In the early 1980s the deregulation of financial markets brought an explosion of financial choices.
Recognising the need for quality financial advice to help investors make sense of it all, four like-minded young men joined forces to form ipac in 1983.
Among them were leading financial commentator Paul Clitheroe and respected investment strategist and author Arun Abey. Both remain actively involved in the company today.
Suvan de Soysa, Paul Clitheroe, Arun Abey, Peeyush Gupta
They started out in a small room in a serviced office with just one telephone line. They had very little capital (around $100,000) and very few contacts.
But according to Clitheroe they did have one advantage: a business they all believed in, based on quality advice with a fee for service. According to Abey getting their first clients was tough, and for many years the founders struggled, working long days and drawing only minimal salaries.
“We were 25 year olds, Paul was 27, with unkempt hair, talking to affluent, conservative 50 year olds” he says. “No wonder my mother was worried”.
But they persevered because, as Abey explains, “None of us could work in a job we did not believe in, irrespective of the money on offer.”
“With ipac, each of us was pursuing our calling. What we were doing fully engaged us and had meaning because we were helping other people.”
The founders’ first clients were family friends, some of whom remain clients today. Later they received many referrals from accountants and lawyers, who trusted their unique client-centric focus.
Over the years, their expertise in research and financial advice became so well regarded that in addition to advising individuals, the founders were soon showing some of Australia’s best-known financial institutions how to do it.
But it was their passion for helping people reach their full potential that really set the founders apart, and is what still underlines everything ipac does today.
These days ipac is one of Australia’s largest specialist financial advisory firms with more than 200 staff, offices along the east coast of Australia and a network of partner firms throughout the country. It is also a wholly owned subsidiary of the AMP group.
But despite our strong growth, our guiding principle remains the same: helping people lead better lives.