Australian Unity launches new trustee business, appoints GM

Australian Unity has announced it appointed a new general manager to head up its newly-launched trustee business, which forms part of its financial advice division and comes in response to increasing demand for estate planning and trustee services.

The business, known as Australian Unity Trustees, was launched to fill a gap in the estate planning and administration advice space, which is underserving middle-income Australians, said Rohan Mead, Australian Unity group managing director.

“Historically, these kinds of services have only been available to the wealthy, with most trustee companies focusing on high-net-worth families,” Mr Mead said.

“However, Australian Unity has recently launched Australian Unity Trustees, a trustee company that will offer these services to all Australians.”

Emma Sakellaris has been appointed general manager of Australian Unity Trustees.

She will be responsible for developing the business and building a team of specialists to provide services in estate planning; executor appointments and estate administration; financial attorney; financial and legal administration; and the establishment and management of personal, native title, community and charitable trusts for all Australians.

Ms Sakellaris joined Australian Unity in 2016 and has over a decade’s experience in the financial services industry. She previously held a number of senior positions within the industry, including Equity Trustees Limited and ANZ Trustees.

At the same time, Anna Hacker has been named national manager, estate planning. Ms Hacker started her career as a solicitor with Moores Legal Ltd before transitioning into a number of senior leadership roles within the trustee industry, including at Equity Trustees.

Steve Davis, chief executive officer of Australian Unity Personal Financial Services (PFS), said the new business will assist clients’ to meet their long-term and changing needs.

“In the past, the focus of the financial advice community has been on the years immediately before and after retirement, ensuring clients have maximised their superannuation opportunities,” he said.

“The addition of estate planning and trustee services will make it easier for our advisers and accountants to fully address a complex area that has often been placed in the 'too hard' basket by our industry.”

He added, “One of the other key differences in our service offering is that we are structured to work in partnership with other professional service providers such as financial advisers, accountants and lawyers. This partnership approach also helps deliver a great outcome for clients and their families who can continue to work with the professional they already trust.

“True to our values and structure as a mutual organisation, we believe we can make a significant difference to the lives of ‘middle income Australia’ and not just high-net-wealth individuals.”

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