Client Profile: June Leijon & Ian Sunderland
June has kindly written the article below on their family, working life, retirement and their experiences as clients of GFM Wealth Advisory since 1976. We much appreciate June’s contribution to Trade Secrets.
From our first meetings with GFM Wealth Advisory’s founder, Tony Gilham, in the 1970s there were indications that the business would be sure to flourish. Back then, discussions primarily centred around the general household and personal life insurance, but always concluded with a bonus awareness of any well-researched financial trends and pointers Tony considered worthy of sharing. This remains gratifyingly characteristic of the client-oriented team members of GFM to this day.
I was married at 20, while still at Monash University on a government Studentship, completing a B.A. and Dip. Ed. (Modern European Languages and Linguistics), I subsequently became a French, English and History teacher – a challenging vocation for an inexperienced novice in the Victorian High School system.
My first husband, John, was completing a ‘sandwich course’, combining studies in Production and Mechanical Engineering at Swinburne Tech, with sponsored employment in a metal fasteners manufacturing company. Money was limited. On the ‘sniff of an oily rag’, there was little left over after paying the bills to maximise super or invest for future wealth.
Two beautiful children arrived, and I was happy to be a mum and ‘manager of domestic affairs’, while John excelled as an engineer, transitioned into the world of business ownership (including a home reno/second storey insert building company). This culminated in founding and co-partnering a successful Business Management Consultancy – a lucrative industry in which John’s talent and experience continue to be sought after today.
While our personal family life, career opportunities and interests evolved – so did the professional reputation of GFM as an increasingly esteemed financial advisory and superannuation authority. Most notable – and consistent, was the company’s diligent quest to remain abreast of trends.
Regrettably, John and I separated. Subsequently, in second marriages both John and I remain committed clients of GFM – with our respective personal financial portfolios overseen by Paul Nicol and James Malliaros.
Ian Sunderland and I came together in 2002, via the strategic manoeuverings of mutual friends, and have been married for four years. Learning from boyhood to value the importance of building a financial nest-egg for the future, Ian became a committed investor, enabling him to retire in his fifties from an illustrious medical career as a Hospital Administrator and later, as an Investigator on the Victorian Medical Board.
Ian has observed James’ and the GFM team’s sustained endeavours to devise strategies to oversee the growth of my wealth. He has enjoyed attending the relevant and illuminating seminars – especially related to retirement and updates about SMSF trends and requirements and has since entrusted part of his investment portfolio to James’ care.
Resonating with the philosophies of like-minded professionals, Ian feels part of the nurturing GFM family.
In combination, we share the love of four grown children from our previous marriages and now delight in the grand-parenting of three cheeky young cherubs. Extensive travel, a (tragic) passion for the Melbourne Demons, occasional TV extras’ work, theatre and good friends enhance our leisure time.
In recommending GFM Wealth Advisory to others – especially those previously ‘stung’ or cynical about the motives of financial planners, floundering with self-management of their portfolios or wanting ‘guarantees’ of profitable investment yields, we remind them that there is no crystal ball.
However, with GFM Wealth Advisory’s savvy understanding of the need for individuals to take more initiative in managing their super investment strategies which led to them pioneering in SMSFs combined with a unique ethical and personal approach, over a forty-plus year association, we are indeed happy to endorse GFM!