I was initially introduced to Viridian as a client. I had just returned from working in the UK and was looking for a financial planner in Australia. That was when a colleague referred me to Raamy Shahien of Viridian.
The way Raamy approached me as a client was different to any other financial planner that I’d experienced. He explored what I wanted to achieve rather than just saying “here are some products you can get a 10% return on”. I was asked about my ambitions and what type of legacy I wanted to leave. Viridian connected with me as a person, understood the challenges that caused me concern and then took me on a journey to explore what was possible.
With Viridian, I found an organisation that gave me holistic advice, delivered returns and was values-driven. This approach was quite transformational. As HR Director at a big bank, I’d seen incentive plans that motivated financial planners to push particular products, but I didn’t see any of this behaviour at Viridian. Viridian’s advisors had integrity.
As a client, I always felt like Viridian had my back. For example, when I purchased a property that wasn’t planned, I was worried that I may have to walk away from my deposit. But Raamy came up with four different scenarios that we could pursue and all of them were winners. This immediately gave me reassurance.
Viridian had my best interests at heart. I could see they were trying to create a culture that would be transformational for the industry. So, one day when Raamy explained Viridian’s growth aspirations to me and asked me if I would consider coming onboard to help them, it was a little bit of serendipity.
Having watched Viridian grow as a company from the beginning, I understood what the team wanted to create. I also valued what the leadership team was doing – the values were connected and I believed I could make a difference, so I joined Viridian last year and haven’t looked back.
At Viridian, we live our values internally and externally. For example, all of Viridian’s shareholders are either staff or customers. This means everyone shares in the ups and downs. Everyone has different points of view and they’re listened to. Everything gets explored and debated and we all make the decision that’s best for the organisation. From a cultural point of view, we have integrity and I really believe that’s the foundation for creating something amazing.
Rita Agati is Human Resources Director at Viridian Advisory