Koda to grow Melbourne footprint


By Elizabeth Somerville

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Professional services and wealth management firm Koda Capital is set to expand its Melbourne presence with the addition of two advisers, who are due to start in early December.

Farren Williams and Matt Donat would join the group next month from The Myer Family Company, and would boost the firm’s total adviser numbers, spread across its Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne offices, to 16, Koda chief executive Paul Heath told financialobserver.

“These appointments now take our adviser numbers in Melbourne to four, and we have a total team in Melbourne now of six, so in some ways we’ve now got our footprint in place,” Heath said.

“We’ve got a team in Brisbane and we’ll be looking to strategically add to that team over time.

“We’re well established here in Sydney and our presence in Melbourne is starting now to be built out, which is our east coast footprint with what we initially tried to do with Koda.”

Williams was with The Myer Family Company for over six years and held a range of private wealth roles prior to that, whereas Donat spent five-and-a-half years with Myer and previously worked in accounting roles.

“Farren and Matt have been servicing a very small number of high net worth individuals, families and charitable trusts, which is exactly the demographic that we’re looking for in terms of where we want to be in Koda,” Heath said.

“For us, having the advisers who have skills and capability in those core client segments that we’re going after is critical, and we’re really happy that people of such high quality have come to Koda and have chosen to be partners with us.”

The group was currently involved in a number of conversations with advisers to determine if there was a cultural fit between the advisers and Koda, however, often a catalyst for change was needed for advisers to make the decision to move practices, he said.

“Our experience is that good advisers don’t move often, therefore you really need to be in dialogue with a lot of good people and be there when the catalyst for change occurs, but there’s no question in our mind that a large group of advisers are looking at alternatives, of which Koda is one,” he said.

“We still have a really good prospective group of people that we’re still in conversation with, both in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.”

He revealed Koda would continue to focus on building out the Melbourne office in the future as well as building out capabilities in its Brisbane-based operation.

“Our goal ultimately is to get to adviser numbers that are more like 40 to 50, and our expectation is that we should be able to do that over our first three years of operations,” he said.

“We absolutely have growth ambitions, but for us finding the right people is the most important thing and we’ll make sure that we take the time that we need to get the right people in to create that partnership model.

“Culture and cultural fit is paramount in our recruitment strategy.”

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