Knowing why you do something is an extremely powerful motivator. The why is the purpose. This is the driving force Matt Murphy uses to continue the growth and success of the accounting, wealth management & capital advisory firm Prime Financial Group.
“My why is to inspire and support business owners to achieve their reason why they went into business in the first place.
MATT MURPHY, MANAGING DIRECTOR – BUSINESS STRATEGY AND ACCOUNTING, PRIME FINANCIAL
Business owners are courageous; they have the guts to have a go. Yet unless they’re ‘on purpose’, their road to success will be harder than it needs to be.”
At 32, after resigning from being a partner of an accounting firm and with several years working in tax with the Australian Tax Office and in private practice, Murphy did some soul searching — a summer holiday spent building sandcastles with his son left him pondering what he could build.
He realised that he loved business and wanted to build something special to truly support Australian entrepreneurial innovation businesses. Murphy assessed the accounting firm market from sole practitioner to the Big 4 firms to find a company with similar drive and passion.
Murphy, now 47, joined accounting firm MPR Group based in Melbourne’s bustling Southbank. “I’d come across Marc (Peskett, one of the MPR founders) through a recruiter. Marc’s vision of serving clients aligned with the way I believed they needed to be looked after.
It was about supporting a business in the realisation of their dreams by providing proactive advice rather than simply filling out their tax return or making sure they were compliant from a tax perspective.” Peskett and two others started MPR in 2000 with the vision of supporting entrepreneurial, fast-growing, innovative companies – and Murphy loved that.
MPR provided a full range of accounting, taxation and business advisory services to businesses in every stage and every phase of business. MPR also supported venture capitalists providing their services to the VC backed innovation led companies. Initially Murphy took on numerous roles for the clients of MPR such as Virtual CFO, Company Secretary, Board and CEO Advisor and Business Owner Mentor.
“These companies were crying out for a safe pair of hands they could trust. They needed a combination of strategic thinking and financial information,” he says.
Whilst MPR achieved significant success for its clients and in its own right, Murphy always had a desire to grow the business beyond Melbourne and offer capital to Australian entrepreneurial innovation led businesses. A chance meeting with Prime Financial Group Managing Director/CEO Simon Madder through a primary school friend of his wife’s who knew of Madder, assisted with the fulfilment of this desire.
Based on the strategic alignment of Prime’s and MPR’s vision, Prime took a 40% stake in MPR in December 2015. That was increased to 93% in August 2016. “The recent merger with ASX-listed Prime Financial Group continues the evolution for MPR. Simon and I have a very similar philosophy.
The fact Prime provides wealth management and capital to clients compliments our businesses perfectly. These additional services give clients an integrated end-to-end service that is unique to the Australian market,” says Murphy, who is now Managing Director – Business Strategy and Accounting. This is where Murphy gets excited and you can tell from the passion in his voice that he really does love helping businesses to succeed.
“Core to our philosophy is to support the business owner’s journey. Based on experience, we understand that people who become business owners have a ‘why’ that includes any or all of the following: they’re seeking financial independence (or security), they want to satisfy an entrepreneurial urge, achieve work/life balance, feel that they have some form of control over their destiny and leave a legacy for their family and community.
“Helping business people realise their dream is amazingly satisfying. Many SMEs fail because they don’t have the right infrastructure, discipline and accountability in place. A lot of it comes back to having the right information available to make strategic decisions about where your business is going or needs to go. This underpins the service offering of our firm. “If I think about an analogy, it is all about high performance. Our goal is to provide business leaders with the same support that an elite athlete gets so they can perform at their best.”
Murphy performs many advisory roles and works closely with his clients, so close that when one of his clients (innovative health technology company d3 Medicines) was asked to speak at the United Nations in New York, they asked Murphy to attend with them. “Every service that we offer to our clients was created from a need.
Businesses require many things to be successful. Fundamental to the success of a growing entrepreneurial business or a start-up is getting the funding right. This is why we offer our clients the support to access government funding programs to do just that.” Two very effective government funding programs are the Research & Development (R&D) Tax Incentive and the Export Market Development Grant (EMDG).
These programs have supported Australian business to achieve success. “I am proud to say that three of the largest value realisations for Australian biotechnology based businesses accessing these programs were our clients. “In business we are seeing change happening at light speed. R&D of products and services is now paramount to ensure that businesses remain in business. Identifying and developing the right technology is the key for innovation.”
Understanding that need to provide businesses with a service offering supporting innovation in their business, resulted in the merger of Capstone Partners into MPR. Capstone Partners brought 30 years of IT, scientific and engineering commercialisation and management consulting services to MPR.
“The introduction of innovation commercialisation consulting provided advisory services to our clients who wanted to reduce the risks inherent in trying a new way of doing things. “We are extremely excited about the future and how we can continue to support Australian entrepreneurial innovation led businesses and their owners to ensure that Australia continue to enjoy its status of the “lucky country” and competes on the world stage.”