100 financial advisers as ranked by industry publication Barron’s, including Adam Stanley and Charlie Viola of Pitcher Partners in the third and fourth spots.

Colleagues David Bedford and Kellie Davidson also made the list, alongside Jarrod Broadbent of BlueRock and William Buck duo Scott Girdlestone and Andrew Barlow.

Professional services leaders make top financial advisers list

Compiled in collaboration with the Australian, the annual Barron’s list is based on more than 50 survey questions assessing three general categories; client assets under management and the fees and revenue generated, and the quality of the adviser’s business, which includes factors such as experience, credentials and client service resources.

Morgan Stanley’s local Asia practice head Garth Hu once again came out on top, for the fourth consecutive year.

Meanwhile, Pitcher Partners’ Melbourne investment advisory practice lead Adam Stanley has moved up two spots to number three, directly ahead of Sydney wealth management counterpart Charlie Viola, who holds his fourth-place ranking after having topped the list in 2018. Both have been with Pitcher Partners for two or so decades, and according to the publication oversee divisions with combined assets under management worth close to $10 billion.

Speaking on his latest top-ten inclusion, Viola stated; “Trust is the only commodity you can’t buy. Every client will assume we can count and we know what we are doing, but they need to know we are acutely aware that we are dealing with their life savings and their life’s legacy. While the enduring service is the investment management, the real value add is getting to know the client, understanding their real needs and being their conduit to life.”

Pitcher Partners’ Melbourne office has also seen two of its advisory partners shoot up the rankings to land within the top 25, with David Bedford jumping from 42nd spot last year to 16th, and Kellie Davidson moving from 36th into 21st as just one of twelve women featured. Davidson has been with the firm since 2001, while Bedford joined in 2018 after spending the best part of two decades with JBWere, where he served as director of financial intermediaries.

William Buck’s wealth advisory arm has also achieved multiple entries – Sydney practice boss Scott Girdlestone landing in 29th, and Andrew Barlow of the Adelaide office in at 62nd – with the pair, who respectively joined William Buck in 2009 and 2013, split by BlueRock Investments managing partner Jarrod Broadbent in 33rd spot.

A three decade industry veteran, Broadbent joined BlueRock last year upon its acquisition of his long-running advisory Broadbent Financial.

Noting that the list is largely dominated by global financial institutions, Girdlestone said William Buck’s regular presence was a testament to its point of difference; “The firm’s integrated, full-service model paired with the relationship-driven approach is highly valued by our clients,” Girdlestone stated. “By merging financial and accounting know-how, we’re able to offer a commercial yet intrinsically personal perspective to help clients reach their financial goals.”