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Being in the right place at the right time


This week we caught up with Luke Spiller, a partner at Melbourne-based Scholten Collins McKissock Wealth Management. Luke is an up-and-coming leader in the financial advice industry, a ‘lifer,’ so to speak, who points to the evolution of investment markets as a key reason why he is as excited as ever to be in the industry.

  • Luke, if you could give our readers a bit of background on your career and journey at SCM?

    I’ve worked at Scholten Collins McKissock (SCM) for more than 12 years. I was welcomed as one of the firm’s first graduates. My career started as a para-planner and then progressed into an associate adviser role. Over the years I further progressed to being a shareholder, senior adviser, and investment committee member. It has been an amazing journey to grow with the business over these years.

    What brought you to advising, and why do you like it?

    Essentially, I just fell into being an adviser and ‘being in the right place at the right time’. However, over the years I have learned more about myself and the reasons why I enjoy it. Every client I meet has a different story and different challenges with which they need assistance. It’s these challenges and genuinely improving their situation that makes me love the work I do.

    What is your specialty or niche?

    My specialty within the business is providing advice to clients and coaching them to assist their financial ambitions. My passion within the firm is continuing to investigate and explore investment opportunities on our clients’ behalf. We feel it’s important to not only explore these opportunities but continue to test our own philosophy and critical thinking for our clients.

    What is your most memorable moment at SCM?

    This is incredibly hard to answer when there are so many great moments to share. However, I cherish seeing my clients grow personally and seeing their issues get solved. As I have a senior role within the business, I enjoy mentoring our current graduates and seeing them progress through the firm.

    Where do you see advice going?

    I see advice being further entrenched into Australian society. We welcome the embracement of the professionalisation of the advice industry as a trusted profession. Despite the compliance burden the industry has, advice is becoming extremely personal and tailored. I hope there is future advancements from a regulatory perspective to have advice reach further into those sectors of the community who cannot afford advice.

    I believe SCM uses model portfolios. Can you tell us a bit about how you construct these models and what they are?

    A portion of our business uses separately managed accounts. We have constructed these portfolios via our investment committee and asset consultant (Evergreen Consulting). We wanted to ensure that our firm’s DNA, investment beliefs, and philosophy created a sound structure, while delivering outcomes that enhance our clients’ experience.

    Does SCM invest in alternatives and private equity?

    Yes, traditionally we have invested in alternative investments and private equity. We continue to explore opportunities for our clients whether it be retail or wholesale. We continue to seek opportunities that either provide an alternative source of return and/or further diversification benefits.

    What is your ESG and Impact investing policy? How do you implement it?

    As a firm we are developing our policy relating to this. While this trend continues to grow within the investment industry, we want to ensure that our policy can continue to grow and adapt to society’s ESG preferences and issues.

    What keeps you in the industry today amid so much disruption?

    The need for advice keeps me in this industry today. There is no shortage of clients seeking advice. There is an abundance of conflicting and confusing information publicly available. Clients seek professional advice and clarity when making decisions.

    What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

    During my downtime I love to focus on my family, friends, sport and being a terrible fisherman.

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