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It is fair to say that both professionally and personally, I have had many proud days during my 13 years at Rising Tide, and last Friday sits right at the pointy end of that list. Rising Tide welcomed two of our leaders, Sam Jewell and Tom de Fegely into the fold as equity holders and this is something that the organisation and I are incredibly proud of.
Sam and Tom have been with Rising Tide for seven and six years respectively and during that time, both have become advisers that I trust to help me and our clients look after our financial worlds.
I will start with Sam, only because he began with Rising Tide first. I can’t thank Sam enough for the support and effort he has put in over the past seven years. Fair to say he started with a baptism of fire including 6am starts and long days out on the road with me, but he never uttered a word in frustration. He turned up and did the work – and nothing has changed! There are two things that make Sam so effective – consistency and coachability. He is eager to improve and takes on feedback better than anyone I know. The past 12 months have been Sam’s most significant leap, taking on the responsibility of becoming Rising Tide’s number one financial planner and training our staff. Sam has also become a great sounding board for me as our business has tackled some massive changes post royal commission.
Tom joined our team as an administrator back in 2014. He’s grown year on year, continually developing his ability to juggle multiple clients whilst navigating the ever-changing banking environment. He has also helped build our lending division from its infancy, providing fantastic support to Sam Gawenda along the way. Tom is a great family man and always puts our client first. His tenacity is first-rate and I can safely say that he never leaves a stone unturned to find the right outcome for clients. Taking the mantle from Sam Gawenda as the leading mortgage broker at Rising Tide seemed to happen overnight, but only because Tom was able to consistently step-up.
The addition of Tom and Sam into the official Rising Tide leadership team benefits all stakeholders – especially our clients. It provides greater certainty of the direction the business is headed, and also ensures that their knowledge and values can continue to be instilled into our team as it grows. For me, it is a massive pat on the back to know that two genuine stars of our industry see the direction Rising Tide is headed, and want to put their money where their mouth is.
I take solace in knowing that this was not a fast process. Together, we worked through the items one by one, and learnt a lot along the way. I would like to take the time to thank my fellow directors Sam Gawenda and Braden Johnston, who have played an enormous part in getting here, not to mention the fantastic support from our independent chair Peter Worn who was there to help smooth out the bumps along the road.
Congratulations Sam and Tom, you thoroughly deserve it.