Fives minutes with … Ryan Fennell

With more than a decade’s worth of financial expertise, Fennell West founding partner Ryan Fennell is passionate about his work and helping his clients. Here the South Colac Sports Club committee member and Larry Bird fan shares some insight into what life is like outside of work, which usually involves creating his own slice of heaven by spending time with his big family, including his wife, Alicia, and their three children.

ryan fennell
What is your role at Fennell West and what three words would you use to describe it?

Financial Adviser – funniest person here.

What is your favourite thing about working at Fennell West?

I have two favourite things. Firstly, the staff. I genuinely enjoy coming to work and spending time with the people we have in the business. Secondly – the position I am in to be able to help people achieve the goals they thought may not have been possible.

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

Out of school I studied nursing and worked in the industry for a few years before moving to finance. If I were not doing this, I would be a nurse at the Royal Children’s Hospital – which was a goal when I was younger.

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

Play guitar and sing. I am always in awe of someone who can pick up a guitar and belt out a tune that doesn’t sound horrible.

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet and why?

Larry Bird, my all-time favourite person. I once stumbled upon an NBA final that was showing Michael Jordan score 63 points, but instead of a love for Michael, it started a love for Larry Bird who he was playing against (Larry had 36 points too). Love how hard he worked and also his epic trash talk.

What’s your favourite book, movie and song?

About 12 months ago I read Anh Do’s autobiography – it is the most fascinating thing I have read and I still struggle to believe it is a true story.

My favourite movie would be any of the recent Batman trilogy, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight or The Dark Knight Rises. If I had to pick one, I think I would have to pick The Dark Knight, but only just.

My favourite song is the classic Slice of Heaven by Dave Dobyn.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

I would have to say the craziest thing I have done is jump out of an aeroplane. I am a nervous flyer at the best of times. It was actually purchased for me by a client after we had a conversation about the fact I would like to do it, however, would never be able to bring myself to purchase it and book it in. So they did the hard work for me and a voucher to jump at Torquay showed up in my email inbox a few days later.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Coffee – I have come from a being non-coffee drinker to someone that needs three a day to survive, but sometimes it sneaks over that.

What’s your favourite travel destination and why?

When I was younger I did a lot of travelling through South East Asia which is high on the list. However, now with a young family, our spot of choice is the Sunshine Coast and we try to get up there once a year for a getaway.

What are your favourite things to do in your spare time?

My favourite thing to do is to be with family – whether that is my two daughters and wife, or my extended family. I have six brothers and sisters who all have their partners and kids.

I think our extended family count is at 26, with a couple on the way. If I am not with family, you will find me at the South Colac Sports Club where I am a keen member of the committee.

What’s the greatest piece of advice a parent or mentor has given you?

Not sure where I picked them up, but there are a couple I try to live by now.
1. You should sweat like you’re being chased by the police daily.
2. Never publicly criticise a person, unless it is a matter of morals or ethics.
3. It doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it, what matters is how many people do get it.

What’s your earliest childhood memory?

Getting beaten up by my older brother, he was a real piece of work.