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''We have set up our business so as to have the maximum freedom to choose the best products and services available for our clients.''

Nicola Lessing 

ABOUT IN YOUR INTEREST FINANCIAL PLANNING

In Your Interest Financial Planning provides financial planning and insurance to clients Australia wide.

Fiduciary Duty Advisers Pty Ltd holds an Australian Financial Services license and is the licensee of In Your Interest Financial Planning.

Both companies are owned and managed by Christoph Schnelle and Nicola Lessing who despite their different names are married to each other!

DR CHRISTOPH SCHNELLE

Financial Adviser

Life Risk Insurance Specialist

SMSF Specialist Adviser

TEP Trust and Estate Practitioner

PhD Health Sciences and Medicine

GradDipFinPlan MBiostats

GStat Graduate Statistician

Accredited Estate Planning Professional

Accredited Aged Care Professional

FAAA Member

Authorised Representative 308223

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In addition to the above expertise and qualifications, Christoph brings a wealth of business and life skills to his work. His prior experience includes:

  • founding and running a multimillion dollar company in Sydney;

  • buying and selling 31 personal investment properties;

  • author of three international patents in the computer data storage field;

  • first author of 11 peer reviewed scientific journal articles.

In 2003 Christoph sold his Sydney business and moved up the Coast for a lifestyle change. Christoph now has an office in Northern NSW and Financial Planning and Insurance clients all over Australia. As he loves what he does Christoph plans to continue working as a Financial Advisor well into his 80s! 

NICOLA LESSING

Director and General Manager 

Justice of the Peace 

Nicola Lessing is the General Manager of In Your Interest Financial Planning and supports and oversees in all areas of the business.  She has a great ability to do whatever needs to be done and to do it in a simple, loving and harmonious way.  

Her first career in the 70s and 80s was as a Nursing Sister with graduate and post graduate qualifications and over 10 years practical experience. Following this Nicola lived overseas and gained extensive business skills.

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In 1993 Nicola met and married Christoph Schnelle and moved to Sydney where for 9 years she was the CEO and Founding Director of a Legal and Tax Electronic Publisher and XML Technology Company. Nicola was instrumental in raising $5 million in venture capital, close to $2 million dollars in R&D funds, topping a field of 176 to become the NSW winner of the Austrade 2001 Silicon Valley High Tech Tour and undertaking a three month US business tour. In 2002, Nicola and Christoph moved to Northern NSW for a lifestyle change. They love where they live and work and plan to never retire!

MARIAN RUDEFORTH

Financial Adviser

 

GradDipFP

Dip.Mgmt

Justice of the Peace

Authorised Representative 1270523

Marian has been with In Your Interest Financial Planning for several years and is our valued rock and foundational team member. She is a deeply caring person who has found her place and home in the IYI team environment. 

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Originally coming to IYI from a background in hospital and nursing home administration, Marian has demonstrated that it is never too late to make a career change. Marian undertook further studies and is now a fully qualified Financial Adviser having completed her Graduate Diploma.

 

With her focus, skills, knowledge, attention to detail and loving nature Marian is ideally placed to support both our customers and team.

DERYK MCLEOD

Financial Adviser

 

GradDipFinPlan, B Econ, Dip IT.

Authorised Representative 1300266

Deryk is totally awesome bringing to In Your Interest Financial Planning such a wealth of life and work experience it would take pages to cover, but here is a tiny taste of some of his past employment history:

  • University of Queensland – School (Department) of Pharmacy Manager

  • BankWest – Director of Lending Services

  • WorkCover Queensland – Group Manager Customer Services / Underwriting / Claims and more

  • Ansett Australia – Customer Contact Centre Manager Queensland

  • ANZ Banking Group – State Manager Mortgage Operations,  State Manager Operations

  • ANZ Banking Group – State Manager Planning and Finance


In the above roles Deryk managed hundreds of people and gained many accolades and wide industry experience. As well as being an all-round genius, with superb analytical and communication skills, Deryk is one of the nicest people you could meet and we all love working with him. He is very calm and light to be around. 

 

Outside of work Deryk and his beautiful wife Lynne volunteer as crisis support workers for Lifeline.

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ANN-MARIE WILSON

Director of Customer Relations and Marketing Manager

 

If we had to use one word to describe Ann-Marie it would be melt. She is so completely beautiful and awesome inside out that we all melt around her as do our customers.

Ann-Marie has a magical and natural way of connecting with people and providing them with exceptional service and support.

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She is like that with everyone she speaks to including clients, staff, providers, call centre operators, couriers etc everyone melts around her and yet she also has an innate authority and grandness.

Before joining IYI Ann-Marie managed and worked in a diverse range of large family owned businesses including retail, hospitality and property development. 


Ann-Marie loves working with people, systems and teams and is a natural business woman with an incredible ability to adapt, pick things up really quickly and a honed attention to detail. She loves her work and we all love her!

FEATURED PRESS

Christoph Schnelle and Nicola Lessing have been featured in several papers and journals over the years. Below we share a couple of our favourites from 1998 (we reckon they have aged pretty well in the last 20 years), plus one from 2009. 

Some more recent articles including those directly related to Financial Advice can be found on our blogs and press pages.

AUSTRALIAN PROPERTY INVESTOR MAGAZINE

October 2009

In October 2009, Australian Property Investor magazine ran a six page feature on Christoph and his large investment property portfolio.


Around this time Nicola who was also a property investor made a guest appearance on Alan Kohler’s ABC TV’s Inside Business TV Show to discuss their property portfolio.

Christoph and Nicola no longer choose to have a large property portfolio but have had fun and gained a lot of experience along the way which they share with their friends and clients. 

ALVIN DAVID

Admin Manager

 

Alvin has been with In Your Interest Financial Planning (IYI) for several years now and is our behind the scenes boss and all round genius… but then everyone here is the boss!

He worked as a teacher before making a career change to business where he gained experience in auditing, policy-making, event-organising, and admin and financial support services before joining us at the ripe old age of 23.

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Alvin takes enormous care of our clients and the whole team. He constantly checks that every last detail is attended to and completed. He is proactive in suggesting ways to expand our services and systems, super quick to learn any new software and then train us all. He is an integral part of the growth of the business. Nothing is too much trouble for Alvin and we all adore him and adore working with him as do our clients.

He is the light that brings a smile to our face every day as is the wonderful admin support team of Lin and Yvonne that work with him.

Outside of work Alvin likes to keep fit and also contributes as a volunteer of United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), an agency of United Nations responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide.

JESSICA MILBURN

Client Services Support

 

Jessica joined our team of nine in 2023 and is an absolute powerhouse, flexible, able and willing to do anything and everything.

One of Jessica’s many roles with In Your Interest Financial Planning is to provide gold star support to our insurance clients, assisting them with all aspects of admin such as updating details, offering and organising complimentary reviews with Christoph, ensuring everything is up to date and basically attending to whatever is needed. 

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You would be amazed at how much compliance and background work there is and Jessica is awesome at taking care of that and our clients.

 

Jessica is a wonderful cheerful person to have in the office and not only a super quick learner but also proactive with suggestions and training us as needed. We all work together as one superb harmonious team and bring that love and joy to all of our clients.

In addition to her work at In Your Interest Financial Planning, Jessica is currently studying for a Diploma in Counselling, a Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping, has a wonderful partner Cody and a gorgeous young son.

BUSINESS CLASS MAGAZINE

November 1998

In November 1998, Nicola who at the time was a Sydney based CEO and entrepreneur was featured on the Front Cover of Business Class magazine under the banner “introducing digital women - the new leaders of the cyber-revolution". 

The other “digital” woman on the front cover of that issue is Gail Burke who at the time was responsible for one of the largest ever Change Programs undertaken by Macquarie Bank.


The write up states that “touting common sense as her most significant attribute, in just four years Nicola took on the multinationals and built a business which today represents 50% of the electronic legislation publishing market in Australia and had just won the right to supply the legislation of five jurisdictions to 20,000 Australian Tax Office terminals around Australia.”

It then goes on to talk about how Nicola did the above using world's best practice and forced the others to bring their prices down.

BUSINESS REVIEW WEEKLY

In 1998, Business Review Weekly featured on their front cover an article under the heading: “Future Leaders - They’re young, they’re smart and they could make you a fortune”.

Christoph Schnelle who in 1998 was the CEO of his own Information Services Company was one of the featured “young talent at the top”. He had recently won a project to put 15 million pages of AMP documentation onto a searchable intranet. 

In the photograph below Christoph is shown together with Mark Bouris who founded Wizard Home Loans in 1996 and sold it to GE Money for $500 million in 2004.

Christoph Schnelle

BUSINESS SYDNEY

October 1998

In October 1998, Nicola Lessing was featured on the front cover of Business Sydney and within in an article about how her start-up legal publisher was providing serious competition to CCH, Thompson and Butterworths, the big three multinationals who previously had the market sewn up.

The other two people appearing on that front cover were John Howard who at that time was Prime Minister of Australia and Kim Beazley who was the leader of the opposition.

Nicola Lessing
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