Charmaine Hall

After years in the institutional advice system and after being made redundant by Insignia-owned Bridges, Charmaine Hall decided to go her own way and start an advice business in her hometown of Wangaratta.

Hall founded Unbound Financial in October. Previously she had been a financial adviser with Commonwealth Bank, before they exited advice; and then was an adviser for Bridges before their last round of redundancies.

“I made that cut and realised the only way I can have sustainability for my clients is to go out on my own,” she tells Professional Planner.

“I’ve had a big client following as well, there’s clients that I’ve been partnering with for many years now through different stages of their life.”

While she couldn’t get in touch with those clients directly, many of them reached out after becoming aware she’d left Bridges.

“I didn’t want to go out and poach them when I can get into a lot of trouble for that but there was certainly a lot of clients that I had brought across to Bridges and then when I was no longer there, they didn’t want to continue that relationship,” she says.

Now running her own business, she says she has incorporated wealth coaching along with financial advice.

“The one thing I always realised was missing, even since when I was in Commonwealth Bank, is that you would see so many clients that they were doing most things right, but they just needed a little bit of guidance in other areas or they might have just been starting off,” she says.

“A full-fledged financial plan was probably not the way to go.”

Based in the regional town of Wangaratta, Victoria, with a population of around 30,000 a roughly three-hour drive from Melbourne, Hall serves a small, tight-knit community.