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Integrating Your Personal Finance Strategy with Your Business


Integrating Your Personal Finance Strategy with Your Business

By , March 8, 2021
Alex Lee

Alex Lee is Co-founder and Managing Partner of financial advice firm Thornton + Lee, acting as an experienced financial advisor. He specialises working with clients who need assistance with their personal finance strategy, mainly those seeking a strategic partner that offers highly personal service built on a meaningful long-term relationship. Originating from an accounting background, Alex describes his career path to financial advisor as accidental. His grad program involved placement in financial services, and this exposure to the financial environment was when the future and planning ahead aspect of his role gained his attention.

Alex also has extensive experience with Employee Share Plans, primarily the tax sector. He sustains that the key to ESOPs is education, making sure his clients are fully aware of all the consequences and options involved. Alex references in regard to ESOPs, knowing the tax consequences is essential to allow appropriate planning and management of cash flow. Once this understanding is clear, he works through options with his clients; may this be holding the ESOP in your own name, transferring to a partner’s name, or to another structure so it is more tax effective in the future. His clients are made aware of the importance of these decisions up front, as a tax structure that you can control and have flexibility with is crucial. Moreover, most employees don’t have necessary financial taxation knowledge to make such decisions without good advice, which is what makes Alex’s role so vital.


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Craig West

Craig West

Executive Chairman | Succession Plus

Craig West is a strategic accountant with over 20 years of experience advising business owners. His background as a CPA in public practice has provided invaluable experience in the key issues of concern to business owners.

In March 2014, Craig was appointed Executive Chairman of the SME Association of Australia, Australia’s largest small business organisation representing over 300,000 business owners.

In October 2014, he was awarded the Exit Planner of the Year at the Exit Planning Institute Annual Conference in Texas, USA, due to his innovative development of an exit planning process to help business owners maximise business value and achieve a successful exit.

Craig’s proprietary structure - a Peak Performance Trust - has won the Australia-wide award for the Employee Share Ownership Plan of the year twice in four years.

In November 2018, Craig launched SME Experts in partnership with Mark Bouris’ Mentored on Podcast One and quickly grew the monthly podcast audience to over 26,500 downloads; in October 2019, he released a new podcast focused on medium-sized businesses - Mid-Market Matters.

In July 2021, Craig joined the NSW Committee for STEP (Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners) – focusing on advising families across generations.

Craig has also launched a SaaS platform, Capitaliz (which captures the 21-step process), to assist other advisers internationally deliver advisory services at scale.

In November 2021, Craig was appointed Executive Chairman of NSW Leaders, a business mentoring group for leading NSW businesses.

In July 2022, Craig West received the award of Doctor of Business Administration for his research thesis titled “Examination of the key factors driving business exit options in Australian Small and Medium Enterprises.”

Craig is passionate about encouraging business owners to think strategically, maximise the value of their business and achieve a successful exit.