Every career is a marathon and Troy Collins’ early training as a triathlete has probably prepared him well for financial planning. Collins describes what it’s like to be a second-generation planner and how to keep a family business running.

After leaving school, Troy Collins pursued a career as a professional triathlete while completing a business management degree at university. But Troy’s father, Brian Collins, had a different plan for his son’s future. Troy played a significant role in Brian’s succession plan and Brian planned to groom him to eventually take over the family’s financial planning business. His dream was achieved. In November 2004, Troy acquired his father’s business and has since grown the business to nine staff including three advisers and two trainee advisers across two locations in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Brian and his wife run the Collins Financial Group practice on the Gold Coast while Troy is based in the group’s Brisbane head office. The whole business is centralised in Brisbane where seven of the nine staff are located including a paraplanner, IT support and client services. “My father introduced me to the financial planning industry and he has made a commitment to stay in the business until he retires at 65 years in 2011,” Troy Collins says. “My intention is to build the business by bringing on additional apprentices and training them to become full-time advisers.” Collins Financial Group is part of boutique dealer Matrix Planning Solutions, having previously been with WB Financial. The business has a strategic alliance with an accountancy firm and a mortgage broker to refer business to each another, but Troy believes the ideal model is to form an equity partnership. An equity partnership would provide Collins Financial Group with greater control over client relationships and greater say in how services are provided. “There are unlimited opportunities in this industry and we’re looking at building additional divisions onto our existing business in order to provide a holistic service to our clients,” Troy Collins says. “Our strategic alliances work well, but our intention is to take it a step further.” Name: Troy Collins Business name and location: Collins Financial Group located in two offices; in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast Dealer name or self-licensed: Matrix Planning Solutions Number and designation of staff: 9 team members including 3 Senior Financial Planners (auth reps), 2 Trainee Financial Planners, 1 Paraplanner, 2 Executive Assistants, 1 part-time accounts manager Area of specialty: Strategic Planning & Wealth Coaching Relevant qualifications: Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning Are you a member of the FPA?: Yes Number of clients: 2,000+ although approx. 250 actively managed clients Funds under management: approx. $90 million Method of fee collection: 70% Fee for service and 30% Commission Investment platforms: Navigator & Matrix (Oasis) Front-end planning software: X-Tools Office management software: Platform Plus Investment research: Morningstar & Matrix Dealer Group research department Insurance research: Omnium

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