January 27, 2022

#279 Dan Blatch – Transcript

Share :

LinkedIn
Twitter

Andrew Rocks
Look, today strap yourselves in. It’s Andrew rocks here. And I’ve got the privilege of talking to one of the industry’s larrikin czar Dan Blatche. And I’m known for many things, but most recently and quite professionally, winner of the IFA risk advisor of the Year award. In fact, I was there and that Edie speech, he said that this year, they paid a record number of claims, which is a constant reminder, that perspective is everything. And that life is not a dress rehearsal. He went on to say you don’t know what’s around the corner. So please, go home and hug your loved ones tonight. Now, at the function, you probably fast track that I think you have about 20 people as he is leaving the stage. So he’s a guy full of passion. Dan Blanche, welcome to the X Y podcast.

Dan Blatch
G’Day Rocksy, thanks so much for having made absolute pleasure to be here.

Andrew Rocks
And what I thought I’d kick off with this is a bit of a story of how you’ve how you’ve come to be. You know, we’ve had quite a few people in the past who have gone down the psychology route, and they’ve come in to financial planning makes a lot of sense. But just tell me about sort of what you did, what you studied, and what brought you into where you are now. Just just a bit of that background of how you found your way into financial planning.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, thanks, Rocksy. It’s a great reminder, isn’t it really that, you know, a life by design rather than default is sometimes tricky, and you’ve sort of got to let it run and take you where you want to go away. It’s just a good time and give me the cricket season. It’s just finished. I was never good enough. As a cricket. Rookie. I was really never good enough. Let’s say.

Andrew Rocks
You could play for England.

Dan Blatch
I want to get started. Maybe 11 within England, but the reality was, I just wasn’t good enough. But I loved cricket. And I used to sit around with my old man watching cricket. And for ages you’d see in the dressing shed, there’d be this constant reminder of a guy like always, they’re always in the sheds, and pets for non cricket fans. That guy was Errol Alcott, who for a long period with the Australian cricket teams physiotherapists almost two decades if memory serves me correct. I thought okay, so you can be in around that energy and you can have your passion and love the cricket but not necessarily be on the field. And I said to dad, what does that guy do? He said, he’s a physiotherapist. Awesome physiotherapist. Just watch the Australian cricket team go around the world. This is amazing. I want to be Australian or to be a member and eating or I did do some work experience as a physio and the physios at that point in time. I mean, God private hospital, actually, Newcastle did it did a pretty good job on ensuring that I realized not all videos or sports videos, but I wanted to pursue it nonetheless, but didn’t get the marks Roxy. At the time, I’m not quite sure where it is. Now you needed some really high marketing quite get there. So a colleague of mine suggested you do occupational therapy, do really well in year one, and then transfer over to physiotherapy, which is what I did. But I realized then in year one at university life was bigger than school, only to an all boys school high. And they were girls around Roxy, and there was beer everywhere. And attendance was optional. And needless to say, I didn’t get the marks to go over physiotherapy. So I finished my ot degree. Did some great time at St. George Hospital, but pretty swiftly realized. Most physios and OTs do great work, but it’s usually in a hospital setting. It’s not with sports teams. So my dream of becoming a unit around the Australian cricket team fairly quickly. But what I did learn was that primary health care wasn’t me. I’ve got huge admiration for allied health professionals, but it just wasn’t me. Someone suggested I go and work within CTP and workers comp, and that was my first ever full time paid job QB where they’re running claims, working with various stakeholders into an eel workers and members of the community who suffered from motor vehicle accidents and trying to rehabilitate them and working with doctors and alliances and so I’ve got my firsthand sort of experience of working inside a large insurer and also understanding what people in pain and people who’ve gone through a traumatic event are dealing with. So that was a really, really informative sort of part of my career.

Andrew Rocks
How long how long did you do that for? Yeah, I think the side of the fence

Dan Blatch
you As a QA for a couple of years, and then if I’m honest, Roxy became a little bit jaded with the restrictive at the time workers WorkCover legislation someone said, Well, if you want to be more creative with your rehab, using your OP skills, why don’t you consider working in claims management of income protection and the other boy in shorts Roxy, I didn’t know what income protection was. And Germans were going at this large French multi national court AXA

Andrew Rocks
insurance, just a date yourself down. What year was that?

Dan Blatch
Oh, this is going back to 2000 2001. Yeah, so I just turned 40. So that was a while ago, but, but I really, really enjoyed my time at AXA. I learned all about all forms of life insurance lines, I understood what it meant to manage IP claims from short claims to longtail claims, the role that Allied Health and Rehab programs have within it. I learned about manufacturing product at the time Steve Kerry and a few other mentors of mine and I we build packs to elevate to understood the distribution channel back then have life insurance products, to work with underwriters, and understood the pain points that exist when actuaries are also pricing products. So it was a wonderful training ground for me.

Andrew Rocks
And, um, when you’re working in AXA, were a lot of the other team members from a medical background or from an actuarial background or sort of were you? Were you a different kind of an addition to the team?

Dan Blatch
That’s right. Yeah, in the claims team at the time, I think there are a couple of other OTs and one other physio, and we would work closely with the Chief Medical Officer, but yeah, allied health professionals within that environment were more the exception than the rule. And it was just wonderful being part of such a big, big ship. You know, at the time, I was working under Adrian Emery, some sort of real champions of the time, and his Oh, and some various mentors of mine, Jack Herrick, from Sun Life, and I just realized how the world of light insurance exists across different jurisdictions, different markets are more advanced and mature than others. And I started helping advisors position protection to clients. And that was using my sort of allied health background, I knew the difference between, you know, XYZ definition of a heart attack troponin levels, I remember presenting to a group of advisors one day talking about the benefits of pathological Q wag movements in a definition versus for bone and discharges. And I actually knew firsthand having worked at the Central Hospital Emergency discharge program, what it cost to amend a house when someone had had a stroke, what it cost when someone was involved in a motor vehicle accident, the exact cost of that home modification or what it meant to their life moving forward gave me a wonderful insight into being able to process

Andrew Rocks
and can I ask you, actually knowing the details of what, what the cost is to get the perfect outcome? How did it make you feel sometimes when you you dealt with people that just didn’t have the financial resources to kind of achieve what what you wanted them to achieve? How did that make you feel?

Dan Blatch
Well, at the time, I didn’t know anything about it. That’s the thing, Roxy, I’d come from an environment in the hospital where I didn’t realize you could protect yourself for these sorts of circumstances. I had absolutely no ID. So only when I began to embark on a career in advice sitting on the client side of the table and specializing in this area, did I realize the benefit of transposing excuse me transporting that risk to someone else. But when I was in it, I just didn’t realize you have to rely on various commonwealth and government subsidies.

Andrew Rocks
So you’re sitting there, you’re teaching financial planners, sort of the nuances, the medical nuances of the products that they’re they’re selling, I suppose it’s the old No, your product rule. You know, people are rolling in, they’re grabbing their croissant, they’re having their coffee, they’re barely barely asleep, and you’re, you’re entertaining them. What made you jump the fence?

Dan Blatch
Oh it’s a great, great question, because I think I’m hardwired to build assets. And I think in my heart of hearts, Rocksy, that’s why Primary Health Care wasn’t for me, I have a deep passion and empathy for people who’ve found hard times. But I just don’t think I’m very good at being that person on the front line. And from a very early age, I was interested in building assets and I was commercially minded. I’ve got a bit of a buddy yeah, yeah, my first ever job was selling ice creams at the Sydney Cricket Ground where that all made a mark. And I just became drawn to that role because you were remunerated directly with your output. And so whilst I recognized early on in my career, you’ve got to earn your stripes and there is a role to earning a salary. What often stuck in the back of my mind was I was limited or I had no control of my earnings, or someone else had greater control over my earnings and my rent and myself so became quite passionate about building assets. And in fact, in my 20s, I was, frankly too bullish proxy, I had a number of failed businesses. One was a toy business that I desperately tried to make work, we drove a large bus clinic. And we’ll be back around to childcare centers showing products and had a few other failed businesses in my 20s, I was just so ambitious to build assets that crossing a bridge to deliver advice directly to Australians just seemed inevitable for me. But I was very fortunate, Roxy to have the mentorship of Phil young, a former AFA, the advisor winner and all that specialist southern AFR aims to provide me with lots of garau mentorship and training along the way. And then I found my current partners today, all the way back in 2000.

Andrew Rocks
It’s interesting that you mentioned mentorship, having been in the industry some time yourself is a lot of a lot of people in x y are one on one on both ends of the spectrum, they’re either, you know, looking to give back and maybe give some of that great mentorship that they received, or the young people absorbing that because history does repeat. And you know, regardless of the changes in legislation and whatnot, the clients are still the clients. And what you’re sort of articulating is that, that health doesn’t sit around and wait for royal commissions, you know, people continually get and getting more diabetes, apparently, that’s got to do a fair bit with the guy at the SCG selling ice creams, but, you know, time will tell who’s comfortable for that. And, and, you know, there’s there’s a lot of other factors. So, um, you mentioned a couple of mentors, there. Was there any forums back 2025 years ago that you that really worked for you and maybe that are transferable to this day and age

Dan Blatch
really was I’m a bit of on for more or more belly to belly pets and others, Roxy, I really live and breathe the human exchange for sitting across the table from someone. You know, pressing the flesh is really part of my DNA. So albeit slow, organic, and not exactly scalable, I still find to this day, some of the more valuable meetings are getting around mentors and peers around the table, being vulnerable and sharing as much as possible. And I still stand by that today that we know this is a relationship game. It’s sort of anchored in everything we do. And I just think the more of those mentors, you can foster, even if it is more labor intensive, be prepared to have 1000 coffees was saying my old mentor gave me in my 20s. And I just tried to take one thing out of every one of those coffees.

Andrew Rocks
So as far as well, looking back to, to when you jump the fence, I’d be really interested to hear about the very first time you sat down and advise someone from the financial advice side, rather than the health side and how it made you feel. And I suppose you’re not you can remember that, you know, and unpacking that meeting, but maybe you can, can you remember that? The granular of that or just give me an idea of of that. And what year was that then?

Dan Blatch
Yeah, that was back in 20 1011. And that would have been in my capacity as an advisor at frm a wonderful training ground and excellent specialist business. And we’ll touch on this validation in a second Roxy, but you know, Phil young Nick carefully, Mark Hoskins then was he rob bitonal, you know, these guys are absolute ganzes of the risk world. Just learning off a series of people different styles. And what’s a little daunting, of course, it was you know, you need to transfer your skills to another area, but frankly, it was all sort of inside me just needs to be tailored to the client language and ensuring that you’re catching it right for clients. A daunting of course, absolutely.

Andrew Rocks
And I think, you know, I go back to my recollection. And when I was doing life insurance, I was really playing catch up football on medical terms. You know, that wasn’t something that that I was to me my foundation learning. But I think back in if if someone started yourself or or someone’s medical background had actually been talking to me about life insurance, just the level of reassurance that I would have had, did you find that that you had a better level of positioning with people? That’s the first question and then did you ever do investments where you’re almost a fish out of water? So it was kind of like a double edged sword? I’m, I’m potentially all systems through this is quite this bit. Maybe I might have the imposter syndrome or they might be take me through that date.

Dan Blatch
Here. 100% Yeah, I found myself perhaps oversharing to clients on various aspects, you know, not another mentor by Chris Angwin. used to always talk about the miracle carpet being trauma and I do love that phrase. And I still do use that phrase today. And how when we were designing trauma back in the day, certainly when we built Elevate, it really is a product that targets three key segments as you know those conditions that have younger lives, almost always born out of motor vehicle accidents, so severe burns, quadriplegic, paraplegic, etc, etc. Major hip traumas, of course those conditions that are more targeted to older lives, dementia, Alzheimer’s, blindness, deafness, etc. And of course those conditions we all know only two were Roxy bitches don’t discriminate cancer, multiple sclerosis so just pain in this plane unfortunately everyday just diagnosis for MS for women in Australia is 31. And most people don’t know this. So if anything Rocky, I feel myself a little bit too much out of it. To avoid that you’ve got to make three disturbing reinsure when it comes to protection or I guess what about early mistakes was just too much disturbing.

Andrew Rocks
I’ve read sales books in my time and it’s a bunch of techniques for closing the clients our inverted commas bit bit sort of, you know, recanting into a pool of crying for half an hour must have been a really interesting one, it would have been quite the journey a lot of your clients would have had, and they’ve been handed a tissue, as you’ve been said, Would you like to come on board is just something maybe that, you know, we don’t have enough time in today’s session, but something you might want to play out as far as a check, you could set a ticket to the guy.

Dan Blatch
The funniest thing was all my mates would say I’m I’m an overly optimistic glass half full energetic, sort of kind of chat by I consider myself the luckiest man on the planet. Yes, here I am delving into a rather serious, you know, sort of dire sort of discussion. But what I learned pretty quickly to your point on, did you also do well, yes, it’s sort of in my early days, I dabbled in it, we pretty pretty swiftly realized it wasn’t something I was passionate about, nor did I have the experience and skills to really, really believe that I was a guru in this space. And it was so the timing was incredible Roxy because two of my old, long standing friends and mentors knocked on my door. Another business I sort of had a bit of fun in my 20s was, I was trying to completely change the face of fan engagement of sport in Australia and, you know, ran a pretty fun sort of fan engagement group and won a Guinness World Record and ultimately installed the solution to the National Rugby League. But I learned so many great lessons out of that. And I was sitting in New South Wales Rugby League club where my partners and I had a tiny office, it was more like a sort of clothes closet. And I got a knock on the door. And it was Angus doctoral and Scott Douglas, some old mates of mine, my two current partners. And they firstly laughed at my setup, because we’re upstairs in the New South Wales club, with no windows or doors, but then second said, Hey, gang with this sort of engagement piece. And as much as I love my time in sports fan engagement, I pretty quickly realized they weren’t a lot of money in it. And it was more sort of a passion and fun and, and their timing was impeccable, because those two are sort of leading rock specialists. And they basically said, we’ve been struggling with protection, we need a guru, like yourself, will do entertain the idea of beginning some dialogue and thinking in a partnership to to help improve client outcomes.

Andrew Rocks
So this is with with im f g. You came on board, what two to 11. And they’ve been going for years beforehand. Is that right? Yeah.

Dan Blatch
So another great story because both Scott and Angus left AIPAC under some wonderful mentorship for clitheroe and Abby learned some sort of wonderful, wonderful skills and an excellent training ground but again, pretty swiftly realized that it’s tough on your own. Small businesses tough are always amino amongst giants, the might sports fan engagement days, you know, negotiating with the NRL around an arrangement to sell 18,000 tickets within an event that you’re not the promoter of is a is a slight challenge when it’s just a couple of days. So I guess what I’ve learned is that

Andrew Rocks
there’s a lot of people in trench coats out the front asking someone that would be interested in good seats. So you did you have a Cockney accent? Because that’s, that’s a lot of that on that front. And maybe we’ll come back to that because I’m I’m not sure how many guests in XYZ history have got a Guinness World Record, but I’ll let you keep going with with you with how you evolved your current business and we’ll probably retouch on that because it’s a cracker a campfire story. So over to you. Yeah,

Dan Blatch
that takes me thankfully. But the reality was I just, you know, look, it’s really daunting. Making the steps to self employment. It really, really is tough and tricky. Most business is fragile, Roxy, even beat business. We’ve got countless examples of that but alone small business. And part of the thing I loved about my time with black T shirts, we had a hell of a lot of fun along the way. And I stand by your opening of the fact that life isn’t a dress rehearsal. You know, you might not be here tomorrow. I see it every day of the week. So you’ve got to have fun along the way. And so when Angus and Scott knocked on my door, having tried to sort of go on their own, and now running successful businesses at the time, but realized that we would be stronger together. And that coming together gave us an opportunity to stick to our knitting and stay in our lane. In areas where frankly, we were more comfortable and better suited, was a real eye opener. But to do that, of course, you’ve got to find the right guys. And culture is everything in shared values is everything. And so it’s not easy to find them. I agree with that. But certainly going along in a business journey with people, in my experience, not only is more enjoyable, typically can deliver better outcomes.

Andrew Rocks
Yeah, and my my business coach and my current partner, Dave Carney, 15 years ago, he sort of said that this industry, financial planning is going to evolve into hyper specialization, as far as how it works. And I suppose years ago, was that hard to get a client that you really were paranoid about letting them go because everyone, you know, to, to make a medical term, everyone was a general practitioner, okay. And not that there’s anything wrong with that. But what’s happened in the evolution of, of financial advice is that we are moving more towards there, I said, the medical one where, yes, you might be a fantastic general practitioner, and you might be great at counseling the person but when you need those specialists, when you need the, the risk specialist or you know, the the Estate Planning Specialist, we’re a lot more comfortable now, in actually sharing our clients for their overall Betterment than we ever were. And, you know, most people had that in a in a sort of referral arrangement or just a professional arrangement. But from what I’ve read about your firm, that’s something that’s that’s very entrenched in house and that, that you guys have your swim lanes, and maybe give me a feel for how the client experiences where you know, do you carry on into your leave? Or or what’s what’s what does the client feel about having these series of specialists from your perspectives?

Dan Blatch
Yeah, it’s a great, great, great point boxing. I guess I’ll go back a step there. Just to say I hear loud and clear with that, I think, perhaps, older styles of financial planning, as you’ve touched on, this is really a supply issue, isn’t it? So in the past, you got a client and you wouldn’t dare for peps, refer them out or not try and extract if you will, or provide more opportunities or advice to them, even if perhaps you felt it might not have been in your lane, I think you’ve got to give the good and you’ve got to go small to get big. And I think having a nice, huge look at the American model, having your niche if they say I’m sure your listeners to your American podcast would support this, sometimes you’ve just got understand that passing up an opportunity is actually better for you. And it actually is a win win win for everyone, it’s a win for a client, it’s a win for you, you get to do more of what you do better off, frankly, you can have deeper engagements with the relative people around you. And then you’re not distracted by various events throughout the way. I mean, I’m going on record to say that one of anguses and Scott’s favorite things is that they no longer have to do risk, or all the wealth specialists in our business, they don’t have to touch it anymore. So I can really focus on my claims process, which is a big part of our offer, I can focus on having deep relationships with Chief underwriters. I mean, you don’t get direct lines to Chief underwriters, if you’re sort of dabbling in lots of things. And I believe I get better claims outcomes for clients who get better underwriting outcomes for clients, because I live and breathe this discipline. And I would suggest to others that if it’s something that you’ve got a passion for, really explore it, because I think it will come across to your clients. And don’t worry about not being able to extract or the perceived value that you might get out of a client or return it in spades. And everyone wins because you do more of what you love.

Andrew Rocks
And I’m, I suppose, look, it’d be wonderful to be able to speak to Chief underwriters, when you when you’re very, very across the medical lingo. Maybe as just just to impart some knowledge on that claims process. And a lot of people, you know, we’ve done a lot of sort of material out there and how to get clients how to curate that. But at the other end, you know, at the at the real gritty end of being a life insurance advisor and looking after people’s families, what are some of the, you know, what are your top sort of two or three things that that you do at claim time that you’d be willing to share that that makes a big difference to both from the internship and the client side? And And also, what are just the common things you see, because you would pick up clients from other other people over the years or self insured people? What do you just the common mistakes, so maybe have a crack at those today?

Dan Blatch
Yeah, thanks. Thanks for the person. So just going back to your point on CX is that I’m SGA. We kind of get to relate to Should manager, it might not necessarily be the risk advisor, it might not necessarily be our Aged Care Specialist, but they’ve got a touch point, usually for someone that’s introduced the client into the business that stays throughout, so that they know they’ve got a team of people working around them. That actually is a great advantage for advisors knowing that it’s not just them, that there is support for them when practical things like they go on leave or the real. And then it has a specialist come and dial in and out should be required. This allows us to offer more intergenerational advice. It allows us to give the clients comfort to say we actually aren’t great in this space, I’m going to roll in macro, I’m going to roll in as it is a guru in this space, I think that fills people with confidence, because again, it identifies the fact that you are vulnerable in certain advice series. And I think it’s okay to say that. And so that person is always across every patient comes in detail for the client, which we think is important. And that extends into my claims process to Roxy, I think that’s the most important thing to a lot of people involved in the process. The first thing is, if I think it’s a clear cut process, I actually have either an aged care specialist if it’s suitable or a wealth specialist we’ve made in that initial meeting, because it could be that there are tax ramifications and wealth ramifications to any potential client. I think that’s an important point along with one of my associates to be there.

Andrew Rocks
So just to clarify, this is at claim not at time of…

Dan Blatch
At claim. Because I think it’s important that the claimant and their family understand that we’re not just coming at this from getting a successful claim process perspective, we’re coming at this from this has been a large event in your life, typically. And I’ll go into the way we approach short term claims shortly the Roxy, secondly, you might need a team of people around you to make decisions around how it is that you’re going to potentially invest this money, how you’re going to employ this money, what structure it’s going to go to, you’re going to take advantage of the financial planning benefit that still exists in so many plans.

Andrew Rocks
And there’s also you know, there’s a risk that if you get the tax advice wrong, and you’re advised or we’ll advise you take a lump sum, and before you know it, you’ve you’ve completely decimated the intention of insurance 100% 100%.

Dan Blatch
And there are occasions where at that point in time, I’ll also bring the clients with through long to talk through that. But first things is by go and meet with the claims assessor and the manager. Right to find that critical. Some people might find that holding on

Andrew Rocks
to that. I mean, it says it’s it sounds good. But you know, I think we’ve got 1000s of people listening to this. Listen, you will probably get I got a lot of scared claims assessors wondering how they’re going to hire security guards and barricade the doors. I mean, I’ve got a long relationship, but how do you how do you position yourself in a in a calm, illogical way so that you can have those meetings with those clients. So it’s 100%.

Dan Blatch
Of course meetings are meetings e 21, and 22. And beyond this, you know Rafi, I’m not necessarily meaning a face to face meeting. But certainly an opportunity to build a relationship by a facial recognition with the clients assessor subject to the claims managers support and in my experience with the insurance I work with the claims managers have very supportive advisors who are part of the process and want to get to know the assessor and the process from here I just in the same way as you would embark on a relationship building exercise with a new client, we should treat every claim the same. The second thing is are there ways we can expedite this for all and as part of a project back in AXA Roxy that talked about long, medium and short, medium and long term claims. And a lot of claims can be paid within the first six months period Swifty it’s safe for admin costs, amongst many other costs that the insurer has to be

Andrew Rocks
just in talking about lump sum, we’re talking about sort of tension or really

Dan Blatch
talking, as you know, trauma is quite binary by and large, quite binary so it’s less a pets negotiation, if you will, or it’s radically cat wasn’t partial. That was it for but talking more on an IP side of things, which is where I was previously not a claims assessor. And I know if there is a way that we’ve got an advisor and a claimant on board who is open to coming to the table around negotiation of what this could look like and save all parties across the table. It works extremely well. I have a lot of success with death. It might be that we forego what could have frankly been one month of partial payments or two months of a T day payments. But if we can simply get that done it might be a 30 day wait and save everyone the trouble we move on the planet can move on. They see value in the protection the claims department saves costs. So I’d really encourage people to get this roll their sleeves up and get their hands dirty with claims departments go to a Lucca GET TO KNOW claims professional I know we continue to focus on the underwriters because ultimately that gets our clients business Across the door, claiming when you will really get ROI for all the work you’ve been doing. And yeah, so maybe I’ve got an advantage having been in times myself in the past, but But I’d encourage people to invest heavily there.

Andrew Rocks
Absolutely. And you see, you know, in my experience, we have many clients claim it and some of those clients claimed on one advice and insurance recommendations that were indeed done in the past, but other ones, were claiming on products, why they bought directly through a group policy or previously done. And we, we had markedly different experiences. Do you get many of the ladder to where where you’re doing clients for, for advice that was done not by yourself?

Dan Blatch
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. And I treat it exactly the same way, I treat it exactly the same way. That’s where you can earn some huge respect from the client. That’s where that one to five existing client referral ratio will kick off. For every one claim I manage, I see it as a huge opportunity to help the client and ultimately to be an advocate for myself and my business, irrespective as to whether I was the advisor that initially provided the advice or not. Yeah, whether it’s retail industry group,

Andrew Rocks
and then you don’t have to answer this if you don’t, don’t feel like it. But you know, there’s been a, there’s always been very incidences aware where lawyers have offered their services at a at a fee, quite often, that’s either extremely excessive, or very excessive for what they’re doing. Whenever you do see any part of the claims process being where we’re lawyers should get involved. Is there, or do you say that there should be alignments? You know, and, you know, I’m just after your thoughts on that particular subset of what goes on in the loosely defined financial services?

Dan Blatch
Yeah, it’s an interesting subject matter, we could go on for a long time on this. Certainly, you know, their entire business model sort of built around this, we probably won’t go into that. from various parts of the legal fraternity. I’m married to a lawyer and all of my in laws are lawyers. Rocky tie, I know enough to be dangerous in that world. But but the reality is, there are I do believe there are circumstances where early legal advice in the process does serve you, your client, and the insurer will and I’m specifically talking about TPD, where there can be some ambiguity. And I know my sister in law is an excellent lawyer in one area. And something she said to me many many moons ago is employment law is a ridiculously complex area that not even lawyers to stabling, there are a lot of lawyers that are very specialized in this space. And I think that because to get cite one example there, Rocky is one area where if indeed, there is some ambiguity around what’s transpired, particularly with mental health, in the workplace, I think that’s an excellent place to take to get a trusted professional in the corner of you and the client.

Andrew Rocks
That is cracking advice. Some a lot of people in the run their own small to medium sized business and financial advice. They’ve engaged as listeners, and many of them have engaged employment. So this is the best quarter for DESA assisting employment contracts, or potentially disputes. What you’re saying is way, when you’re actually in the room talking to an employment lawyer, maybe you should have a coffee afterwards off the clock and say, Well, you know, if circumstances arise, you know, would you be interested in working with me to assist the client, particularly in, you know, total and permanent disability? Sort of definitional sort of? process?

Dan Blatch
Yeah, and the one thing I’ll say there is, you know, we know a large part of the fact that disability lines are bleeding, there’s I presented a lot of levers that are contributing to that, but a big part of it is, you know, Rocksy, you know, and your listeners would appreciate his mental health. And I do a lot of work with one insurer around loading for mental health rather than excluding to mental health, and a lot of my clients are in that legal fraternity. And as you know, it’s a sensitive subject matter. It’s increasingly being discussed. And I think rightfully so particularly amongst the Men’s Health cohort, which is something I’m passionate about. And state of mind was a project that we ran, in my time in batches blues around getting men to talk more openly about their mental health to a huge area of interest for me. And I think the more we can do to encourage underwriters to be more creative with the terms they offer, and then ultimately for claims assessors to be more creative, potentially with claims payments around mental health. And putting putting an individual’s health front and foremost is just critical. So I think mental health in the workplace and where that could potentially be going with TPD is an area we can work closely with sources on.

Andrew Rocks
I think you’ve just you know, you’ve you’ve absolutely impressed me in that area of specialization. I mean, just having the courage to use the word creative, when you’re going through a financial planning process is actually really, really sort of invigorating. And you’re right. I mean, everyone wants to have a solution. And you know, sometimes you need to, to come to the table and work through things for the betterment of all parties, most, most importantly, your clients. And just, it’s

Dan Blatch
just so rough before just push on Sorry, just quickly, one final thing I’ll say during the workplace is I run seminars, within workplaces, and we all know how increasingly difficult it is to place retail business at the moment, we understand certainly those that have been around for a while, understand how hard underwriting is becoming certain facets, particularly in this COVID climate. One area that I’m incredibly passionate about, and frankly, becoming quite successful in the moment not encouraged all your listeners to really give it a crack is, you know, get get to know key decision makers of businesses, because group policies seem to be these forgotten yet long lost cousin. You know, when I first started out, a great mentor of mine, and frm spoke to me about the role of group cover. And I just still think a huge obligation of employers in this country is going to move Rocksy on an evolution from, you know, crude balls in the canteen massages, you know, over over sort of, frankly, capitalized in the party’s fitness bodies and not saying go go and have a good time. But I think the future of employers and their obligation to their teens is going to be around not only financial advice, which we can all contribute to various mediums. But understanding that we’re remunerating our team for their work, but we’re also protecting that remuneration and giving that competence to their clients. I think GFC is a huge growth opportunity in this country. And again, being a specialist in that area, just gives me the opportunities to talk more deeply with the group insurance to talk more deeply with hate the HR Institute around how we can encourage employers to consider that board and then working with area around that. But just encourage your listeners really don’t forget about group your might not have got a policy on the books yet, you might feel like you’re a bit at sea if you’re recommending it. But if it is something that you want to consider, I encourage you to go and speak to key decision makers of businesses because they their staff will love them, it’s a huge win to benefit for employers and for employees.

Andrew Rocks
And look on that topic. And I feel I feel like that the the engagement with group policies really has has not been a part of financial planning wins for probably 1015 years. And in reality, it probably got phased out at the same time as as corporate super did, where people would do a corporate super that engage, you know, they do a seminar in the workplace, talk about things. But, you know, as that unraveled, for reasons, the good and bad, you know, I feel like group policies were just sort of thrown thrown during the same sort of Dustin, as far as a business model. So very interesting. And I imagine that was probably a whole other sort of informative session that we could put myself on group policies, which would be really well received. I just wanted to, you know, change gears a bit. And you mentioned about mental health. And you mentioned about what you’ve done there in mental health and, and truth be known. All the insurers in the Australian market are trying their best things and variously they’re putting out great initiatives and great information and great data, but it’s and I suppose, what’s your thoughts? Maybe take me through that the state of mind project that you did do and maybe even rewind back because you know, if I’m, if I’m Googling your name, financial planning is not the first thing that comes up. Dan Black, aka Blatchie, so maybe take me through that the roller coaster of how you got to become synonymous and the name of sort of sports fan, at least in the in the rugby league states and, and how you then leverage that to doing something more purposeful. So maybe take take us back to it up again.

Dan Blatch
Yeah, thanks, Rocksy. And it is a good segue too, because I think that’s got some big identity. It’s got some collegiate and community components to it. And, you know, I was just having a whole bunch of fun, frankly mate, back on my 18th birthday. I just wanted to find a way to get together with all the lads without any distractions. And so, you know, bought bought, bought 25 tickets. I saved up all my ice cream money. Bought 25 tickets from Ticketek. I remember it well and would send Mary’s Cathedral in town and at lunchtime you’re allowed to duck out ran across the Hyde Park and so what can we do to stand out Rocksy if you can recall this has been In 1999, announced tonight,

Andrew Rocks
so just to clarify, but the Catholic Church was also masquerading as a Ticketek. So what you’re saying is, they’ve diversified revenue streams over the years.

Dan Blatch
No, the cathedral wasn’t selling tickets to the origin at the front, I can assure you better, you know, I just thought, how can we do this? And how can we stand out and he was just before the Olympics, because this is 1999. If you can recall, those wings that they had out there and stayed in Australia, as they called it at the time, that capacity was 119,000. I thought, Gosh, I think it is still in the MCG game to this day, one of the records but but how can I stand out? Not at all, you know, there’s, there’s there’s galleys, I know what I’ll do, I’ll running the galleys, you know, the original department store, and I bought 13. Navy, Terry cowling hats and 12, light blue Terrytown yet for the 25 of us and insisted the lads, you know, sort of set one by one. And, of course, you know how these things pan out, Roxy, we’re in the nosebleed section, there was sideways rain, we were getting wet. And yeah, I don’t think we had any sort of TV coverage. Fast forward to do it better the next year, and I’ve got 50 guys. And that’s where the blue wave was born, I went to party people down at sound Susie on the centroids boy and bought 50 Blue wigs and we went and went and grew and grew and grew from there. And I actually at our peak, I think we had about 8000 people in there taking sort of the whole baby and down the south. But I learned so many wonderful lessons from there, I think coming back to the community minded mental piece, mental health piece there with that, you know, I say my bio on our site that we really are social creatures, and ultimately, we, we just want to be a part of something, all of this. And something that’s still a bit of a frustration from mine is the seemingly sport and its desire to plaster up though, you know, white Anglo Saxon 17 to 25 year old bunch of guys inebriated sort of screaming down the camera, which ultimately affects the noise. But as I grew along and had a little bit longer, I realized, actually, it’s about that person who doesn’t have any friends, or who doesn’t have anyone that wants to come together and belong and be a part of something. And it was quite an egalitarian model in that it didn’t have to do anything, we didn’t sing songs, you just throw away going. And you know, you could be around a bunch of like minded people,

Andrew Rocks
dad, it was, it was more than that I’ve been a State of Origin dealings where people are watching the TV wearing your, your blue weeks. And, as you say, men historically relatively poor at sort of sharing and growing, I also thought of a sporting sort of club there, you know, getting together and sharing stories and whatnot is not not normal, but that I saw that, that that was a large part of what you were doing. And I think the game was just really a small component to the overall effect of it. So that was my, that’s my take an outsider looking

Dan Blatch
in. Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, often we make things too complex, and they get a gala. terian approach should be all encompassing, and I think all supportive of people from different walks of life, not just men, but I think typically men in Australia have done a not such a good job in opening up around that. So the state of mind was with a campaign that we watch your state of mind using the State of Origin sort of pan there and, and be open to talking to other people about it. It’s okay to talk about things if you’re not doing well. And, and I think we’re increasingly doing that. But ironically, tying back to our sort of work conversation is, interestingly, that’s having an effect on clients, isn’t it? So, you know, who would have thought that through 10 or so years ago could have potentially seen this large wave of, particularly man, but lots of Australians talking about how they’re feeling around depression, anxiety, stress, and some of the pressures that exist so I hope COVID is a bit of a wake up call for all of us around this. And I think some of the work I’m doing with underwriters around and this is why you going back to your word creativity can we be creative with our underwriting? Can we offer limited terms with a loading can we offer, not it’s not a blanket mental health exclusion, it only covers things it or only covers bipolar, not to be sort of, blanketed with all of these exclusions and, and completely not allowed, it’s a different conversation to have to exclude rather than to load

Andrew Rocks
in just the confidence in your knowledge, in saying that is something that’s that’s not not universal, it’s not universal for advisors, who might be doing life insurance as part of their own realistic offering, and where it might just be new advisors. So you know, it’s we’d all love to be have your brain and have done, you know, an OT degree and worked in hospitals, but we haven’t and, you know, getting back to that whole specialization and You know what, apart from attempting to raise four kids under the age of six or seven now, which would have been a lot of data delight, and long suffering wife, what are you up to these days? And wait, where is your business at today? And and where do you say that the future for yourself?

Dan Blatch
Yeah, that’s a great question. I actually had a quiet champagne with my wife a few years, and we just reflected on the year that was and it was probably the biggest year of our lives, really, our business got our Australian Financial Services license, we put on three new advisors, we bedded up to say I won the award, I had my fourth child under the age of seven. Unfortunately, my sister got breast cancer. I mean, we’ve all got these stories. So it was a monumental year for me. So the 32nd version of what I’m looking to do this year is just to have a slightly less busy year and continue to cherish my beautiful family, which I’m so fortunate to have and hug them as much as possible. But what we’ve learned in our businesses is that if you’re passionate like me about building assets, typically all financial planning has been you know, dentists dinner above the butcher shop, battle with the leasing agent around, you know, negotiating a new loose leaf my buddy up with the accountant or the mortgage broker, you’re banging your head on the printer because the Dell printer guys, you know, sold you a melon or didn’t tell you about the color printing charges and taking the rubbish out as well. You’re also the general oh, by the way, you need to do marketing, and everyone’s going to do socials and all. You need some support and goes on and on and on. And particularly in our game, I’ve always said if you don’t like change, get out of financial planning, the only constant in this world is change. But it seems to be on steroids, with financial planning, get busy living or get busy dying. And what I’ve learned is it’s just really hard. On your own, it’s really hard on your own, but there’s typically been a gap, you’ve either got to be that devastated or have to put yourself in the bird, or you’re part of sort of some behemoth, you know, conglomerate, where’s the gap,

Andrew Rocks
I’m not sure that it’s safe harbor is defined as the vibe, but I’ll let you keep referencing dance.

Dan Blatch
I love that scene. I love that say when Eric Danner and his wife comes back, and they’re only doing and they’re talking about the plane story, I gave you movies, movies, in our free. I think it just got voted Australia’s best ever move anyway. And the thing that’s there sort of has been a gap. So we’ve recognized that we build this model, which really we think is win win win. And I’m not just saying that I do believe it’s a very generous model, having seen it compared to many others, whereby advisors who might have been going out on their own, maybe they’re considering self employment, or they had been sort of employed for a walk and can operate under our business sit on the client side of the table, knowing that they’ve got the confidence and sustainability that are operating under an owner AFSL hold up. So they’re always going to be sitting on the client side of the table, not the shareholder side of the table, as part of the reason why we left AIPAC an a&p. And also recognize that you can retain 100% ownership in your existing business, you can take advantage of a collegial environment with a group of professionals who all want to grow together, centralized admin functions. And then we grow together in a arrangement whereby new new businesses capturing series of models, I won’t go into that now. But what it allows people to do, Roxy’s had that asset that they’ve worked so hard to build or want to build, but not have to struggle with all that stuff that we do. The great picture of Angus Scott and I drinking in the case of BB throwdown, because it was all you getting our hands on, when we got our first lease goldfields house all those years ago. And we literally moved furniture furniture from anguses dad’s business in alone offshore and Scott hide the track. And you know, from our first hire, which was the shared admin support, support, God bless your life, you we still love you, man. All the way up to our team and 17. Now, what we’ve learned is it’s just tough and really hard yakka on your own, and I say life’s not a dress rehearsal, you can have fun along the way. And for a lot of people building that asset comes with some trade offs. And one of those trade offs is, you’re on your own. You know, it’s really hard to sort of do on your own. So

Andrew Rocks
it’s one of the one of the biggest sort of crazies is that the types of people who get into financial planning are quite often people who, you know, back when our at school and potentially an undergraduate union, whatnot, they were, you know, very, very talkative, very communicative, you know, very interested in people very interesting to people. And then, you know, we put them into a box that they didn’t sign up for, especially if they’re in small businesses. And from what I’ve seen businesses have, you know, a couple of early capacity hurdles, one’s around that 10 employees, it’s hard to get to 10 you muck around there for ages. And the next ones that that kind of 30. And with that in mind that the decisions that you have to make on the operations of the business at 10 and 30 different, you guys are halfway between. How do you feel that you’re going and is pushing through and getting that larger scale business? Which, which hopefully will translate to your quality delivery, your objective for? Or are you looking to consolidate what you’ve got now?

Dan Blatch
No, we’re definitely looking for like minded professionals that are committed to advice and have a runway. But frankly, just might be a bit tired of doing it all on their own, you know, they’re sick and tired of being the marketer, the janitor, the compliance guru, and et cetera, et cetera, appreciate that there are different models and horses for courses Rocksino. Some people love the idea of being part of a boutique lifestyle, but there’s certainly benefits. And I think that’s pronounced in today’s climate of scale. And so we’re happy with where we’re going. We’re always building capacity, Roxy, but you know, they always say in business, you’re never going as well as you’re thinking going, and you’re never going to scrap as you think you’re going. And I sort of feel that going along the way, having fun along the way. And building teams, people underestimate how challenging it is to build teams, as you rightly point out, and you know that only two well that building award winning teams, great places to work. I mean, you know that intimately. Well, it takes time. curating a team of like minded people shared values is difficult. And there’s certainly a capacity point when you’re running your own show around that first hire, how it eats into your eating to your profit. And I think the key theme here is that old world financial planning, Roxy might have been a farm. Dealer, group, EO are these sorts of things and new world is your listeners will certainly a test is professionalism, people process, sustainable profit and whether or not you’re embarking on what I believe is my definition of a business, which is a commercial, profitable enterprise that works without you or not, whether or not you’re sort of destined to be that profit services, employment, that’s fine. But I certainly think there’s benefit in partnering up with people to go on that journey, wellness, huge benefits in terms of business valuation shifting from AOR values into EBIT, as we all know, but you’ve got to be with like minded people to do that, because you see time and time again, culture and values going off and going astray and not quite working out. And as you know, it’s difficult to unscramble eggs, he couldn’t take the time to get to know like, and trust people. And once you’ve done that, in business, the rewards are there. So So you really encourage any of your listeners that want to have a coffee and engage in that conversation, we’d love to chat with them.

Andrew Rocks
And then on that note, we’re about to do okay, which would state or

Dan Blatch
wearing Sydney, Sydney CBD and also we’ve got an advisor in Melbourne and about to appoint another advisor in Melbourne. So I’m at the 11th hour talking to an advisor in Brisbane as well. So Cliff about bricks, bricks and mortar and where you are, it’s more about values, what your moral compass, how it’s aligned, and your commitment to advice.

Andrew Rocks
And don’t look at that as a real real sort of treat today. It’s, you know, when you peel back the onion layers, as, as I said, you know, from the outset, you’re very joyous and your background indicates you know, the fun and excitement but there is there is a real sort of Steely disposition to the passion of serving people in come claim time. And in because you don’t sell insurance for the fact of selling it, you sell it for the possibility and probability of actually doing the climb. And I think that’s Don’t Don’t ever lose that passion, Dan. I’m sure that you’re that you’re a hoot to work with. And I’d like to thank you for your time today we didn’t actually get around to the Guinness World Record but maybe you could give us the on the outclass of what your Guinness world record is. And then I’ll probably come at the end and say that’s irrelevant to what you’re delivering for us.

Dan Blatch
You know, there are some there are some synergies there, believe it or not, it’s a real I was flicking around with one of my partners, you know, there’s big Guinness World Record books in massive this sort of doorstops you know, and I was flicking around for it before it was online and having a look and believe it or not, there was a category couldn’t believe it was destiny, Roxy, there was a category which had already been achieved. most number of people wearing weaves in a stadium, can you believe it was like it was held by a billionaire. I think he’s a billionaire who owns the Los Angeles Angels. He owns a number of sporting sort of CAP businesses and clubs around the

Andrew Rocks
world. We now refer to him as first loser. Yeah, well,

Dan Blatch
so funny. I’m having a lovely battle with him over the years, you know, and he held it for eight and a half 1000 People in LA Angeles. Dana. We can do this. We can Definitely do this on the numbers we had. And I, you know, I started to begin out of things, Roxy, I had to engage an army of volunteers to count no more than 100 seats. But during the first five minutes of the game, you had to sort of have it verified. It was quite a project and again,

Andrew Rocks
did you have Donald Trump’s paypal account? Crowds are an independent sort of abita

Dan Blatch
one to miss a few. Yeah, exactly. We’ve actually got it down and the phone number was 12,800. I think it is and got the award presented on the ground and that was just so much fun. And this is the best bit of the yarn talking about vulnerability you been putting into place. Nine months later, rocky word gets out that this Los Angeles guidelines is Dillion plus, has found out he lost this award. These marketing things that was happening here, you know, anyway, the next time literally the next home game, he gives everyone a read week, everyone all 36,000 la angels fans that came in got a read only for nine months. But talk about being a one man band against the billionaire and attracting nice attention.

Andrew Rocks
I had read if had nine months of the peak there and sort of 25 solid years in finance planning. I’d like to thank you for for your time down it was it was always going to be done. If people are reaching out to you or anything you said there will be plenty of links and they can always reach out to the good team at x y advisor. But with that in mind, thanks for sharing your story and your passion and I look forward to seeing you soon. Cheers.

Dan Blatch
Thanks, Rocksy. Amazing. Thanks. I really appreciate the opportunity. Cheers mate.

Listen to the podcast on the links below or on your favourite platform

General disclaimer for this podcast and all XY Education podcasts
https://www.xyadviser.com/disclaimer/

DISCLAIMER: The XY Adviser website and all content contained on the website is limited to general information. It does not constitute legal, financial or other professional advice. XY Adviser does not hold an AFS licence and does not provide any financial services. Nothing on this website should be interpreted as financial advice. Before making any investment decision, XY Adviser recommends obtaining financial advice from a qualified financial adviser.