Founded in 1989
Guardian began operations in 1989, founded by Mike Gehde after he returned to Australia following 20 years working overseas. His various senior roles in the World Bank provided insight into the operation of other global investment markets. Mike saw a need in Australia for personalised service and individually tailored investment portfolios in the domestic market on an ongoing basis.
Client Adviser Partnership
With a number of former colleagues as initial clients (many of whom are still clients today), Guardian began to offer portfolio management and financial advice to clients. The Guardian view, since inception has been that a partnership between Adviser and Client through active management of client affairs are key to success.
In 2003 Guardian was granted a Managed Discretionary Account (MDA) extension to its financial services licence as part of the Financial Service Reform Act in 2001. This was a formalisation of our ‘ongoing portfolio management’ roots. Discretionary portfolio management was a core organisation skill and a crucial part of controlling the investment process. The choice was made to avoid the custodial/platform route – where outside providers control and limit investment choices in favour of the client owning the investment assets directly. With clients spread far and wide, Guardian is the central hub, providing quarterly updates to each client.
The bespoke needs of Guardian and our clients meant we had to build our own portfolio management software. This software has been progressively upgraded over the years to keep up with the changing investment and administrative reporting requirements. The most recent upgrade incorporates the software provided by a large ASX listed accounting software provider which acts as a backbone to our software. This upgrade increases security and tax reporting.
The practice has grown to employ additional Advisers to service client needs in the same manner as originally envisaged when the firm began. Today we service local, interstate and expat clients with the same personal attention as when the firm began over 30 years ago. The fact that many original clients and their families are still with us today is evidence of the success of the Guardian philosophy.