In my last post, I introduced Danny Rathgeber, CEO of Health-e Workforce Solutions, a business that Smartgroup invested in, back in December 2015.
Later that month, we acquired the assets of Advantage Salary Packaging and had the pleasure of welcoming Anton Gaudry and his team to the Smargroup family. I’ve known Anton for over a decade, and have long admired the way he runs his business. Advantage has a strong record of client retention, and an even stronger record of staff retention; this speaks to the remarkable culture that Anton has fostered within his organisation. I have to say, it has been an absolute pleasure to see the high level of engagement of Anton and his team, and how well our companies are working together.
Anton Gaudry, CEO, Advantage Salary Packaging
I have known Deven for many years. Our businesses started from very humble beginnings. Over the years, we branched out in somewhat different directions, but salary packaging was always our core. Advantage developed strong relationships in the aged care, charity and disability services sectors. Meanwhile, Smartsalary was making its name in health and the government sectors. So, we were friendly rivals, but rarely crossed paths. Mutual respect was common ground.
Deven and his team have always been ambitious with grand plans and in 2015, after much effort, we were able to become part of the plan and join the momentum in creating a successful and sustainable business.
We have really enjoyed our time with Smartgroup over the past three months. It’s been a whirlwind to say the least, and a real team effort to transition our car leasing business to Smartleasing.
What has impressed me the most is the quality of the people, their enthusiasm and willingness to help. For me, stepping back into a large organisation is enjoyable. I love the stimulus, the excitement of success and the team effort. Equally, I am excited for my staff as doors open to opportunities and new friends. For many staff, it’s also the first time many of them have owned shares on the ASX. It’s great to be part of that experience.
I very much look forward to our future with Smartgroup. While our current focus is operations, I believe in the near future we can start fully discussing opportunities and sharing ideas. The fun has only just begun.