Marisa Broome

The former FPA chair was awarded life membership from the association last November, an achievement that typified the dedication and commitment through voluntary roles to drive the profession forward.

Voluntary roles in the financial advice space seem to find Marisa Broome time and time again.

Over the years, she’s put her hand up for a number of voluntary roles, including chair and director of the Financial Planning Association, sitting on the advisory board for the Conexus Institute and the chair of the Regulatory Advisory Panel of the Financial Planning Standards Board.

For decades, the Sydneysider has been at the forefront of some of the industry’s key structural decisions, including being part of industry conferences, educational projects and financial planning standards.

Broome also participates in several community fundraising activities, particularly in the area of financial literacy and the education of girls.

The need to rebuild community trust in the financial planning profession with a focused commitment on education, ethical governance and accountability has been critical over the years.

“I’ve always been heavily involved in volunteering,” she tells Professional Planner. “My parents taught me that those who are lucky and fortunate should always give back, and that mentality has stayed with me all of my life.”

Broome, who was awarded FPA life membership at last years national congress, says the honour has been her greatest professional achievement. “It’s incredibly rewarding to be part of your professional community, and get so much out of it personally,” she says.

She has worked in financial services for more than 35 years, initially in funds management and for over 23 years as a financial planner. And while she admits she’s had a long career, she’s a long way from being ready to retire.

Her path into the industry began to appear in her teens. Her father worked in bank loans all his career and had some of the earliest personal investment centres under his control.

“As a teen, I understand financial planning, which was rare at such a young age,” she says. “I become interested in this space and always thought it would be something I would want to do.”

While she initially headed into the financial services space, Marisa launched her own financial services firm upon starting a family, initially in a bid to have the ability to work more flexible hours. These days Marisa is a well recognised figure in the industry nationally.

At one stage, her financial planning business grew to a significant size and in hindsight, she admits she probably should have hired a general manager to help manage the growth.

She took on an experienced female partner for a period, which was a fruitful partnership for many years before they eventually went their separate ways.

“We could both see that we were naturally attracting quite different clientele, so we took the business in a different direction, splitting the business in half to forge our own paths,” she says.

Returning to a smaller advice firm enabled Broome both have a career and be the primary carer of her children over the years. “It allowed me flexibility to have a smaller, more agile firm. I could work the hours I needed to when raising my family.”

Her children have since graduated from university and are heading into their own careers.

While a recession might be looming, she believes that the distinct lack of planners entering the industry will shield the industry from losing clients. “Most advisers I know are run off their feet, it’s impossible not to be doing okay,” Broome says.

Her current focus is bedding down some new technology in her business to improve the client experience. “I am looking at ways to improve the client interaction process and what we can implement there to improve our business and future-proof it for the future,” she says.

Marisa recently returned from a trip to Tanzania, where she enjoyed time out of the office on a safari.

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