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My week with James Luo, BGL’s Head of Development

By CultureNo Comments

I was recently privileged enough to travel with James Luo to Singapore’s Big Data and AI world conference.

It was a great adventure on many fronts. It was the first time I travelled with James, and we also got to showcase BGL Smart Docs 360 – our new product in the making that turns unstructured data into structured data. Simply upload a photo or PDF of your document to Smart Docs 360, and it will convert the content into meaningful data that can be used in any setting or context. Really powerful stuff.

What I loved most about our adventure was spending time with James. I learnt some very valuable lessons and insights that would help any business or business leader in any setting.

Here is my list:

Take an interest in their story: It was fascinating to learn about James’ upbringing. Coming from a small village in China, where his parents worked the land to live and education was a dream, helped me identify with James.

Involve people in the journey: Get input. Provide clarity. Link their efforts to the business outcomes and client experiences. Create meaning.

Express gratitude: We can all do more of this!

Show them the problem they are solving: Mindless work leads to unengaged people. Developers love it when users adopt their features to help solve their pain points. Provide the opportunity for them to engage with clients. Trust me; insight is powerful.

Listen: An art that most of us have forgotten. Engage intentionally and without interruptions. You will be surprised by what you learn.

Provide context: Clearly articulate the space you are trying to own. Through context, you develop meaning and purpose.

People love showcasing what they own: Take the time to allow people to show you what they have created. People want the opportunity to show the value they are creating and the differences they are trying to make.

Let people step into your world: Make yourself vulnerable. Drive connection. Humanise the relationship. Ultimately, our job as leaders is to serve, facilitate and guide people to their full potential. Paint a picture of what you see and the plans you have for them.

Create moments: Chilli crab ain’t what it is cracked up to be – that’s my view but not the view of countless. So much effort and mess for such little return. But the experience and joy on James’ face while watching me struggle was worth it. Sometimes you need to try different things and create memorable moments. Such times only strengthen relationships.

A memorable week that I will never forget. Thank you, James!

BGL appoints Adriana Cavallo as Head of Customer Experience (APAC)

By BGL Update, CultureNo Comments

BGL is proud to announce the appointment of Adriana Cavallo as its Head of Customer Experience (APAC).

“It has been a pleasure to watch Adriana grow and thrive with us both personally and professionally since she joined BGL in 2012,” said Ron Lesh, BGL’s Managing Director. “Adriana has demonstrated the highest commitment to BGL, the team and clients and we could not be prouder to see her take on this new role.”

A qualified CPA with an MBA in Marketing, Adriana has contributed significantly to BGL over the past 10 years with roles in Support, Data Services, Client Enablement, Practice Management Integration, Partnerships and most recently, as Head of Client Success. 

“As Head of Customer Experience (APAC), Adriana will oversee BGL’s Support, Data Services, Client Success, Account Management, and Sales (APAC) teams to deliver remarkable experiences for BGL clients,” continued Lesh. “This is a significant change to the structure of our business and will have a positive impact on BGL, our clients and partners moving forward.”

“Working with our clients and creating an exceptional BGL experience has always been a passion of mine,” said Adriana Cavallo. “I’m thrilled to be able to continue my incredible journey with BGL, focusing on client experience and working with the amazing teams at BGL.”

“We are proud to have an extraordinary talent pool at BGL that allows us to promote internally rather than seek external appointments for senior management positions,” added Lesh. “Adriana is highly regarded in the industry due to her ability to form and sustain strong relationships and is perfectly suited and qualified to help lead BGL into the future.”

Sunday. The last game for the season. A moment I will never forget!

By Culture, Tramma Time, WellnessNo Comments

Sunday. The last footy game for the year. I had the honour of thanking all the players for their efforts, commitment and development over the season. I was so proud of each and every one of them.

At the beginning of the year, I challenged them to become better men before becoming better footballers. The foundation for this would be a commitment to taking responsibility, showing respect and keeping things real. Responsibility for their actions. Respect for their teammates, parents, friends and all humans. Real, not being afraid to put their hand up and reach out if they need help.

While we finished at the bottom of the ladder, in so far as growth and personal development, in my eyes we finished well on top. For me, this was a far more significant achievement than any other accolade.

I want to speak about a moment that took place on Sunday that will remain with me for life. A dad of one of the boys waited for me outside the clubrooms after the game. He approached me, put out his hand and said thank you. He became quite emotional. This dad who was hurting. It took courage to express such emotions. Placing my hand on his shoulder, we distanced ourselves from the people, to talk. He couldn’t stop thanking me for the difference I had made in his son’s life and for the support given.

The family had been through a very difficult time. The mother confided in me a couple of months ago detailing her concern for her son given the gut-wrenching circumstances that devastated the family. She asked me to look out for her boy. To which I made a commitment to.

I am no medical professional. I do not have qualifications in any form of psychology. This situation taught me that you don’t need much to make a difference. You only need to be you. Genuinely caring and following through on what you say makes the world of difference. During the year, this boy progressed and at times regressed, but the constant was the right support.

There are many people grieving and going through difficult times. Behind every troubled person is a concerned parent, relative or friend. The impact goes beyond the individual directly impacted. Remember this. Wholeness and well-being require us to look beyond the person.

So, I write to remind you of this, we all have an obligation to each other. Never be short in extending a hand. Embracing a human. Be on the lookout and be courageous enough to ask the question, “How are you doing?” It could be the start of a life-changing moment…

BGL appoints Chin Tea as Simple Fund 360 Connected Services Manager

By BGL Update, Culture, Meet the BGLersNo Comments

BGL is proud to announce the appointment of Chin Tea as its new Simple Fund 360 Connected Services Team Manager.

“It has been a pleasure to watch Chin develop and thrive both personally and professionally during her time at BGL” said Ron Lesh, BGL’s Managing Director. “Chin has been a valued and talented member of the BGL Team for 9 years and we could not be prouder to see her lead BGL’s Connected Services Team into the future.”

A qualified CPA, Chin joined the BGL Team as a Support Consultant and Product Trainer, travelling across Australia and overseas to Singapore and Hong Kong to conduct training for BGL clients. With a wealth of knowledge on BGL’s products, a passion for leadership and Agile project management, Chin has also held positions in the Data Services Team as Business Analyst/Tester and the Connected Services Team as Business Analyst, contributing significantly to BGL throughout her career.

As the Simple Fund 360 Connected Services Team Manager, Chin’s new role is to grow BGL’s expansive data feed integration list, while ensuring the continuance of data accuracy and integrity. Her role maintains and promotes existing relationships with partners, while also establishing new relationships with partners to further benefit BGL clients.

“As I step into my new role, I want to thank Ron, Daniel, Jeevan and Brad for giving me this opportunity. I have big shoes to fill, however, I am very excited and look forward to delivering great solutions to our clients,” said Chin Tea. “Teamwork makes the dream work and I have an amazing team behind me.”

BGL’s free and open API is highly regarded and used extensively across the industry with over 350 data feed and integration partners in the BGL Ecosystem delivering a holistic experience to our clients.

BGL appoints Brad Wilkinson as Head of Ecosystem

By BGL Update, CultureNo Comments

BGL is proud to announce the appointment of Brad Wilkinson as its new Head of Ecosystem.

“It’s fantastic to see the Team embrace opportunity and rise up the ranks at BGL” said Ron Lesh, BGL’s Managing Director. “We are proud to have an extraordinary talent pool at BGL that allows us to promote internally rather than seek externally for senior Team members. Brad has been a valued and talented member of the BGL Team for 12 years and is perfectly suited to lead BGL’s Ecosystem Team into the future.”

As a certified SCRUM Master (CSM) with a Bachelor of Accounting, Banking and Finance, Brad is an experienced leader with a passion for software development and project management. Joining BGL in 2010, Brad has contributed significantly to BGL throughout his career with roles including Support Consultant, Data and Business Analyst and most recently, Product Manager – Connected Services. 

“In his role as Product Manager – Connected Services, Brad and his team were responsible for adding more than 250 data feeds, contributing to the 40,000+ daily transactions processed through BGL’s Ecosystem” added Lesh. “With Brad’s experience connecting the dots between data providers and BGL’s products CAS 360, Simple Fund 360 and Simple Invest 360, the Ecosystem Team is well positioned to continue to lead the industry in connectivity in the years ahead.”

BGL’s free and open API is highly regarded and used extensively across the industry with over 350 data feed and integration partners in the BGL Ecosystem delivering a holistic experience to our clients. 

BGL appoints Jeevan Tokhi as Head of Simple Fund 360

By BGL Update, CultureNo Comments

BGL Corporate Solutions is proud to announce the appointment of Jeevan Tokhi as its new Head of Simple Fund 360.

“It has been a pleasure to watch Jeevan grow and thrive with us both personally and professionally, since he joined BGL in 2005” said Ron Lesh, BGL’s Managing Director. “We could not be prouder to see Jeevan rise up the ranks to head our Simple Fund 360 product team and make it his own.”

As qualified CPA (SMSF Specialist) and accredited SMSF Specialist Advisor (SSA) with a strong technical background and relentless focus on the clients, Jeevan has contributed significantly to BGL throughout his career with roles including Support Consultant, Business and Test Analyst, Simple Fund Desktop Product Manager, Simple Fund 360 Product Manager and most recently, Head of Ecosystem. 

“I have enjoyed building leading, innovative software applications by focusing on BGL’s clients’ needs and will continue to do so” noted Jeevan Tokhi.

“Jeevan is perfectly positioned and qualified to lead Simple Fund 360 into the future” added Lesh. “With his vision for Simple Fund 360 and experience working with BGL’s flagship products, CAS 360 and Simple Invest 360, our clients are in for an incredible journey. Watch this space!” 

Simple Fund 360 is Australia’s leading self-managed super fund (SMSF) administration software solution with over 7,100 clients managing over 243,000 funds on the platform.

BGL celebrates Daniel Tramontana’s 25 years

By BGL Update, CultureNo Comments

BGL is proud to congratulate Daniel Tramontana, our Chief Operations Officer, who recently celebrated 25 at BGL.

“It’s not something that happens often these days” said Ron Lesh, BGL’s Managing Director. “Daniel joined BGL on 10 February 1997 in the support team. I would never have thought he would still be with us after 25 years”.

1997 was a big year at BGL. Not only did Daniel join the team, but BGL released Simple Fund, Simple Invest and Simple ledger. Previously, our only software product was the Corporate Affairs System (CAS). Daniel added a new area of competency to our support and training teams as he brought with him a Bachelor of Computer Science & Accounting.

Through his time at BGL, Daniel obtained a Master in Business Administration and a Six Sigma Black Belt qualification.

Daniel’s contribution to BGL has been enormous. From support to client and team training, to helping BGL grow from a business of 10 people to a business of 180 people – he has had his hand in every pie and BGL would not be where it is today without him.

“My BGL journey has been extraordinary” noted Daniel Tramontana. “Our success is directly attributed to the incredibly loyal and committed team of people. To be able to serve and work alongside such talented people has been an honour and a privilege that I do not take for granted. It is with great anticipation that I am able to take the next step and continue to drive and grow the business.”

“I would personally like to thank Daniel” added Lesh. “His contribution over the 25 years has been incredible and I am so privileged to have worked with someone of his calibre for such a long period of time”

Celebrating 25 years of service

By BGL Update, CultureNo Comments

Today marks 25 years of service at BGL Corporate Solutions. That equates to 53% of my life being involved with a business, team and community that I love. Stop trying to guess how old I was when started. Ron Lesh says 15! I will take that.

As an individual, I am truly humbled and grateful to be able to be involved in and to serve in an organisation that is truly a remarkable success story.

From the greatest of moments to the darkest of times, central to all of this is people. And today it is the very people who have helped define me, believed in me, mentored me and stood by me that I want to celebrate.

The people that I have come to know, love and serve are the greatest part of the story.

BGL Corporate Solutions team, I thank and admire each and everyone one of you. Your relentless commitment to each other, our products, clients and community is amazing. You are the reason we are where we are today.

Matthew Crofts, Adriana Cavallo, Warren Renden, Jeevan Tokhi, Anthony Costa, S. Adrian Muscan , Ashley Avileli, James Luo + Dubi Laviati (so many more I could add) your friendship and support allows me to do what I do.

To the many great clients, prospects, partners and Ecosystem members that I have come to know and crossed paths with, it is an honor working with you and being of service to you. Your belief and support of BGL Corporate Solutions is an important part of who we are today. I applaud you.

One of the greatest joys has been, some of the friendships that have evolved. Friends that will be for life. You know who you are. Your constant check-ins, chats and trust are something I dearly value. Thank you!

Danni Tramontana my wife + friend, you are my rock.

Ron Lesh. I am grateful for your belief, loyalty, support, encouragement and friendship. You are an incredible #leader. You have been and continue to be an important figure and influence. You have helped define me, making me a better person and servant of the people. You have also positioned me for an exciting future that I look forward to stepping into knowing that I have had the best example and mentor.

And now, let’s bring on another 25 years! Yes, well past 65 years of age but with CAS 360 (Australia), Simple Fund 360 + Simple Invest 360, I will have most of my compliance matters automated so I can spend time doing that which I love and that is working at BGL Corporate Solutions.

Check out our video!

We had a lot of fun making this video and hope it makes you smile! Enjoy!

I found myself a hidden gem

By CultureNo Comments

You can tell from the moment you interview with BGL that there is love and care that radiates out of this business

In my first week at BGL Corporate Solutions, I could already tell that I had found myself a hidden gem.

Free food, glorious perks and welcoming staff aside, you can tell from the moment you interview with BGL that there is love and care that radiates out of this business.

My first introduction with BGL was intimidating to say the least – I was interviewed by none other than the ‘L’ in BGL Ron Lesh (MD) and his right-hand man, Daniel Tramontana (COO). But very quickly I felt comforted when they began talking about the BGL Culture.

There was a quote that has stuck with me from that day where Daniel said, “you can be the best marketer in the world, but if you don’t fit in with the culture then it is not going to work out”. That’s when I knew, this was more than what skills I can bring to the table but what do I bring as an individual.

I’d be lying if I told you that a large FinTech company was the top of my dream workplace list, but then again, I couldn’t tell you what was. At the end of the day, a company that values you, invests in you and makes you feel right at home (even within the first few weeks) … that’s very rare. That’s at the top of the list. That’s what I have found at BGL.

More to come…

Written by Chloe Chadwick, Marketing Manager at BGL Corporate Solutions.