About In Your Interest Financial Planning 

In Your Interest Financial Planning is owned and managed by Christoph Schnelle and Nicola Lessing who despite their different names are married to each other!

"We personally own In Your Interest Financial Planning and have set it up so as to 
have the maximum freedom to choose the best products and services available for our clients."

In Your Interest Financial Planning is a member of FYG Planners which is an organisation of likeminded planners and our licensor. As a group we have close to $2 billion dollars under management. This gives us valuable group purchasing power and access to all the latest research and information.

Christoph Schnelle 

Financial Adviser

Life Risk Specialist
SMSF Specialist Advisor
Accredited Aged Care Professional 

Accredited Estate Planning Professional
​Master of Medical Statistics (UQ)

AFP LRS GradDipFinPlan 

MBiostats | GStat Graduate Statistician
Appointed Rep 308223 - Credit Rep 402866

Christoph Schnelle is a qualified and licensed Financial Advisor, an FPA accredited Life Risk Specialist, an SPAA accredited SMSF Specialist and an Accredited Aged Care Professional. 

Christoph Schnell

In addition to the above 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.

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.  Nicola is also a Director of Travelbay an online travel site.

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.

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

Marian Rudeforth

Financial Adviser

AdvDip FP 

Justice of the Peace

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. 

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 qualified Financial Adviser having completed both the Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning, passed the FASEA exam and will shortly also complete 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.

Clare Totterdell

Client Services Manager

When we first met Clare we were somewhat bowled over by her beauty, grace and delicacy little knowing what an absolute powerhouse she is.


Clare is our priceless office angel ensuring that everything is in order, constantly following up and taking care of whatever is needed. She has a wonderful client focus, is super smart, accurate, articulate and seems to be able to handle and pick up everything that comes her way.

Prior to working for In Your Interest Financial Planning, Clare worked in a range of senior administrative roles with Audi, AECOM and a local hospital. Clare lives with her gorgeous partner and children just down the road and we all enjoy having dinners and time together with each other and the team.

Fiona Dixon

Compliance Manager and Customer Service

Fiona is a wise, super capable and well-loved member of the In Your Interest Financial Planning team. She is quite famous for her great fashion sense and delights us every day with her unique and cheerful style.


With a long and esteemed background in high level administration within some top law firms of London, Fiona is the perfect person to manage and police the rigorous compliance requirements for our clients and industry and ensure everything is ship shape and in order.


Combined with a natural cheerful disposition and a love of people Fiona is the full package and a great asset to our customers and business.


Fiona also has a Diploma in Counselling and volunteers her counselling services to the community in her spare time.

Emmalee Benhayon Lyons

Client Services and Support

Cert III Business Administration


Emmalee is a wonderful, wise and caring member of our team who has a great eye for order and detail and brings her care and qualities to everything she does and everyone she meets.


Prior to working at In Your Interest Financial Planning, Emmalee held administrative and management roles in a variety of professional fields and offices including legal, pharmacology and complementary medicine.

Emmalee and her husband Kristopher are parents to two beautiful girls and two gorgeous sons. They also love and breed Maltese Shih Tzu dogs so there are often adorable puppies around. We love working with Emmalee and having dinners with her gorgeous family.

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. 

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.

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.

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© Copyright In Your Interest Financial Planning Pty Ltd unless stated otherwise.

The information on this website is general in nature and readers should seek professional advice specific to their circumstances. 

In Your Interest Financial Planning Pty Ltd, ABN 28 094 300 464  is Authorised Representative No 308161, Credit Representative No 402819 of FYG Planners Pty Ltd AFSL/ACL No 224543. Whilst based in the Goonellabah, Lismore, Ballina, Byron Bay region of Northern NSW, In Your Interest Financial Planning has clients Australia wide.

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