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Podcast Transcript

Episode 74, Season 1

How to outsource efficiently, with Danielle Cornelissen


Danlelle Cornelissen: 00:01 You know, dare I say, but if you look at that barefoot bloke, he’s really, I suppose, identified that people are craving for just a simple path forward in terms of how they deal with money, and I think at times, it just can be overwhelming for people to come into an office initially.

Fraser Jack: 00:21 Hello there. Welcome to The Goals Based Advice Podcast where I have conversations with pioneers of the new world of financial advice. I’m your host, Fraser Jack.

  I want to thank you so much for tuning in today. If you’re enjoying this podcast, then please help me spread the word and share it with your friends and colleagues and leave me a review, and of course I’d also like to thank our supporting partner, Advice Intelligence, for powering this podcast.

  In this episode, I chat with the queen of outsourcing and offshoring, Danielle Cornelissen. [inaudible 00:00:53] she’s a busy person. She’s grown her back off outsourcing team to around 100 people, helping advisors here in Australia run their businesses efficiently. She’s also working on creative products for planners including ohmypod.com.au, to help people like me produce their podcasts. So if you’re using or thinking of using team members offshore to help you in your business, then this episode is for you. [inaudible 00:01:19] play on my chat with Danielle now.

Welcome to the show, Danielle.

Danlelle Cornelissen: 01:24 Thanks, Fraser. Thanks for having me.

Fraser Jack: 01:27 You’re very welcome. It’s about time we got you on the podcast actually.

Danlelle Cornelissen: 01:30 I know. You’ve been threatening it for a while now.

Fraser Jack: 01:33 Now tell us, do you want to tell the listeners exactly who you are and what you’re doing at the moment?

Danlelle Cornelissen: 01:38 Okay. So, Danielle Cornelissen, I’ve got a business that some of you may have heard about called 5 ELK. So we do admin, back office administration for financial planners, but we’re based in the Philippines. So that’s kind of what I’m doing now, and I set this business up five years ago, which came out of a bit of a process for me, and also exploring other opportunities to help advisors get out there and see more clients.

Fraser Jack: 02:09 Yeah, and I love chatting to you because every time we chat we’re talking about all the new shiny stuff that’s coming out which gets me really excited and away from doing all the things I’m supposed to be doing, which is great. But do you want to go back in time, because you’ve been in financial services for a while, you’ve spoken to a lot of advisors, you know a lot of advisors. Tell me, how did do you get into financial services to start with?

Danlelle Cornelissen: 02:36 Well, I got into financial services when I first came out of school actually, went into banking and finance, and did some property management for AMP, so managing some shopping centers. Then moved into financial services. So I was based in Warrnambool, in regional Victoria, and was lucky enough to be part of, and grow a financial planning practice. So we had a business down there for 20 plus years, and that was part of the journey.

And then, I suppose, to lead on further from that, we made a decision about six or seven years ago, that we’re going to start to get the business sale ready. So the part of that succession strategy, that’s when 5 ELK was born. So, essentially, what was happening was, in many ways I felt we were getting a little bit frustrated. People weren’t moving into the advisor role quick enough and in reality, when I sat back and looked at it, I was sabotaging the business in that I was recruiting really good people people, but in reality, the role that I sold them at that interview stage and what they were actually doing, there was a really big disconnect, and I had to take a step back and look at it.

And I think for me, Fraser, there was a part of ego that kicked in, in that what we do is so unique and, no, there’s no way we could train anyone offshore to do some of these tasks, but the reality was, our staff in Australia were getting frustrated and disheartened. They weren’t moving into those roles that they wanted quick enough, and also, our cost of service was blowing out as a part of that. So, ultimately, that impacts on your client experience.

Fraser Jack: 04:25 Yeah. I guess over the years in financial services businesses there’s been more and more task orientated things that had to be done, this had to be ticked off and that had to be done, and more sort of workflow type tasks, things that had to be done. Now I’m going to explore the idea, because you’re from Warrnambool. That’s a regional Australian area, it’s not a large populated area, and finding staff in that sort of area for a growing business might have been tough.

Danlelle Cornelissen: 04:54 Yeah, absolutely. I think we faced a lot of the challenges that people, particularly regionally, faced, in that people come out of uni, they get a couple of years under their belt and then they want to head to the big smoke, and we don’t begrudge anybody for that, and that’s what I wanted to do as well, or head overseas. So it was like you investing so much time and energy and then, as you know, when they take off, you’ve got to start from scratch again.

We factored that into when we built 5 ELK because what we wanted to do was make sure that we build a process and a structure that’s robust enough that, to be honest, anybody can come in and follow that bouncing ball. And also give businesses the ability to grow their team, whether it be in Australia or offshore, and we’ve got consistency there as well.

Fraser Jack: 05:51 Yeah, and you’ve spent the last few years really growing your business. Do you want to talk about that growth?

Danlelle Cornelissen: 05:59 Yeah. So 18 months ago, rewind 18 months, two years ago now, sold the financial planning business, and then 18 months ago I moved over here to the Philippines. So I live here permanently now which is really good. Our team’s growing, but just being here on the ground just makes life so much easier around decision-making, making sure that we’ve got the right training structure in place, because every business is slightly different. So how their team then needs to be trained, or what products they’re using, it’s an evolving beast, and to be on the ground here is fantastic. And also the weather here is pretty good too!

Fraser Jack: 06:40 Yeah, it seems that way. We’re in the middle of our winter here and you’ve got some great temperature there, and not too humid.

Danlelle Cornelissen: 06:51 No, no.

Fraser Jack: 06:52 Why the Philippines? Obviously costs of labor, it was one thing, but why else?

Danlelle Cornelissen: 06:58 Yeah. I had been spending a lot of time in Cambodia, so involved in a number of humanitarian projects over there. So I was back and forth in Cambodia a lot, and, to be honest, I would have loved to have set this up in Cambodia, in that I was doing a lot of humanitarian work there, I was coming back and forth. And essentially what happened is, a massive big typhoon, Typhoon Haiyan, come through at the time when I was looking at what location do I set up, and there was a lot of foreign aid money being sent over, and I kind of got a little bit frustrated and I was a little bit jaded, I suppose, because of some previous experiences, and I was concerned that the money wasn’t actually going to get through to the people. And I’m a really big believer, that whole teach a man to fish mentality, so I was like, instead of sending money over to the Philippines, why don’t we actually create more jobs and more opportunities? And that’s really how this came about for me. That’s why I chose the Philippines.

So they’re taught the American curriculum at school, so English skills are really strong, and to be honest, the team out here, they’re way more qualified than I am. So it was easy to find talented people, and rather than them actually have to leave their family home and leave their family unit to go and get meaningful work, I really believe that we can create that here in the Philippines.

Fraser Jack: 08:25 And tell us about the team you’ve grown.

Danlelle Cornelissen: 08:32 Well, I started out with two team members, but to be honest, I actually didn’t have a client, the client was my own business. So I felt a bit of a... I have imposter syndrome by going, oh, yes, I’ve got this business, when I was the only client. So now we’re pushing 100 team members at the moment, all working in financial services.

So obviously the Royal Commission and things like that have kicked into play and people are looking at other models for how they grow their business. So that’s had a big impact on us, but also too, I think, when I first started, the word outsourcing was pretty scary and it was a leap of faith for some of the early adopters, whereas now it’s becoming more common, people are hearing the success stories, so they want to be part of it.

Fraser Jack: 09:24 Yeah, exactly right. I think you’re right. For many people there was the yes, we understand there might be some cost savings but then what about local jobs, and those sorts of things. But there was always things in people’s mind, I guess, that could get in the way. Have you come across a lot of those?

Danlelle Cornelissen: 09:43 One of the biggest things I’d say with outsourcing, whether it works or doesn’t work, is around your mindset. And so to answer your question about the local jobs, the impact of that, I think the difference has been that the businesses that we work with have absolutely grown their teams onshore as well, but the difference is the types of roles that they’re growing. So they’re creating more income producing roles, more advising roles, more of that proactive marketing side of the spectrum, whereas the roles here are very much administration based, very much compliance based positions. So it’s really, I suppose, going through the business and going, okay, what’s client facing, what’s not, and can it be outsourced?

The things too around cloud computing’s really opened up, cyber security measures and processes. That’s just gone through the roof in the last few years. So I think more and more, as businesses, we’re going to see that globalization, and it’s really about getting the best of breed for the role, regardless of location, and I know from me being in regional Victoria that was really important.

Fraser Jack: 11:03 Yeah. It’s not just a switch on though is it either? Some of the things that I think that people will go through if they’re thinking about outsourcing some of their roles, or some of their tasks at least, is then the process of going through and documenting every single process and system and all those sort of things and it adds a little bit more onto the to-do list.

Danlelle Cornelissen: 11:26 Absolutely. And it’s not a silver bullet. There’s a lot of structure and process that needs to go in behind the scenes, and I suppose how we’ve been able to do it and working with so many different clients is, we’ve really reverse engineered that process. So for businesses that don’t have processes, we say, “Loo, don’t worry. Don’t recreate the wheel. We’ve got a lot of end-to-end processes here. We’ll tailor it for your business.” But it does take time. At the end of the day, we’re dealing with a human. It’s not a sit and forget strategy where you just send in a task or an email and it magically comes back. And it’s those businesses that spend the time getting to know the team member, investing in them, absolutely get the return on investment.

Fraser Jack: 12:20 So I’ll push that a little bit further. I’m just thinking then that you probably have a lot of business practices, the old best practice scenario where people think that’s a really good way of doing it, or a great workflow or a great system in place. Are you able to then take that information and say, “Well, this is actually probably the best way of doing things,” and actually go to the advisors and say, “Well, this way that you’re doing it now, and you’ve always done it, there may actually be a better way”?

Danlelle Cornelissen: 12:44 Yeah. We look at businesses through a pretty broad lens, to be honest. We work across so many, we see a number of different structure and processes. We’re also out speaking to a lot of your BDMs, your technology guys, so we’re constantly looking for just efficiencies within the business. So there’s a lot of technology options out there but it gets put in the too hard basket, and I think that’s where we can really look at that admin role being really supportive around driving innovation, as opposed to it being fed back the other way.

Fraser Jack: 13:19 Yeah. Now you mentioned obviously getting to know your team member and really embracing them as part of your team is really important. How do you do that?

Danlelle Cornelissen: 13:28 Do you know, as simple as this sounds, the businesses that have what we call a 10 at 10... So it’s a 10 minute catch up every day at 10 o’clock, it could be whatever time, but just a catch up every day to say, “Hey, how you going? How’s your weekend? All right. What are you working on at the moment? Show me your screen.” So we use programs like Zoom, and it’s really good just to have that face to face connection as opposed to just tasks coming through randomly. It does little to build the relationship when you’ve got a faceless employer, and I think you get out of it what you put into it, human behavior.

Fraser Jack: 14:11 Yeah. So looking around in your office, you’re going to have a lot of people on video calls quite often.

Danlelle Cornelissen: 14:17 Absolutely. Headsets are our number one tools.

Fraser Jack: 14:19 Great.

Danlelle Cornelissen: 14:20 Tools of the trade.

Fraser Jack: 14:23 You mentioned compliance obviously, and then the fact [inaudible 00:14:26]. What are the areas you are seeing that are growing a lot? A lot of tick box compliance, is that the sort of thing?

Danlelle Cornelissen: 14:33 It’s all the review preparation work. And it’s not only the review before the client comes in, but that post. So doing your comparisons, running your risk research or well solver, or whatever it is, preparing your [inaudible 00:14:49]. So it really is your third party research calls, your review preparation, anything that’s like preparing applications forms, following it through and making sure it’s actually the turnaround times. I think sometimes that the risk of getting an intervention order put out on us by some of the product providers, we’re pretty dogged about that, because whether it’s, say for example, insurance, the client doesn’t have cover until that’s in place, an advisor may not get paid. So we need to just keep pushing those things so we get a quicker turnaround time. So it’s really anything that’s not client facing can be outsourced.

Fraser Jack: 15:29 And then a lot of that’s obviously follow up phone calls and ringing the companies and getting stuff done?

Danlelle Cornelissen: 15:35 Absolutely, yeah. Lots of time on the phones.

Fraser Jack: 15:43 Yeah. And so you mentioned the team, nearly 100 staff?

Danlelle Cornelissen: 15:43 Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, pushing 100 now. So it’s been good. It’s growing really rapidly. To be honest, I’m conscious about vanity metrics, and a lot of people were really like, “Well, how many team members do you have?” And for me, yes, we’ve got a big team but it’s not about that. For me, it’s about what’s their actual level of understanding like, what impact are they having on the business, and we’ve introduced a lot of things around... our guys need to do CE points as well. So we’re constantly learning, we’re constantly up-skilling and I think that’s probably the thing, not growing for growing’s sake, but actually getting that quality results along the way.

Fraser Jack: 16:27 Yeah. So with all this growth and things that you’re working on, and you and I have spoken about a number of things, and of course I’m sure the staff, they will be listening to this podcast because they actually edit this podcast-

Danlelle Cornelissen: 16:43 They do.

Fraser Jack: 16:43 So you have to say nice things about them. So what are the other things that you’ve been working on?

Danlelle Cornelissen: 16:48 Yeah. So we’ve been really exploring how can we help advisors, rather than do that one to one model, how do they do a one to many model, and actually be getting their messages out to more people. And so a part of that is, we’ve just launched a business called Oh My Pod, and that’s really about helping advisors to start their own podcast. So financial advisors are great communicators but the problem is they’re limiting it to just those one on one appointments. So what we want to do is create it so that they’ve got their own podcasts, like what you have done, Fraser, and it’s like having their own radio show but they’ll be able to get the message out to more people.

Fraser Jack: 17:34 Yeah, well, certainly everybody that’s listening to this already listens to podcasts so they understand the benefits of having a podcast, but I guess there will be a lot of people in that situation where they may have thought about starting their own podcast or want to get started, and I guess, like anything, getting started is one of the hardest parts of it. Once you’re up and going it’s not hard anymore, and that’s where you’re helping, in that zone?

Danlelle Cornelissen: 18:02 Yeah. So what we’re doing is helping people understand what’s your message, who’s your ideal audience, and just really, I suppose, helping them to become clear on what their messaging is in a podcast, and then we do all the technical stuff behind the scenes as well. People get really inspired and motivated to create a podcast but it never gets off the ground, never launches, or does one or two episodes and then they stop.

So our role is really around helping them to get set up and established because there’s lots of things that you do need to know. It can be pretty technical at times. Thankfully I’ve got a really experienced team who can do all that heavy lifting. And then it’s that each week, whether people are launching a podcast each week, it’s doing all the editing, making sure that the sound quality’s really good, adding the music jingles, all those kind of things, and then getting it live and out there so that people can actually listen to it from their phones.

Fraser Jack: 19:02 Yeah. It’s certainly a very enjoyable thing to be doing from my end, where you get to do the recording and the conversations, and actually talk to people, and make times and catch up. However, there is, as we know, a little bit of work to be done in the background and the editing-

Danlelle Cornelissen: 19:02 Absolutely.

Fraser Jack: 19:22 ... recording an intro, sending it off. As you mentioned before, the sound quality. Generally we record these over a Zoom meeting, so you’ve got the variable microphones at each end: one person speaking into a decent mic, maybe somebody else is talking into their headphones, or just into a computer. So sometimes we have variable audio that has to be edited. And so there is a little bit of work to be done on each episode for it then to be put out. It’s not just as simple as hitting record and it all goes out.

Danlelle Cornelissen: 19:55 No, unfortunately not. But in saying that, Fraser, we have created a guide for people around 21 days to create, have a launch podcast in 21 days, and it really just does give them that checklist process that they can work through, and I can tell you, it’s something I wish I had before I started my own podcast as well.

Fraser Jack: 20:16 Yeah. It’s an interesting time, isn’t it, when you first start a podcast and then try and work out... you do something, you have an idea, you turn it into a concept and then you record a couple of sessions and you put it out, and then it’s an interesting time, mostly in your own head, about what goes on.

Danlelle Cornelissen: 20:37 I think mindset’s the big thing, this whole imposter syndrome that people go through and the nervous butterflies around, does my voice really sound like that? Dare I say, but if you look at that barefoot bloke, he’s really, I suppose, identified that people are craving for just a simple path forward in terms of how they deal with money, and I think at times it just can be overwhelming for people to come into an office initially. So podcasting is a really easy, simple way to get started and to create that whole know, like and trust and then obviously, yes, they will come in and see you and what have you, but if they get value along the way, I think it’s a great idea for advisors moving forward.

Fraser Jack: 21:22 I do too. Now that whole know, like and trust thing is interesting because the length of time people spend on a podcast episode is usually around 40 minutes, the average time. YouTube, if you want to do a video, then you get a couple of minutes of attention. If you want to write a blog, you might get 10 minutes of attention. But having that 40 to 50 minutes of conversation, attention, really does help build that you are going to be around, the whole know, like and trust thing. You’re really getting to know people over a longer period of time.

Danlelle Cornelissen: 22:00 Yeah, exactly. Some people might be saying, “Oh, who’s going to listen to it? Is it really worth it? It’s a lot of effort.” But I’ve seen advisors who spend so much energy in creating workshops and webinars to attract new people and they might get 10 people or 20 people to one of those workshops. So to get 10 and 20 listeners every week and for nowhere near the amount of effort, not to mention all the cheese and wine that you need to supply as a part of luring people in the door, it’s a really great tool and platform to get your message out there.

Fraser Jack: 22:42 Yeah. It’s the same amount of effort obviously, same as [crosstalk 00:22:43]. Same amount of effort for 10 people listening than as it is for 100 or 200 or 1,000 people listening. It’s the same effort that you put in.

Danlelle Cornelissen: 22:56 Yeah, absolutely.

Fraser Jack: 22:57 Now I just wanted to quickly touch on that very first experience too, that imposter syndrome. Everybody has that, so if you don’t have that then you’re the odd one out. And then the next thing too is the nerves. The very first episode, the first time you speak into a mic, you’re always nervous about it, and you might try and record an intro or something and the key is just to keep recording it. Keep recording it because you’re not going to be happy with it the first time. Keep going and going and eventually-

Danlelle Cornelissen: 23:28 Absolutely.

Fraser Jack: 23:28 ... you won’t worry about it anymore.

Danlelle Cornelissen: 23:33 Yeah. People don’t expect a newsreader. So if you sound too polished, it can also work for you the other way in that it sounds too scripted, just not human. So we have all these conversations with people every day on the phone and we don’t go, “Oh, hang on a minute, that sounded stupid.” So the good news is, if we completely stuff up, it’s fine. Podcasting, we can always edit that out. So, absolutely. And I think we’ll see a lot more advisors going down this path moving forward.

Fraser Jack: 24:04 Yeah, so do I. I love it and I think it’s something that... in the U.S., a lot of people, something like 36% of the population are all listening to podcasts. We’re not at that yet here in Australia, but we are growing, and it’s been growing something like 25% a year, and we’re following along. So my suggestion would be to get into it, sooner rather than later and-

Danlelle Cornelissen: 24:30 Absolutely.

Fraser Jack: 24:31 ... one of the first.

Danlelle Cornelissen: 24:32 And because your clients may not be in Australia as well. Particularly if you’re doing money coaching and things like that, it really does open up a global audience to you. Or you might have clients who are living overseas and things like that. So people can tune in at any time. I absolutely love podcasting but I think it’s this whole thing where I feel like, from a time perspective, I’ve got to multitask. So I might be running on a treadmill listening to a podcast and I don’t feel guilty. So it’s the ultimate multitasking tool for me.

Fraser Jack: 25:05 You’re right. I’ve spoken about this before. It’s the attention thing. If you’re going to watch a video or read a blog, you have to give 100% of your attention to that blog or video, as in you need to be doing it as the primary thing you’re doing at that moment, whereas podcasting, if you’re running on a treadmill, which you might do a lot more than I do, but you can actually have a podcast in your ears, or you could be driving a car and listening, or you can be-

Danlelle Cornelissen: 25:32 Absolutely. Yeah, it’s a great medium.

Fraser Jack: 25:35 Now, what are the other things that you’re working on at the moment as well?

Danlelle Cornelissen: 25:40 I’ve got a couple of other things bubbling away as well. So one is around eLearning, and so creating online courses for advisors. And, again, I think it just goes hand in hand with this podcasting around helping people to understand money and how it works. Not everyone wants to come into the office and learn it, and we need to look at alternative ways and alternative revenue sources. So, again, this is a way to do a one to many approach. Now obviously it’s all going to have all disclaimers and things like that, it’s not personal advice, but it’s a really great segue into somebody becoming a fully fledged active client.

Fraser Jack: 26:21 Yeah, couldn’t agree more. Now, there’s a lot of people working on communities in that sense, and trying to build out a listenership or a community where they can... if it is blogs or emails that you’re sending out, and trying to create a nurturing effect to those people who may be coming into your business in the future, and as you mentioned, the online courses are a great way to get people involved or give people a little bit of financial literacy or information, education.

Danlelle Cornelissen: 26:49 Absolutely.

Fraser Jack: 26:50 Especially if you want what might be an ideal client later, that may need to have some help building along the way.

Danlelle Cornelissen: 27:00 Often it’s just a timing thing, isn’t it? I know, for me, I’m doing online courses all the time. Particularly now I’m living in the Philippines, there’s not as many opportunities in terms of, I suppose, conferences and things like that, but it means you can just get the best of breed. So whether it’s a budgeting course or whether it’s how debt works and things like that, there’s lots of different opportunities for advisors to start spreading their message and sharing their story.

Fraser Jack: 27:31 Yeah. Now a lot of our industry does have a lot of conferences. Every year they have industry conferences and a lot of licensees might have conferences and bits and pieces. But do you think that eLearning or, like you said, targeting exactly what you want to pick up and learn, do you think that’s going to eat into that conference...

Danlelle Cornelissen: 27:54 Yeah. I think both will survive. I need both. But the reality is, sometimes whether it’s time commitments, in that it’s the timing’s just not right, the cost to go to conferences, with flights and accommodation and things like that, it can get pretty exy. I know you and I did some travels last year I think it was, to FinCon, to the States, and their conferences over there are like $300 for a four day conference or something, incredibly cheap. But the reality is, in Australia, the cost, we’re not going to get 2,000 people necessarily to a conference, so the costs are always going to be prohibitive to some people. So learning via eLearning I think is going to be a really good medium for the person who can pick it up when it’s right for them, as opposed to the set time that you decide you want to schedule a conference.

Fraser Jack: 29:00 Yeah. So a lot of growth going on from your end, with new things that you’re working on, and obviously a lot of people to look after.

Danlelle Cornelissen: 29:09 Absolutely.

Fraser Jack: 29:10 How do you see it back here in Australia, how do you see the industry turning out? And it’s going through a lot of change at the moment obviously. How do you see some of the short-term and long-term industry evolution?

Danlelle Cornelissen: 29:23 Yeah. Obviously there’s a lot of hurting going on and if I reflect back on the last 12 months, it’s almost been like a role of being a counselor to a lot of advisors and questioning, do I stay in here, is it all going to be worth it? I think people have stuck around. I think in hindsight, we’re going to look back and say this is a great thing for the industry. There’s just been a lot of pain and suffering along the way. Hit from a lot of different angles. So it’s just going to be a new world of advice and I think we just need to go into it with a really open mind and go, okay, what advice looked like in the past is the past, let’s create the business of the future and be ready for that change, because it is going to be completely different to what we’re seeing now.

Fraser Jack: 30:13 Yeah, I agree with you. And at the moment everybody’s going through it seems like an update on costs and a new expense every week to get the cost of providing advice. How do we get that down?

Danlelle Cornelissen: 30:27 Yeah. So with the outsourcing, so if I look at 5 ELK’s side of things, I suppose from a labor perspective, and once we look at the on costs and rents and office space and things like that, we do cost savings. By having an offshore team member, it’s a cost saving of between 50% to 75%. So that has a massive difference for businesses for their profit and loss and what have you, particularly when you’ve got things increasing on the other side. We’ve got licensees’ fees, PI going through the roof, so we need to make some change.

Fraser Jack: 31:05 Yeah. Let’s talk long-term. How do you see things turning out in the long-term?

Danlelle Cornelissen: 31:14 So [inaudible 00:31:14] if I look at not too long, early next year we’re actually having a study tour. So speaking of conferences, we’re actually having a study tour here to the Philippines, a conference, for people who maybe just want to get a feel. Sometimes it’s this fear of the unknown. So coming over, seeing the office, meeting the people. So whether it’s our existing clients want to spend more time getting to know their team, or people just want to come and understand the Philippines better. So that’s on the horizon for me at the moment.

And then practicing what I preach in terms of podcasting. About to create a podcast, it’s about to go live shortly, called Ready Set Pod. So for advisors who do want to go into the world of podcasting, this will give them tips and we’ll be interviewing other people who have been there, done that. So just to cut through some of those hard yards.

Podcasting’s coming up, and then obviously our eLearning. But I think, for me, bigger picture, it’s looking at how we can get advice to more people. We all know the stats around the number of people not getting advice, and I think the time’s now we need to get creative in how we flip this, and looking at what other countries are doing around the world I think is really important to learn from, and other industries too.

Fraser Jack: 32:40 Yeah. Now you mentioned the study tour, you mentioned. Is that, like you said, for people looking or learning how to best look after your staff and how to create new systems and processes and all that? Give us a bit of info.

Danlelle Cornelissen: 32:58 Yeah, absolutely. So it’s going to be a combination of both. People brand new to the world of outsourcing, and then those who have got existing team members here, so want to come over, spend some time with them. It won’t be all work, there will be a bit of play in there as well. So, often, people haven’t been to the Philippines, and I’ve got to say, it’s like a hidden gem here. I’m kind of glad not many people know about it because, for me, I’ve been coming back and forth for five years, but the Philippines... and I was here for work and then I’d go home, but since living here, it’s like, I suppose, the Maldives in terms of the crystal blue water and things like that.

So I think if you can get that combination of coming over here, exploring the Philippines, having some time to switch off and focus on your business as well, what you want to achieve moving forward, I think that’s a good combination.

Fraser Jack: 33:58 Fantastic. Looking forward to hearing all or reading a little bit more about that one in the future.

Danlelle Cornelissen: 34:02 Mm-hmm (affirmative). Absolutely.

Fraser Jack: 34:04 Now if you were back here in Australia talking to consumers about getting advice, and I’m sure you’ve still got plenty of friends that live back here, what advice do you give to those consumers?

Danlelle Cornelissen: 34:17 Oh, good question. I think it’s, do your research. It’s finding the right fit for you. I think not everyone wants the lock, stock and barrel of advice, and so I think, for my friends that are looking for advice, it’s finding the model that works for you. That’s why I think niching’s really important when it comes to advisors as well, and it’s getting that right fit. At the end of the day, even through, whether it’s podcasting or videos and social media channels, you get a vibe, you get a feel of, okay, this person gets me and what I’m looking for. So I think that would be one of the things.

I think understanding money, incredibly underrated. We all know how frustrating it is that it’s never been taught in the school system, but I think for long enough we’ve said, as advisors, we’ve said how frustrating it is. We now need to proactively bring about that change.

Fraser Jack: 35:17 Yeah, couldn’t agree more. Now what sort of tips or advice do you give to younger advisors looking to get into advice?

Danlelle Cornelissen: 35:27 Okay. It’s going to be a healthy balance. It’s going to be a healthy balance of looking at what’s the old way of things that have already been done before and why was it done that way, but also a lot of self-reflection around what was it around money for you for growing up. And I think that’s where that real coaching element and, yes, the technical side of advice is incredibly important, but that human element of it, understanding behavioral finance, understanding human behavior, I think is incredibly important. And that’s why I really love the work that [Lee Schkodal’s 00:36:05] been doing around just your own belief system around money because I think that’s incredibly important, and the difference between people becoming an okay advisor and a great advisor. If they can nail that around their clients, I think for me that’s the biggest difference.

Fraser Jack: 36:24 Yeah. A lot of the technical stuff I know when I first started out seemed really important at the time, and I think there’s a lot of technology and a lot of outsourcing type roles. There’s a lot going that’s been going on for the last four or five years which is almost... the calculators that we all have these days, it tends to remove some of that importance of the technical aspects of the product, or the technical aspects of the calculations out of the actual... or away from the advisor, and the advisor then becomes more of that relationship or human contact person.

Danlelle Cornelissen: 37:02 Yeah. And I think it’s that keep it simple. We haven’t discussed it but I’ve also got an animation business that does explainer videos around financial services, and we’ve been really overwhelmed with the take up of that because it’s in a really, really simple language, these videos. And in the early days, we’re like, “Oh, no, it’s too simple,” but it’s understanding what’s the appetite, where’s your clients at, and keeping it simple’s so important. Don’t try and overwhelm and impress your clients by how much technical knowledge you’ve got. If anything, it’ll drive them the other way.

Fraser Jack: 37:45 Now there’s obviously been a lot of change happening and some advisors actually getting out altogether, and some having to make some pretty tough decisions at the moment. What sort of [inaudible 00:37:55] to those advisors that are facing some hard decisions?

Danlelle Cornelissen: 37:58 Yeah. So I think this more sort of pooled approach is going to be the way forward where for one man bands it’s going to be a lot harder moving forward, and absolutely, not saying you can’t do a one man band style, type business, but to then have a lifestyle and not neglect your family and all those kind of things, it’s going to be really hard because the costs that are happening. So it’s going to be an interesting time in terms of, well, who do you partner with, and it’s almost like I feel like a lot of advisors are speed dating at the moment to find out which other advisors they’re going to get with, in a business sense.

So it’s going to be, take your time, don’t be part of the herd and just rush. Take your time, do the due diligence. Some of these changes are... absolutely, we know they’re coming. They’re not right at our doorstep, but really, I suppose, take a project management approach with it, and map things out: Where do you want to be one month from now, two months from now, and don’t make decisions on emotion.

Fraser Jack: 39:14 Yeah. Isn’t that a good one?

Danlelle Cornelissen: 39:16 Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Fraser Jack: 39:18 Now, Danielle, if you could go back in time, and give yourself some tips or advice, knowing what you know now, what would you do?

Danlelle Cornelissen: 39:25 This is a tricky one, Fraser. Okay. I would trust my gut, and I would have made the move to the Philippines a lot earlier. So some of the advice businesses that we work with, I think we could see some of these changes happening and some people put their head in the sand, and I think if I had my time again, it would be really working a lot more with those advisors and going, “Okay. Start to see the bigger picture. Let’s start to work with it now.” And then being adaptive to change as well.

Fraser Jack: 40:12 Very good. Thank you. Now, if somebody wants to continue the conversation with you, how can they get hold of you?

Danlelle Cornelissen: 40:19 So, yeah, the admin support side of things, 5 ELK. So 5elk.com.au. And when they go the website, a little picture of me pops up and a link to my diary. So if someone wants to lock in a time and have a chat about some of the things we’ve discussed, that’s the way to go.

Fraser Jack: 40:38 And you’ve got the Oh My Pod. If somebody wants to check that out?

Danlelle Cornelissen: 40:42 Yeah. So the 21 days to launch a podcast, ohmypod.com.au.

Fraser Jack: 40:50 And the video business that we didn’t really get to talk about?

Danlelle Cornelissen: 40:55 3genies.com.au. I wear lots of hats, Fraser!

Fraser Jack: 41:00 You are, you are. Very good. Thank you, Danielle. I really appreciate your time in coming on and having a chat about all the stuff that you’re working on that I think will be very helpful to a lot of advisors.

Danlelle Cornelissen: 41:11 Excellent. Thanks, Fraser. Appreciate it.

Fraser Jack: 41:14 If you haven’t already, I’d love you to subscribe to the podcast on your podcast platform of choice. And to continue the conversation, head over to our social media channels. We’ll catch you next time.



Disclaimer: This document is a transcription obtained through a third party. There is no claim to accuracy on the content provided in this document, and divergence from the audio file are to be expected. As a transcription, this is not a legal document in itself, and should not be considered binding to advice intelligence, but merely a convenience for reference.