Knowing that you’re changing someone’s life is an incredible feeling

Nicola Beswick is a financial planner and also Chair of PFAN. We get to know more about her role and how her work is supporting the community on two fronts.

How long have you been working with PFAN and what made you want to join?

I’ve been involved with PFAN at the Board level since November 2019. In July 2021, I was elected Chair. Before this, I volunteered as a PFAN adviser, helping numerous clients and hosting various webinars and presentations within the MS community.

A friend who lives with Multiple Sclerosis and is a financial counsellor made me aware of the PFAN organisation. We met through a mutual friend who I met during an MS fundraising walk across the Great Wall of China.

What does your role with PFAN entail?

I’m lucky enough to be able to focus on promoting PFAN to the financial profession and the wider public by hosting various conversations and information sessions. Having a team of dedicated board members with a range of skills and various support teams behind the scenes (such as our PFANs team and the HUB24 team), it means that as Chair of PFAN I can focus on this part of my role, knowing that we’re all working towards PFAN’s objective of providing a network of trusted advisers who can assist individuals in their time of need.

What is the best thing about working with PFAN?

Knowing that we’re working towards making a difference to individuals and their families who are impacted by a health condition and experiencing financial hardship. In addition, we’re promoting the great work the financial planning profession does – in this case pro bono, so we’re creating change on two fronts for the broader community.

What would you say to anyone else considering joining PFAN?

It is the most amazing experience being able to change people’s lives and not expect anything in return. Knowing that you are changing someone’s life using the skills we use every day is an incredible feeling.

Providing life-changing advice to clients is a rewarding way to make a difference

Shannon Durrant, Secretary and Director

Shannon Durant is the Chief Risk Officer of Gimsey Group and also a Board member of PFAN. She sees the work that PFAN does as life changing for clients and as it is rewarding for advisers.

How long have you been working with PFAN?

I joined PFAN as a board member in July 2023.

What does your role with PFAN entail?

As a board member of PFAN my role is to work alongside the other PFAN board members and set the strategic direction of the organisation and ensure that PFAN meets its purpose.

The board track and monitor the achievement of PFANs strategic goals and ensure robust risk management and governance practices are in place to enable the long-term viability and sustainability of PFAN.

What is the best thing about working with PFAN?

Working with dedicated and highly skilled board members who volunteer their time to assist clients who are unwell and financially unable to afford advice, the ability to access life-changing financial advice from a network of professional financial advisers.

What would you say to anyone else considering providing their professional expertise via the Pro Bono Financial Advice Network?

Providing life-changing advice to clients who need it most is a rewarding way of making a valuable difference to our communities.

PFAN expands charity partnerships, enabling more Australians living with a personal health crisis to access pro bono advice

Sydney, 24 April: The Pro Bono Financial Advice Network (PFAN) is pleased to announce new partnerships with Pancare and MND Victoria, creating more opportunities for people living with a serious illness or disability to access pro bono advice.

Established in 2014, PFAN is a network of financial advisers who provide pro bono financial advice to those in need. Since inception, PFAN has been working with the Multiple Sclerosis network throughout Australia, connecting individuals through referral partners to locally based advisers. Now, through new partnerships with Pancare and MND Victoria, PFAN will also support people affected by pancreatic and Upper GI cancers, and those diagonosed with motor neurone disease.

Advisers registered with PFAN are given the opportunity to take on one pro bono client per year.
PFAN Chair Nicola Beswick said the opportunity to connect more individuals living with a personal health crisis with local based advisers is central to the organisation’s mission.

“Helping to improve the financial wellbeing of Australians living with a serious illness or disability is the reason behind PFAN’s inception. So being able to extend the network of charities we work with means we can help more people in need with access to financial advice.

“We can only achieve this milestone due to the generosity financial advisers throughout Australia have provided to PFAN, and the ongoing support from our corporate sponsors HUB24, Innova, Milford and supporters TAL, Zurich Assure, Intraprac, FAAA, SMSF Association, Professional Planner, Adviser Ratings.

“As an adviser myself, I know first-hand the value of advice in helping to reduce financial worries and stress and create a clear pathway forward for clients in terms of feeling confident about being able to plan for and achieve a comfortable retirement. Having access to advice is nothing short of life-changing, especially for people who are experiencing financial hardship because of a personal health crisis.

Head of Pansupport programs David Menzies says support from organisations like PFAN for patients are incredibly invaluable, especially where out of pocket costs can, at times, be out of reach for a lot of people.

“Evidence suggests that over five percent of patients and carers in our recent survey reported out of pocket costs in excess of ten thousand dollars, which causes stress on household budgets in the current cost of living crisis.[1]

“Being able to link our patients into the PFAN network helps alleviate the stress of trying to manage their personal finances, whilst dealing with a cancer diagnosis and undergoing treatment.”

MND General Manager Support Services Jo Whitehouse says an MND diagnosis is life changing and as such, seeking financial advice early on can be crucial.

“We’re delighted to partner with PFAN as they provide pro-bono financial advice through their network of financial advisers, which aligns with our mission of providing and promoting the best possible care and support to people living with MND.”

Many of the advisers who join the PFAN network and become part of its community offer their financial planning expertise because they want to make a real difference to people’s lives.

My Wealth Strategy Senior Financial Planner Bruno Dimasi said: “Having seen first-hand the impact these conditions have on the lives they effect, and the remarkable work the associated charities do for them, I wanted to give back and help out as best I could which is in the area of financial planning.”

Find Wealth Founder and MD Warren Strybosch said: As a founder of a not-for-profit myself, I am keen to make a difference in my local community where possible. So, it was an easy decision to join the PFAN community to offer my financial planning services to those who are in need.”

PFAN Chair Nicola Beswick said: “Through PFAN, it is our hope to inspire the next generation of advisers and increase awareness of the value that we bring to others through our profession. So, I encourage any adviser who is interested in giving back to consider joining.”

For more information about PFAN please visit : https://www.probonoadvice.com.au/ or join the PFAN community on LinkedIn at Pro Bono Financial Advice Network (PFAN): Overview | LinkedIn

– Ends –

For media enquiries contact:

Natalie Pennisi
npennisi@hub24.com.au
P: 03 9275 7835
Nicola Beswick
P. 0450 227 877
Email nicola@nicolabeswick.com

About PFAN
The Pro Bono Financial Advice Network (PFAN) was established in 2014 by a group of concerned industry stakeholders including licensees, product manufacturers and professional bodies and is a not-for-profit organisation. PFAN puts individuals in contact with licensed financial advisers that have offered to provide pro bono advice in line with best practice.

PFAN’s mission is to improve the financial wellbeing of Australian’s living with serious illness and/or disability, through providing pro bono financial advice, and to inspire others to do the same.
PFAN is for individuals who have been referred by PFAN partners and are experiencing significant financial hardship as a result of a personal health crisis and require financial advice assistance.

About Pancare and MND Victoria
Leading charity Pancare is committed to inspiring hope, raising awareness, supporting families and funding research for upper gastrointestinal cancers.

MND Victoria provides and promotes the best possible care and support for people living with MND.


[1] State of the Nation: Upper Gastrointestinal cancers in Australia

PFAN adds Zurich Assure, Interprac and Sequoia to adviser network

MEDIA RELEASE

Sydney, 31 May: The Pro Bono Financial Advice Network (PFAN) is pleased to announce Zurich Assure, Interprac and Sequoia have joined the PFAN adviser network, supporting advisers to deliver pro bono advice to people living with a personal health crisis.

Established in 2014, PFAN is a trusted network of industry professionals who are focused on providing pro bono financial advice to those in need. Currently, PFAN works with the Multiple Sclerosis network throughout Australia, connecting individuals through referral partners to locally based advisers. Advisers registered with PFAN are given the opportunity to take on one pro bono client per year.

PFAN Chair Nicola Beswick said she is delighted that Zurich Assure, Inteprac and Sequoia have joined the PFAN network to help improve the financial wellbeing of people in need.

“Our mission is to help improve the financial wellbeing of Australian’s living with serious illness or disability, by providing pro bono financial advice, and to inspire others to do the same. Through our PFAN adviser network, we’re able to connect advisers with people who need financial advice assistance and are experiencing significant financial hardship because of a personal health crisis.

“Having the support from trusted brands like Zurich Assure, InterPrac and Sequoia enables us to service more clients and ultimately extend our services to others that need our assistance. We also hope to inspire the next generation of advisers and increase awareness of the value that we bring to others through our profession.”

As a market leader in helping advised clients to navigate the insurance claims process, Zurich Assure has offered its support and assistance to the PFAN community.

Head of Zurich Assure Sandhya Maini said: “Recent research conducted by Zurich shows that in the event of an illness or injury impacting their primary income, almost 40 per cent of individuals would only have sufficient financial resources for up to two weeks. In addition, one in three people indicated they had no financial backup plan in these circumstances.

“Seeking and obtaining the right advice at the right time can make a significant and positive difference. For this reason, and consistent with our values as an organisation, Zurich remains committed to helping those most in need.”

Through PFAN, InterPrac and Sequoia’s network of advisers can now register their interest in providing pro bono financial advice.

InterPrac CEO Garry Crole said: “InterPrac and Sequoia are pleased to support those who need advice the most, by participating in this program. In our opinion, the best investment any one can make, is to appoint a financial planner or wealth coach.”

Feedback from advisers who have signed up to the PFAN network have expressed the importance of giving back by offering their professional services in kind to those who need it the most.
Sovereign Advisors Managing Director Zaheer Lalani said: “As trusted professionals in the business of providing financial advice, it is not only suggested but incumbent on us all to share our time and knowledge with those who need us most.”

Border Financial Advice Managing Director Tom Border said: “I understand that financial literacy isn’t necessarily accessible to everyone – it can be costly and involve complicated concepts and legislation. I would like to use the knowledge I’ve gained over 25 years in the industry to help others.”

For more information about PFAN please visit : www.probonoadvice.com.au or join the PFAN community on LinkedIn at Pro Bono Financial Advice Network (PFAN): Overview | LinkedIn

For media inquiries contact:

Natalie Pennisi
npennisi@hub24.com.au
P: 03 9275 7835

Nicola Beswick
nicola@nicolabeswick.com
M: 0450 227 877