A charismatic American lecturer at university first piqued Alex’s interest in working in the financial services industry. “He made the hardest subject I studied—Financial Derivatives—the most interesting! He was very passionate about investing and shared a lot of stories and examples in his lectures that were captivating.”
This interest in finance led Alex to study his Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning to learn more about managing money when he completed his degree. Soon thereafter he started working in financial planning and of course, superannuation became his specialty as it’s a major component of most financial plans.
Alex began his professional working life as an administration assistant at a small private practice. He then spent five years working for a large bank as an associate financial planner and financial planner before joining HESTA in early 2020.
A quick chat can change lives
“I love how varied my role is at HESTA. I’m able to connect with so many of our members at very different stages of life in different ways,” says Alex.
Whether it’s a quick chat, a seminar or preparing advice on their personal superannuation goals, Alex loves the connections he makes with members and sees it as integral to his role. “Our members are great and work so hard for our community so being able to connect with so many of them in different ways is very fulfilling.
“I love the time I spend going out to workplaces and connecting with people. For our younger members or people new to Australia, meeting with me at their workplace can be one of their first experiences learning about super.”
At the same time as visiting workplaces, Alex also delivers advice to members. Being very detail-oriented, he particularly enjoys working with people to prepare them for retirement – taking care to ensure he explains everything in a simple way that provides members with the comfort that they’re on the right path.
“In Australia, managing personal finances isn’t necessarily something we learn at school. Our members are busy working to help the community—so they might not have the time to look into optimising their super,” says Alex.
Superannuation can be very complicated with a lot of jargon which can often make it overwhelming. “I feel it’s my duty when speaking to members to try and relay the key messages about managing their super in a simple way, so they can feel empowered to make choices that help them prepare for retirement.”
A lot of the time, the more complicated something is, the more we put off addressing it (like a hard subject at school!) —which is why Alex believes that his role of demystifying super is so important to help our members.
“One of the best things about working in the HESTA Member Education team is having the opportunity to be in members’ workplaces – making it easier for you to meet the people behind your super.
“One time recently a lady who just happened to be walking past me recognised my purple HESTA polo shirt and said that she’d been meaning to get some help with her super. She stopped to ask me who the best person to contact is. Luckily, she was already talking to the right person – me!”
Alex was able to organise a time to chat about super with her the next day and she registered for a HESTA ‘Path to retirement’ seminar to learn more about how she can use her super to live her dream retirement lifestyle.