Barron’s Top 100 Advisers


Powerwrap has once again shown that a great platform can help assist great financial advisers with their client portfolios. We are so proud that Escala made up 4 of the top 10 advisers, we asked 4th ranked Stephen Collins (pictured) to share some of his insights on what helps make a great financial adviser in this current climate.

Stephen Collins


What do you think makes a great financial adviser?

Great financial advisers have the skill, knowledge and commitment to deliver the high fiduciary standards of loyalty, care and competence to their clients. A great financial adviser is someone who listens to their client’s needs and truly understands what the client is seeking from the money they are entrusting the adviser to manage. These should ensure the delivery of a positive, surprise-free experience for their clients.

What’s your philosophy when it comes to building a long term relationship with clients?

Treat their money as though it were your own. They are handing over to you the management of their life savings. Being genuine, building trust, showing care, empathy and humility will go a long way towards building quality long-term relationships with your clients.

What asset classes have you seen gaining in prominence in the past months? Do you think this trend will continue as the market recovers?

Private equity, alternate debt and market neutral strategies have really gained in prominence. Private equity opportunities, whilst difficult for ordinary investors to access, may offer potentially oversized returns. There are a number of companies looking for access to capital (be it debt or equity capital) and Escala’s product team have demonstrated an outstanding ability to assess these opportunities. As SMEs, property investors and consumers continue to shun traditional bank lending, alternate debt type strategies remain very attractive on a risk-reward basis. And we like market neutral for its lack of correlation to traditional asset classes.

COVID19 – upsides and downsides for you?  How are you going working remotely?

The downside of COVID19 has obviously been the tragic human toll – the loss of lives and livelihoods. We are extremely fortunate to live in Australia and work in an industry that can enable working remotely so seamlessly. I have really enjoyed the experience; it’s amazing how much time I have found in my day without 3-5 face-to-face meetings and the typical daily workplace interruptions. Being an early riser, I have usually knocked out a couple of hours work before the family wakes which has freed up time later in the day for exercise. Spending more time with the family has been an enormous positive. I feel that working remotely has improved my work-life balance and general mental health substantially and don’t ever foresee working five days from the office again.


To view the full list of advisers, read more here.