Our team

Our team

We are a group of driven and dedicated professionals who bring our wide expertise and knowledge to you. We’re very proud of our service, and of how it changes the landscape for Australian retirees.

We’re all working hard to make equity release more accessible and more easily understood. So, we’re committed to delivering this service to you with the same respect you have placed in us.

As a solid team, we’re focused positively on seeing our Smooth Retirement service become part of a long-term solution to help Australians live better in their later years.

CEO, Managing Director and Co-Founder

Scott Phillips

Scott’s senior management experience in the retirement income planning and superannuation sector was the catalyst for the creation of the Smooth Retirement concept and has given him the particular knowledge and specialist skills to deliver this financial services industry innovation. Scott’s 30-year career spans the fields of corporate, commercial and retail banking, business financial planning and retirement planning, insurance and superannuation – working in various and senior roles at Westpac, StatePlus (formerly State Super Financial Services (SSFS), Bank SA, NEO Financial Solutions and Commonwealth Bank.

Chair and Director

Jim Currigan

Jim brings more than 50 years’ experience in the financial services sector and particular expertise in insurance, superannuation and retirement planning and retirement income management to the Smooth Retirement team. Jim’s career has included senior management, board and independent chair roles for a wide range of entities including MLC Life, Investment and Financial Planning Pty Ltd, Paragon Securities Pty Ltd and Infocus Wealth Management. He has a demonstrated track record in performance excellence and specialised skills in business development, team building, corporate leadership and establishing and developing start-up businesses.

Non-Executive Director

Simon Lyons

Simon has been involved in the day-to-day management of financial services businesses for over 25 years. Prior to that he served as an Army Officer with the Australian Defence Force. Simon commenced his business career at Porter Western Limited as a stockbroker in 1994 and went on to work in a number of senior roles including at Macquarie Bank as State Manager for Western Australia, Head of Broking (Distribution and Development) in Sydney, and Head of Macquarie Private Wealth – Asia. Since leaving Macquarie in 2008, Simon established and managed wealth management businesses and was the Director WA for the Fixed Income Investment Group (FIIG). Over the last five years Simon has been the Managing Director of BNK Banking Corporation Ltd (ASX:BNK) one of Australia’s fastest growing retail banks. He has served on a number of boards of both listed and unlisted public companies

Chief Communications Officer and Executive Director

Jacqui Schofield

Jacqui is a senior public relations consultant, media specialist and former journalist who brings more than 30 years’ industry experience to the Smooth Retirement team. Her experience working within major Australian and international news organisations, the Department of the WA Premier, Parliament House in both WA and Canberra, the British criminal justice system and for clients such as the Crime and Corruption Commission WA and Australian Electoral Commission has given Jacqui a unique insight into the inner workings of the media, politics and private enterprise and the ability to develop and target effective communications at every level. Jacqui joined Smooth Retirement in August 2018 as Chief Communications Officer and was appointed as Executive Director in December 2019.

Director, Co-Founder and Equity Release Adviser

Bob Budreika

Bob is a reverse mortgage specialist with more than 30 years’ experience in financial services, and one of the most experienced reverse mortgage brokers in Australia. Bob is an expert in retirement income management and most particularly in reverse mortgages and their application as a viable and responsible solution to increasing retirement income. Bob’s superior knowledge of, and firm belief in the use of reverse mortgages as a successful retirement income solution, was a key element in the creation of the Smooth Retirement concept.

Director and Co-Founder

Daniel Budreika

Daniel is an experienced financial planner and Director and Co-Creator of Smooth Retirement. He is also a reverse mortgage specialist and Director and Assistant at Reverse Mortgage Specialists. Based in Adelaide, he is Director and Financial Adviser at Planning for Prosperity, a financial services firm he founded with his father in 2008 – fellow Smooth Retirement Director and Co-Creator Bob Budreika. A skilled communicator with exceptionally high professional standards, Daniel delivers quality strategic financial advice that adds value for clients.

Business Analyst

Brad Campbell

In addition to being Smooth Retirement’s Business Analyst, Brad is an airline pilot with 15 years’ experience across private, charter, flying school, military and airline operations. With a Diploma in Financial Planning, he makes an enormous contribution to the Smooth Retirement team. Brad has been responsible for assessing and developing the organisation’s documents, processes and systems, and their integration into the Smooth Retirement business model. This has included conducting business case study analysis, developing investor presentations, web-enabled client portal design and development, CRM software research and implementation and website design and maintenance.

Advisory Panel Member - Retail Banking, Business Development and Women's Financial Literacy

Julie Hyam Elliott

Julie is an immensely skilled financial services professional, a strong advocate for women’s financial literacy and valuable addition to the Smooth Retirement Advisory Panel. She was one of the first women at National Australia Bank to run a Business Banking Centre and went on to become CEO of Bank of Sydney, which allowed her to champion other women in financial services. Julie is currently working on the Boards of NSW Department of Industry Australian Invoice Finance, P&N Bank, FLOQ Global and NSW Trustee & Guardian. As Chief Executive of Bank of Sydney, Julie led the transformation of the business to deliver outstanding increases in revenue, deposits, the loan book and operating profits.

Advisory Panel Member - Business Strategy, Financial and Business Modelling

Col Werner

Col is a business and financial modelling specialist and key contributor to Smooth Retirement’s intellectual property. He is Managing Director and co-founder of Navitas Business Modelling, a Perth-based consulting practice for local and multinational companies specialising in designing excel based financial and operational models and business strategy. Col is a financial modelling specialist with over 20 years’ experience. He commenced his career as a graduate in a Chartered Accounting firm and has worked in Zambia, Africa and Jersey, UK. He has worked across a range of industries including resources, government, agriculture, marine, sports and banking.

Advisory Panel Member - Marketing, Business Development and Stakeholder Relations

Kate O’Hara

Kate is an experienced Chief Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the retail industry. She is immensely skilled in brand and marketing management, crisis management, digital strategy, negotiation and integrated marketing. Kate has been part of leading WA property group Hawaiian Pty Ltd since 2001 and served in various roles throughout its growth and evolution from a company of just 12 staff to a team of 105. She is currently a Non-Executive Director for the group as well as being an astute businesswoman, networker and mentor to many in Perth marketing circles.

Advisory Panel Member - Corporate Governance, Compliance and Risk Management

Gayle Cilfone

Gayle is Smooth Retirement’s specialist compliance consultant and founder of RMGC Consulting (Risk Management; Governance; Compliance). With more than 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry, Gayle has been instrumental in Smooth Retirement’s successful application for both its Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) and its Australian Credit Licence. Her extensive 16-year career in senior compliance roles, has given Gayle a strong knowledge and understanding of the financial planning sector and a wealth of hands-on experience. She is also a member of The Financial Services and Credit Panel (FSCP) assisting ASIC with matters relating to retail financial services and credit activities.

Advisory Panel Member - Legal, Business Development, Investment

Marcus McCarthy

Marcus is a highly experienced corporate lawyer, LawTech innovator and business leader. He brings a wealth of legal and commercial acumen to Smooth Retirement. Marcus has spent over 20 years practicing in commercial and finance law, including conducting large-scale mergers & acquisitions, property developments, asset sales and initial public offerings (IPOs). Of significance is his keen interest in the future of legal AI and online digital professional service delivery. He founded Nexus Law Group in 2011, a national collective of independent, highly experienced specialist lawyers with top-tier backgrounds, on the belief, there is a better structure for the practice of modern law.

Advisory Panel Member - Financial Services Technology

Regis Gapaillard

Regis is an experienced financial services consultant and strategist with particular expertise in the development of new financial services technology and software. Regis is renowned for his business strategy work particularly within the financial services industry with a focus on driving growth and efficiency through innovation, new product and new business development. He is also leading and advising start-ups in the financial services sector. In addition to Smooth Retirement, he is a member of a number of start-ups in the financial services sector including Mclowd, a Melbourne-based start-up disrupting SMSF administration.

Client Services Officer

Rachel Cubitt

Rachel is a skilled financial services professional with 30 years’ experience across all aspects of banking, including roles in retail and commercial banking and sales and team leadership. Rachel has excellent staff management, safety and compliance and people skills and is successful at motivating teams to achieve their best. Her career achievements include participating in Westpac’s 2014 Developing Future Leaders program as well as being awarded the bank’s Service Excellence, Most Valuable Team Member in 2017 and Local Hero Award in 2016 and 2012. Rachel is also an accredited First Aid Officer.

Support Team Member

Luke Phillips

Luke has been an integral part of the team working on the development, implementation and testing of Smooth Retirement’s new ER2020 platform. The six-month project involved the integration of the company’s proprietary retirement income and funding software with a new CRM and tier-one tech stack. In addition to his technological capabilities, Luke has excellent customer service skills and provides valuable support to the Adelaide-based office in all areas of client services, general company operations and administration. A keen sportsman, Luke is currently playing college basketball at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and in 2018 represented South Australia in the Australian Under 20 National Championships where the team achieved a silver medal.

Client Services Officer

Lienne Laurente

Lienne is an experienced Client Service Representative with a demonstrated history of working in the financial services industry. She is skilled in research, critical thinking, editing, database administration and administration. In addition, she is a strong support professional who graduated from Reynella East High School in Adelaide.

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