James Mitchell

James Mitchell

Editor of Wealth and Wellness

James Mitchell is an experienced financial services journalist with almost a decade of experience covering Australian business. He began his career as a cadet reporter with the Daily Telegraph in 2010 before joining Sterling Publishing (Momentum Media) in 2011 covering mortgages on awardwinning magazine The Adviser. 

After a brief stint at the Financial Times and Mergermarket in 2012, James returned to Momentum Media in 2013 as a senior reporter on Investor Daily, SMSF Adviser and ifa. 

In 2014 he launched Mortgage Business and served as editor. In 2015 he became editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business and a year later was named managing editor of Mortgages and Real Estate at Momentum Media.

In 2017 he launched Wellness Daily after experiencing a need for positive, life-affirming content to inspire a healthier lifestyle among Australian corporates.

In September 2018, James returned to the wealth desk as Editor of Wealth and Wellness, overseeing Investor Daily, ifa, Risk Adviser, Fintech Business and Wellness Daily. 

James is a well-respected leader in Australian financial services journalism and has developed close relationships with C-suite executives and key decision makers across the banking industry.

Kim Payne

Kim Payne

Managing Director 9Rok Consulting

Kim has a self-confessed addiction to all things VALUE – in particular how it helps people get rewarded for owning, operating and growing a financial advice business.

As a business consultant, speaker and trainer, Kim has spent decades helping financial advisers, mortgage brokers, risk specialists, stockbrokers, accountants and lawyers have a profound impact on improving the lives of their clients.

Having spent almost 20 years in the corporate world, been a financial adviser herself and running two of her own businesses, she understands the frustrations that can hold businesses back… and she knows how to fix them.

Whether she’s touring around the speaking circuit, commenting in the media, delivering group workshops or coaching her awesome clients, she gets a huge kick out of seeing what a difference it makes to the bottom line when someone is able to clearly explain the value of their advice so clients understand.

Steve Prendeville

Steve Prendeville

Forte Asset Solutions

Steve has 30 plus years’ experience in the financial services industry. As Managing Director of Forte Asset Solutions and Forte Dealer Solutions Steve has unique insight into the financial planning industry, business valuations and industry best practice.

Steve has facilitated the most financial services sales in Australia via Forte Asset Solutions and Forte Dealer Solutions assists practices to identify and transition to the most appropriate licensee to suit their individual needs.

Steve is the founder of Forte Growth Solutions and was previously the founder of Kenyon Prendeville a partner of Deloitte and the CEO and Director of Deloitte Financial Services. Steve was the Victorian State manager of First State Fund managers. Steve is a member of International Association of Consultants, Valuators and Analysts.

Stewart Bell

Stewart Bell

Founder, Audere Coaching & Consulting

Stewart Bell is a Business Coach and Founder of Audere Coaching & Consulting, a specialist coaching firm who working exclusively with advisers through his Leveraged Advice Firm programs.

In addition to working with firms all around Australia and now overseas, he's also the author of Finnovation: The Complete Advisers Guide to Innovating Your Advice Model and works with institutions and Licensees on next generation advisory business models.

Michael Groom

Michael Groom

Keynote speaker

Michael Groom grew up in the wild Australian mountains, in a family of mountain climbers. During his very first abseil, at the tender age of 10, his dad talked him over the edge of a 100 metre cliff. Somehow, he got to the bottom, but had experienced a life threatening fear that he would carry with him for the rest of his life. The fear that Michael will tell you has saved him many times, when others have died. In the Himalayas, fear and respect are comfortable bedfellows. The big mountains demand your respect, and respect your fear.

In 1987, descending from the summit of Kangchenjunga, his first of the world's five tallest peaks, he suffered crippling frostbite and later had the front of both feet amputated. He was advised to get a desk job, and that his climbing days were definitely over. He succumbed to the incessant pain and sought refuge in painkillers. He became addicted. For two years Michael withdrew from the world and became yet another 'victim' of the wrath of the big mountains, never feeling further from his dream - to climb Mt Everest. But Michael is not a quitter, and after enough time feeling sorry for himself and believing others about his condition, he decided that he would fulfil that dream. Slowly, ever so slowly, he trained himself to walk again. Then to run. A year later he was cycling and ready to start climbing again. First, small rock cliffs in his hometown of Brisbane, Australia, then back to where he belonged, in the big Himalayan mountains.

He climbed Cho Oyu in 1990. In autumn 1991, an avalanche swept him 900 metres down the Lhotse face of Everest and once again, miraculously, he survived. In 1993, Michael returned to the Himalayas in peak fitness and climbed Everest, then in 1994, K2. In 1995, the unknown Brisbane plumber climbed Lhotse, becoming the fourth person in the world to climb the world's four highest mountains. More men had walked on the moon!

In 1996 Michael was one of the few famous big mountain climbers to survive yet another Mt Everest 'disaster'. Of the six climbers from his team who reached the summit, only he and American Jon Krakauer, author of Into Thin Air, survived. On the descent, in cruel and violent conditions, he stumbled across another American, Beck Weathers, who was now totally blind. Placing his own life in extreme danger, Michael tethered Beck to his harness and guided and lowered him down some of the most dangerous sections of the mountain. The storm killed half the team. Beck survived, but with crippling injuries to his hands and face. Michael returned home, shattered and disillusioned. It would be three years before the big mountains lured him back, and he at last summited the last of the big five, Makalu, in 1999 at age 40.

Michael is one of Australia's most sought after keynote speakers. He has spoken to soldiers going off to war, athletes struggling to come back from serious injury, professional people keen to get a little closer to the truth of "no pain, no gain", and ordinary folk who just love to sit and listen to one of Australia's most amazing human endeavour stories. Michael Groom’s autobiography Sheer Will is an incredible read; his personal presentation, accompanied with impossibly beautiful visuals, is to see the earth the way it was meant to be seen, in its purest and rawest form.