In the space six months, WestPac Wealth Partners has received three awards – two from Fortune Magazine and one from Inc. Magazine. In October 2019, Fortune named WestPac as one of the top mid-sized companies to work for (at that time, ranking WestPac as number 7 of the 100 companies that made the list). Then, in April 2020, Fortune ranked WestPac Wealth Partners number 1 on its “30 Best Small and Medium Workplaces in Financial Services and Insurance” list. In the following month, Inc. Magazine named WestPac as one if the Best Workplaces in 2020.
At WestPac, they attribute their success not to a handful of individuals, but rather to their culture, which drives everything they do, for both their clients and their career associates.
A different approach that makes all the difference
Many financial services firms motivate their financial professionals by fostering competition, encouraging each one to be the leader in sales. Ask Vladimir (“Vladi”) Sasic, one of the founding partners of WestPac, about what makes his firm different from the competition and he will tell you that it’s all due to their approach and philosophy to planning.
He explains, “Long before we started the firm, we realized that one of the biggest problems with the financial services industry is that client relationships tend to be driven by the delivery of the product. We feel that’s not the right way to help people because it’s short-sighted. At WestPac, our planning process drives our client relationships. Many Americans are failing when it comes to finances because our schools don’t teach how to make financial decisions. At WestPac, our view is that it’s not about the products, but how you use them in your own personal financial situation. We’re more focused on the process of planning.”
WestPac discourages their clients from planning around certain variables, such as how the markets may perform. Such variables are out of their clients’ control. They focus, instead, on coaching their clients how to make decisions based on sound financial principles, day in and day out, based on who they are. They believe that if their clients make decisions based on both who they are and those factors they can control, they’re going to put themselves in a more secure financial position in the long term.
How the WestPac approach benefits their clients and financial professionals
Because WestPac is process focused, they have developed internal processes and systems that are well-defined—to help ensure that they are able to deliver on the promises they make to their clients. They recognize delivering an amazing client experience requires that they do many things exceptionally well. And their view is that such delivery requires a team, rather than a single individual.
Vladi explains, “That’s why we promote teamwork and that’s what makes WestPac different from most of our competitors. They’re promoting a singular approach. At WestPac, four or five people from our firm may be working on one client’s process and plan. We believe that our teamwork approach is what creates a culture of excellence and accountability. We’re accountable to our both our clients and to each other.”
Why financial professionals find WestPac a great place to work
WestPac was founded on the premise that an important part of the firm’s mission is to have a positive impact on people within their community. They believe the same about their financial professionals, whom they view as key stakeholders in their success. WestPac strives to enable all their career associates to reach their maximum potential, even beyond that which they currently believe they can achieve in all areas of their life.
Vladi feels that’s important for financial professionals who are looking to succeed to look for the right firm to help them reach their goals. He explains, “When it comes to career, we all have certain lifestyle goals. These goals are highly individual, based on the values that we each personally have. Our livelihood has a great impact on our lifestyle. So, my best advice is for financial professionals to seek a firm where their lifestyle and livelihood goals will be congruent.
“And my best advice is that when financial professionals are choosing a firm, they should look for a firm that can help them achieve those goals and that congruence faster than anywhere else. Because if they don’t, they may find themselves working in a job, not working on their career. I want my financial professionals to feel the same way.”