2018 has been a year of big accomplishments for us at Viridian. Even though it’s been an uncertain environment, we’ve grown our business, and have deepened the connection we have with our clients and our people.
Over the year we’ve grown from about 70 staff to over 120. We’re fortunate to have welcomed great people on board like Kathy Havers and Catalyst who joined us in September. We’re proud to have brought such a great business into our family. We’ve also increased our professional capability in HR, Finance and Communications. This enables us to continue our path as an unaligned firm of size that is owned by our staff and clients and I believe it sets us up well for the future.
This year our Managed Accounts division also took off. It’s been a couple of years in the making, and now Piers Bolger has four dedicated people who are also part of our broader portfolio management team. So we’ve now got 17 investment specialists who aren’t aligned to any existing fund managers or institutions. This gives our clients more choice and specialisation. We’re delivering a service that is best in class, tailored to their individual goals and responsive to changes in the industry and personal situations. I believe this really sets us apart in the industry.
Beyond any specific business achievement, the thing I’m most proud of this year was the launch of the Viridian Foundation and setting up our public ancillary fund. These both embody who we are and give us a chance to really make a difference. When we asked staff who wanted to play a part in the Viridian Foundation, we were inundated with people which was really heartwarming.
It’s also brought out some incredible stories from our people. Jody and Greg Collins shared their very personal story of loss which touched us all, so when Greg participated in the Black Dog Ride we backed him and he ended up being the largest fundraiser in Australia. We’re now choosing to support NSW farmers, which is another cause that’s dear to many of our hearts.
The public ancillary fund also allows our clients to give more to the community. They can set up their own fund, choose their own level of giving and get a tax deduction as well.
Ultimately we want to help people stay connected. We appreciate the connections that we have with our staff, clients and shareholders. They all give us honest and raw feedback that we really appreciate it. This connection helps us shape our company and industry.
As we close out 2018, I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has helped us to become the company we are today. Our business is built on people, and I’m sincerely grateful to our staff and clients who have helped build our business and set us up for 2019 and beyond. I hope you have a fantastic and safe festive season and join us to continue this incredible journey next year.
Glenn Calder is Chief Executive Officer at Viridian Advisory