PARTNER & CFO, NEWCASTLE FINANCIAL PLANNING GROUP
Matthew Clements is a Partner and Chief Financial Officer at the locally based financial advice business, Newcastle Financial Planning Group (NFPG). His role as CFO involves management of five businesses across financial planning and property while also enjoying time with clients as a Financial Adviser working largely with young families and young professionals.
Originally from Umina Beach on the Central Coast, Matt made the move to Newcastle to complete a Bachelor of Business & Commerce at the University of Newcastle and realised how incredible this city is. Commencing his career at PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PwC) in Newcastle and completing his qualification as a Chartered Accountant, Matt has since held corporate accounting roles in mining and real estate. A desire to develop in a new area and return to helping clients drew Matt towards a shift into financial planning where he has really found his passion.
Being on the HYP board in 2015 and 2016 Matt appreciates the honour of being named Member of the Month and continues to be an active part of the HYP community.
What three words best describe you?
Driven, Ambitious, Decisive
What motivates and drives you?
I like to dream big and work backwards on the steps required to get there. At Newcastle Financial Planning Group we work at a very quick pace of new ideas something that I really enjoy. Having influence on the direction of our business and making important decisions really drives me on a daily basis. When it comes to our people I am motivated by the opportunity to lead and empower those in our team to create a unique culture of our own.
Personally, fitness is a big part of my life and I try to train every morning. Waking up in the dark to start with a hard training session at F45 Newcastle sets me up to be hungry for the day with a clear head.
Also making the most of all we have in Newcastle such as enjoying great coffee with my wife Dani (Three Monkeys on Darby Street is a favourite), playing soccer for Cooks Hill with my three brothers in law and enjoying our incredible beaches is how I like to wind down.
What characteristics do you think an individual needs to be successful in your profession (or in general)?
To be a successful Financial Adviser you need an ability to quickly relate to people and have a passion to genuinely encourage everyone to reach their goals. Sometimes clients are setting clear goals for the first time and regularly conversations about them extend far beyond just finances. I believe wanting to see people succeed while having an ability to make them feel positive and enthusiastic about the journey to get there makes for a great Financial Adviser.
What local professionals have had a significant influence on your and what have you learnt from them?
I began my career as an Accountant mentored by PwC Newcastle’s Partner Darren Turner. He was a great influence on encouraging me to pursue the career I most enjoyed, being open to new professional experiences and the importance of building a great foundation of technical skills.
While Financial Controller at PRD Real Estate Newcastle I was fortunate enough to work directly with Mark and Shula Kentwell. They gave me a great insight into what is required to run a successful local business, how to build workplace culture and all that comes from having an incredible work ethic.
And most recently, the Managing Partner of NFPG Daniel Brown has invested a generous amount of time coaching me on how to really connect with clients, building direct communication skills and managing a team.
All inspiring mentors over my career that I feel very fortunate to have had.
Do you have a life motto/mantra that keeps you going?
Definitely, actually I have two.
The first links to being prepared for the week and creating positive routines:
“A Sunday well spent brings for a week of content”
And the second is about surrounding yourself with people that lift, support and encourage you through life to achieve your best:
“33% of people will love you. 33% of people will hate you. 33% of people won’t care at all. Surround yourself with the lovers.”