Within the financial services industry, people look to Aaron to learn more about self-managed super and the growth of the sector. Highly admired amongst his peers, Aaron’s insights into technical issues and the SMSF industry sees him regularly sort out to participate in Government reviews, including the Super System Review and more recently the ‘Reinventing the ATO’ program. Aaron is the CEO and Co-founder of Smarter SMSF, a business that provides training, documents and support for accountants and financial planners to equip them to be at the top of their game. He is also the author of the Future of SMSF report which provides insights into how practitioners are helping to shape a smarter SMSF future. Aaron is a CPA and SMSF Specialist Advisor, having worked within the SMSF sector for more than 20 years. When he's not busy with his work, Aaron is a sports nut, in particular AFL football (Essendon) and athletics, where he was previously a nationally ranked high jumper having set a personal best jump of 2.14m.
Bryan Ashenden leads the BT Tech Services team at BT – a group of professionals committed to supporting the adviser community with technical, regulatory, and policy support.
Bryan has many years’ experience in leading and delivery comprehensive technical solutions to advisers and their clients, the last 21 spent with BT and Asgard. Prior to that, he spent six years with KPMG in their taxation consulting division.
Bryan has qualifications in Law, Commerce and Financial Planning, is a SMSF Association Specialist Adviser and director on the SMSF Association Board. Bryan is a frequent presenter and facilitator at many industry events, lectures in financial planning subjects and regularly contributes to trade and consumer publications.
As a partner in Cooper Grace Ward’s commercial team, Clinton advises his clients on an extensive range of commercial and corporate matters, business mergers, acquisitions and sales, tax and structuring issues, self-managed superannuation, asset protection and succession, restructuring and exit strategies.
Clinton’s unique range of expertise enables him to assist his clients with both their personal and business legal issues and to advise through all phases of the business/investment lifecycle - from start up, growth, expansion, transition and exit.
Clinton has been selected by his peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in Australia in the practice areas of Superannuation Law and Wealth Management / Succession Planning Practice and is an accredited specialist superannuation adviser with the SMSF Association and member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.
Craig is the Executive Manager of Colonial First State’s highly regarded technical services team, FirstTech, and has over 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry.
In his role Craig is responsible for leading a team that provides specialist technical support to financial advisers and to Colonial First State’s superannuation and platform businesses. He also acts as a media spokesman for Colonial First State on superannuation and retirement planning issues and represents Colonial First State on a number of industry association committees.
Craig is a sought after presenter at industry conferences and professional development events and is actively involved in providing ongoing specialist adviser education.
Craig holds a Bachelor of Science, is completing his Masters of Taxation and is an SMSF Association Specialist Adviser.
Lyn Formica is the Head of SMSF Technical & Education Services with Heffron, a company committed to raising standards within the SMSF industry. Lyn specialises in providing technical advice on superannuation matters to the accounting, legal and financial planning industries. She regularly prepares papers and presentations for the many accounting firms and professional bodies around Australia. With over 25 years’ experience in superannuation and the administration of self managed funds, Lyn is also an accredited SMSF Specialist Advisor of the SMSF Association.
Mark is the Head of Partnerships and Business Development at Digital Surge. Since starting with the Brisbane-based cryptocurrency exchange in January 2022, Mark has worked with key partners to build an industry-leading Corporate Affiliate Program. Mark plays a key role in strategic management and growth for Digital Surge and is dedicated to making a purposeful impact in the industry.
Matt has 20+ years of experience in the accounting software industry and is a qualified CPA, and an SMSF Association Accredited Specialist. He is actively involved in software, SMSF's Investments, blockchains, tradefi, defi, and other developing forms of fintech. Matt's recently joined Crypto Tax Calculator, working with the team to make blockchains and tax more manageable for accountants and their clients.
Matt Manning is a member of the BT Technical team. He has 21 years of experience in the financial services industry including the last 18 years in a technical services role, and the last 11 years with BT Financial Group. His qualifications include an undergrad degree in Commerce majoring in economics, and a postgraduate Master of Taxation. Matt specialises in keeping up to date with the latest rules to develop advice strategies.
Meg Heffron has been working exclusively in SMSFs since 1998. She is one of the few actuaries to work in all areas of SMSF practice. Her passion is turning technical knowledge about SMSFs into practical solutions that accountants and advisers can use to help their clients and grow their businesses. She is a sought-after speaker at events for industry professionals and their clients, a regular contributor to the Australian Financial Review, The Australian and SMSF trade publications and a trusted source in the development and implementation of superannuation policy via government and regulators.
Neil Sparks is currently the National Manager SMSF Strategy at BT Financial Group.
Neil is a regular speaker on the topic of superannuation with over 20 years’ experience researching, writing and presenting to financial advisers and trustees on the technical aspects and unique strategies available to SMSFs.
Neil is acknowledged as an authority on self-managed superannuation funds and a Fellow SMSF Specialist Adviser with the SMSF Association and popular member of the SMSF community.
Scott is a partner in Brisbane law firm Cooper Grace Ward and a director of the SMSF Association.
He and his team specialise in assisting clients and their other advisers including accountants and financial planners with tax and superannuation (particularly SMSFs) advice; estate planning, administration and disputes; family businesses, business structuring; business succession arrangements; asset protection and restructuring. Scott has a particular interest in how these areas intersect with self-managed superannuation funds and the impact of and on these structures.
He is a director of the SMSF Association and a SMSF Specialist Advisor™ with the SMSF Association, a Chartered Tax Adviser, a member of the Society of Trust and Estate practitioners. Scott chairs the Cooper Grace Ward Diversity Committee and its ARCUS sub-group, and is the leader of the firm’s Private Client Commercial group.
Scott been selected by his peers for inclusion in the 14th Edition of Best Lawyers in Australia in the practice areas of: Superannuation Law, Trusts and Estates, Wealth Management / Succession Planning Practice and Commercial Law. He was named the 2016 Brisbane Wealth Management/Succession Planning practice ‘Lawyer of the Year’ and the Superannuation ‘Lawyer of the Year’ for 2019 and 2022.
Scott has been listed in Doyle’s Guide for Queensland Estate Planning lawyers as a pre-eminent practitioner, and was a finalist in the Australasian Law Awards for ‘Commercial Partner of the Year’ for 2020. He has a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a Bachelor of Business (Accy) from the Queensland University of Technology. Scott also has also completed the Certificate of Superannuation Management and the Diploma of Superannuation Management run through ASFA and Macquarie University, and the Foundation Diploma of Financial Planning.
Shail completed a law/science degree at the University of Melbourne in 1996 and commenced his legal career in 1997 at a top-tier Australian Law Firm Blake Dawson Waldron (now Ashursts). Since that time, Shail has worked both in-house, and as legal counsel for various regulators including Worksafe Victoria and the Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria. Shail completed his Masters in Law at the University of Melbourne in 2005, and in 2008 he left the law to train and work as a financial planner, completing his Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning in 2009 at Kaplan, before joining AFCA’s predecessor scheme, FOS, as a case manager in 2010. Shail was appointed as an Ombudsman at the commencement of AFCA in 2018, and then the Senior Ombudsman (Investments and Advice) in 2021. He is currently the Acting Lead Ombudsman, Investments & Advice and is a member of AFCA’s senior leadership team. Shail has now worked in dispute resolution for over a decade and is a specialist in Investments and Advice complaints. This includes financial planning, derivatives, managed funds, timeshare, cryptocurrency and stockbroking disputes.
Shane Brunette founded CryptoTaxCalculator back in 2018 after dealing with his own crypto tax nightmare. He has worked closely with accountants and tax lawyers to make it easy for fellow cryptocurrency users to be tax compliant.
Shelley Banton has been Head of Education at ASF Audits since 2020, after joining the company in 2017 as Executive General Manager, Technical Services.
She is an accredited SMSF Association Specialist Auditor and Advisor with extensive experience in superannuation, audit, finance and IT.
Shelley is a committee member of the ATO SMSF Auditor’s professional stakeholders’ group; an inaugural member of the SMSF Association’s Technical Expert Panel and a regular presenter at peak industry SMSF conferences.
Tim Miller is the Education Manager at SuperGuardian and is one of Australia’s leading SMSF educators and presenters with over 25 years’ experience in the Superannuation industry. His experience has been gained through providing legislative and compliance support to thousands of Trustees, Accountants and Financial Planners since joining the SMSF sector. In addition to servicing the needs of SMSF clients, his practical and personable approach to compliance has made him a sought after presenter, regularly presenting at SMSF conferences and events. Tim contributes to various trade and general publications and has authored subjects for SMSF courses run via both the University of Adelaide and Kaplan. He is an SMSF Association Specialist Adviser.