Paul Kearney | Founder & CEO
B Commerce (Melb), CPA, CFP®, AFA
Paul Kearney is the founder and CEO of the award-winning Kearney Group, which has been providing holistic financial services since 1986.
Paul holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne, and is a Certified Financial Planner, Certified Practicing Accountant and a member of the Association of Financial Advisers.
Under his leadership, Kearney Group has been widely recognised for its commitment to professional excellence, client service and innovation. Most notable are the firm’s national accolades, which include being named the Association of Financial Advisers’ 2015 Australian Practice of the Year and BT Financial’s National Practice of the Year in 2014 and 2011.
Paul was named Adviser of the Year in 2010 and the Financial Planning Association’s Best Practice Awards runner-up in 2013.
Paul currently sits on Securitor Financial Group’s National Advisory Committee and is a founding member of the Chief Executives Forum.
Andrew Mackenzie | Senior Manager (Fin Planning) & Partner
B Economics (La Trobe), CFP®
Andrew Mackenzie is a client-centric Senior Financial Adviser who joined the Kearney Group in August 2010, and became equity partner in the firm in early 2015.
Andrew is a Certified Financial Planner® and holds a Bachelor of Economics from La Trobe University and an Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning. His industry experience dates back to 2004.
Andrew is the Kearney Group's portfolio and investments specialist. His economic knowledge and attention to world markets make him a valuable contributor to both the Direct Equity Investment Committee and the Group’s Managed Fund Portfolio Review Process.
Andrew's interests include mountain biking, camping and snowboarding. He volunteers for the SES, and Mt Buller’s Mansfield Ski Lodge where he has been Director and Treasurer since 2009.
James Lewis | Bus. Systems Development Manager & Partner
MA (Carleton, Canada)
In November 2012, James Lewis joined the Kearney Group as the firm’s Business Systems Development Manager. He became an equity partner of the firm in December 2015.
In this role, James leads the design of the firm's proprietary business systems and the development of data-driven insights which are used to improve efficiency, overturn long-held assumptions, simplify process and foster high performing teams. He is the developer behind the firm’s MyKearney Online client portal and the Kearney Group's internal Employee Reporting System.
He is a natural strategic-thinker, with a curious mind, and an uncanny ability to see problems from all angles. These traits, coupled with his understanding of business metrics, landed him the opportunity to drive the firm's Integrated Business Planning process.
In his spare time, James plays with the Melbourne Blackhawks Ice Hockey Club, and both coaches and plays with Malvern Baseball Club.
Jen Purnell | Bus. & People Development Manager & Partner
Jen Purnell joined the Kearney Group in August 2014 after working closely with the firm for 16 years, as the State Manager of Securitor Financial Group. Jen operates as the firm's Business & People Development Manager, and became an equity partner in February 2016.
Jen is a passionate people-leader with an interest in nurturing lasting relationships and developing high-performing teams. She is also a skilled business coach with a knack for strategy and she enjoys helping businesses unlock their full potential. Jen’s responsibilities with the Kearney Group are two fold – she extends her support and guidance to both the Kearney Group team and to the firm’s many business clients.
Jen is a self-confessed “foodie” with a passion for travel and photography. Her greatest honour is being a mother, and having the privilege to shape a future for her young daughter.
Lachlan Ezard | Manager (Accounting) & Partner
B Commerce - Accounting, Financial Planning & Finance (Deakin), CPA
Lachlan Ezard joined Kearney Group as a graduate in November 2009 and quickly progressed into the role of Manager. He became an equity partner in the firm in May 2016.
Lachlan holds a Bachelor of Commerce, with specialisation in Accounting, Financial Planning and Finance. He is a Certified Practising Accountant and was named a Young Achiever Award finalist by CPA Australia in 2011.
Lachlan's solid technical abilities and his natural way with people, make him one of the firm’s key Business Advisory professionals. He particularly enjoys working with Small Business Enterprises on strategy, budgeting, cash flow management and tax planning matters.
Lachlan is interested in development and mentorship, both professionally in his role as team leader, and outside the office as well. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, water skiing and is Captain of NOBSPC Football Club.
Nga Vu | Senior Financial Adviser & Partner
B Business - Financial Planning (RMIT), CFP®
Nga Vu accepted appointment as a Senior Financial Adviser with Kearney Group in January 2011 and became an equity partner in February 2017.
To her role as an adviser, Nga brings Certified Financial Planner qualifications, a Bachelor of Business degree from RMIT and experience in the financial services profession since 2003.
Nga is a dedicated team player, with a passion for relationship-driven advice. She is a key contributor to the Kearney Group’s Managed Fund Portfolio Review Process and the firm’s Direct Equity Investment Committee. She is also currently completing the Accredited Estate Planning Strategist (AESP) designation and is a member of the Financial Planning Association of Australia.
In her spare time, Nga enjoys basketball, indoor soccer, cooking and reading.
Brett Sydney-Smith | Senior Financial Adviser
B Business (Edith Cowan University), CFP®
In July 2014, Brett Sydney-Smith joined the Kearney Group's financial planning team, bringing with him a Bachelor of Business, Certified Financial Planner accreditation, and industry experience dating back to 2005.
Brett is a relationship-focused and ethics-driven adviser. He enjoys working with aspirational people and helping others to set goals, clarify their options and make great financial decisions.
He's an organised and systematic thinker, with a passion for process improvement. Brett is also the Kearney Group's Implementation and Compliance Specialist.
In his spare time, Brett loves spending time with his daughter and travelling to Perth to see family and friends. He wishes he could spend more time on the golf course and less in the garden.
Duncan Logie | Financial Adviser
B Commerce (UTAS), CFP®
Duncan joined the Kearney Group's financial planning team in August 2015, bringing with him 7 years of experience as a financial adviser and industry experience dating back to 2003.
Duncan is a Certified Financial Planner and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Tasmania.
Duncan loves the strong relationships that are developed while working with his clients to achieve their goals. Duncan is a technically strong adviser and is responsible for coordinating the training programs for the financial planning division.
In his spare time Duncan loves spending time with his daughter, playing golf and watching his beloved Bombers.
Stephen Colwell | Financial Adviser
B Commerce - Accounting & Finance (Monash), CFP®
Stephen Colwell joined Kearney Group's financial planning team in April 2012. With a background in accounting, he has a sound understanding of the way businesses can positively impact households and was attracted to the Kearney Group’s holistic approach to financial advice.
Stephen is a Certified Financial Planner, holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting & Finance) from Monash University and is a 2017 Level III Candidate in the CFA Program.
Stephen has a passion for world investment markets and continues to develop his real-world portfolio management skills. He has quickly become an integral part of Kearney Group's investment committee.
Out of the office, Stephen loves spending time with family and friends at his home away from home, Waratah Bay, and is looking forward to one day beating his cousins at the Bay’s annual fun run.
Reuben Foster | Relationship Manager (Lending)
Dip FS (Lending), MFAA
Reuben Foster joined Kearney Group in May 2016 to assist in growing the firm's lending division as a Relationship Manager.
Reuben has a Diploma in Financial Services, is an accredited Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia Broker and has a wealth of experience in banking and lending dating back to 2005. Over the years, he has developed deep understanding of, and relationships with, lenders. He is experienced in home, commercial, SMSF and equipment lending.
For Reuben, the client is central to the work he does. He enjoys working closely with them and his fellow Kearney Group advisers to provide a comprehensive, collaborative and enjoyable lending experience, which sets clients up to achieve their financial goals.
Outside of the office, Reuben ascribes to the "healthy body, healthy mind" mentality. He can be found in the gym or riding his bike around Melbourne’s Capital Trail and likes to challenge himself to always be learning and growing.
Brenton Lockhart | Senior Manager (Accounting)
B Business & Commerce (Monash), CA
Brenton Lockhart joined the Kearney Group in April 2015, and leads the firm’s Accounting, Tax & Business Advisory division.
Brenton is a client-focused adviser with natural strategic skills and a passion for helping aspirational businesses develop. He enjoys providing advisory services to SMEs and guiding businesses through complex planning, forecasting, restructure and strategic growth initiatives.
Brenton is a Chartered Accountant, holds a Bachelor of Business & Commerce from Monash University and has public practice experience dating back to 2004.
In his spare time, you’ll find Brenton travelling, playing basketball or down at Poowong Football Club where he is a playing coach.
Kale Foulds | Manager (Accounting)
B. Bus - Accountancy (RMIT), RG146, CPA
Kale Foulds joined Kearney Group in 2010.
Kale is a Certified Practising Accountant. He holds a Bachelor of Business (Accountancy) from RMIT, RG146 certification and is currently working towards a Diploma in Financial Planning.
Kale enjoys business strategy and consulting work, and likes nothing more than collaborating with Financial Advisers to provide seamless, end-to-end taxation and strategic advice for both business owners and their households.
In his free time, Kale enjoys travelling, football, basketball and spending time with his young son.
Steven Wei | Senior Accountant
M Accounting & Finance (Adelaide), CA
Steven Wei joined Kearney Group in June 2014. He is a Chartered Accountant, holds a Master’s degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Adelaide, and has a range of professional experiences dating back to 2008.
Steven is enjoys working with individuals and small-to-medium enterprises, across a wide range of industries and occupations. He particularly likes assisting with the many accounting and taxation matters concerning property owners, developers and investors, and the statutory and compliance concerns of non-profit organisations.
Steven’s favourite pastime is spending time with his wife, son and baby daughter. He also enjoys jogging, travelling, fishing, cooking and soccer.
Julie Kohler | Manager (Live Accounting)
With over two decades of experience, Julie Kohler knows exactly what high-end commercial bookkeeping is all about. Julie officially came to the Kearney Group during the acquisition of Accpay Solutions in 2011. She has since carved out a leadership role within the firm's Live Accounting team, heading up the division she's been part of since 1995.
Julie has deep experience working with franchises in large retail and quick-service restaurant industries. She's got an eye for detail, a passion for client relationships and enjoys working through complexity and the intricacies unique to each business.
Julie is a devoted mother, an avid netball coach and loves all things sport-related. Fishing is her greatest pleasure, when time allows.
Stephen Nesbitt | Client Services Manager (Live Accounting)
BA (Windsor, Canada)
Stephen Nesbitt joined the Kearney Group in 2012 and has been Client Services Manager with the Group's Live Accounting team since early 2013. To this role, Stephen brings previous experience in sales and marketing, including positions with global brands, Budweiser and Target.
Stephen is passionate about working with business to improve performance through process redesign, efficiency projects and the use of emerging technologies to streamline service. His greatest pleasure, however, is simply working with people – both the Kearney Group’s clients and his colleagues.
He's a friendly, outgoing personality and when he's not working, you'll likely find him playing baseball or ice hockey.