Building the McDonald’s of Financial Advice & Best Work-Life Balance with Carissa Fairbrother [Ep45]

Welcome to episode 45 of The Innovating Advice Show. 

I’m joined by Carissa Fairbrother, who is the first guest from New Zealand.

As such, we chat a little about the country and the advice market in New Zealand before diving in and learning about RIVAL Wealth which Carissa started with her husband Tim in 2008.

They now have 20 employees and won a national award for being the best business in the country for work-life balance. Carissa shares what that looks like, how they’re building the McDonald’s of financial advice in terms of systems and processes; why they’ve decided to continue hiring instead of staying small and highly profitable and

how an external advisory board has helped them grow.


Guest Bio

Carissa has a wealth of financial experience; she began her career in Wellington working with the largest insurance brokerage in New Zealand, Crombie Lockwood as an Insurance Broker in 2001. Carissa then travelled with her husband Tim to Ireland in 2005, where she established the Insurance Services desk for a European recruitment company.

On her return to New Zealand in 2008, Carissa & Tim set up their Financial Advice Business – RIVAL Wealth.  Carissa has been practicing as an impartial financial adviser ever since and is a member of the Institute of Financial Advisers. Carissa is an established and entertaining Key Note Speaker and you’ll frequently see her at numerous events held throughout New Zealand. Along with a busy successful working life, Carissa manages to juggle 3 young children.


00:40 - Introducing Carissa Fairbrother

02:10 - New Zealand

05:40 - How coronavirus impacted New Zealand’s Economy

07:47 - Financial planning in New Zealand

11:15 - Winning the Diversity Award for the best business in the country for work-life balance

16:25 - Having a flexible approach to work

20:33 - Developing the right systems

25:00 - Providing opportunities for others

29:18 - Taking inspiration from different areas

32:35 - Creating the advisory board

36:20 - The fee model

39:00 - What is it like working with your spouse?

42:10 - Advice for business owners