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A good relationship and guiding hand has helped Kerry Gawler get the most out of retirement.

When Kerry Gawler went through a divorce a decade ago, she faced a choice: manage her financial settlement herself or seek expert guidance.

“I just needed someone to talk to about it,” she says. “Equity Trustees provided that for me so I just jumped in and took my super across to them.”

That was just over ten years ago and since then Kerry has been happily retired. Equity Trustees has steered her superannuation through good and bad times, including the COVID-19 crisis that rocked markets in early-2020.

“I’ve had several moments like that,” Kerry says. “I’d ring up my adviser Steve and he’d reassure me – explain things as well – and say if you want to come in, we can talk face-to-face. 

"I might not be making squillions at the moment but it’s very secure.”

Kerry, who is a former librarian, recently bought a unit which has provided her with even more certainty during retirement.

“Up until then, I’d rented for 10 years after the end of my marriage but I began to get a bit nervous about it during COVID. Where I was renting was lovely but there were a lot of people moving. Steve reminded me I had enough savings so he and my brothers are relieved.”

Kerry says she has built a good relationship with Steve, while Equity Trustees’ regular market presentations have also provided her with an enjoyable and informative social connection.

“Steve is the age of my children – in that 40 or 50 age bracket – so we had a connection there with family life, so we could discuss that. It’s a bit like when you go to your hairdresser – you can talk to them.”

The value of private client advice

Kerry Gawler’s adviser Steven Leung has almost two decades of experience and is a key part of Equity Trustees’ Private client team, which offers a range of services from financial advice, through to bespoke portfolio management, wealth creation, tax structuring, asset protection, and retirement/estate planning.

He has worked with Kerry for the past eight years and has built a strong relationship with a foundation of trust and empathy.

"Of course, every individual is unique and getting to know each client is a privilege. It takes a strong relationship and open communication to provide quality service,” says Steven.

“That approach that is at the heart of Equity Trustees – it’s one thing to conduct our fiduciary responsibilities to the highest standards which is essentially a technical (albeit complex) task, but another to know what really matters to each person – what motivates them and what their goals are. To me that’s what is really at the heart of our duty of care to each client – including Kerry.”