Meet Frank Lo Pilato - Managing Partner, Canberra
With more than 30 years experience in insolvency, restructuring, and recovery, Frank has a deep understanding of Australian financial and corporate laws. He is passionate about helping people get through times of hardship and developing a plan so they can move forward with confidence.
Frank is a Partner in our Restructuring and Recovery division in Canberra and has been with the firm since 1991. He is well known and respected in the Canberra community for his down-to-earth and open-door approach, and the ability to find solutions to even the most complex financial challenges.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE RESTRUCTURING AND RECOVERY DIVISION? WHAT ARE COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS PEOPLE HAVE ABOUT BEING A LIQUIDATOR AND TRUSTEE?
I've been at RSM for over 30 years, I started with RSM on 26 August 1991.
A common misconception is that the Liquidator/Trustee favours an outcome for themselves when in fact the outcome is to solve the problem for the individual client and company, mitigating all financial and personal losses.
WHAT LED YOU DOWN THIS PARTICULAR CAREER PATH?
I worked with a well-known Liquidator Barry Taylor. Despite my efforts and hard work, after 4 years Barry asked me to leave the firm. He kept me employed until I found my next job. I had my interview at Bird Cameron Partners with the late Rob Morton and got the job. It took another 3 months for the Executive to approve my employment so I continued to work with Barry for that time.
How times have changed - usually when you are terminated from employment you are walked out the door straight away! I am forever grateful to Barry for his flexibility and support. Every time I run into Barry, I always remind him of how appreciative I was.
HAVE YOU WORKED OVERSEAS (OR OTHER PARTS OF AUSTRALIA)?
No, born and bred in Canberra. Although my job has taken me all over Australia to Alice Springs, Darwin, Tasmania, Gladstone/Mackay, Perth, and Adelaide.
In 2018 I was also fortunate enough to attend the Harvard Business School for a week in Boston, USA. While I was in the States, I was able to see Bruce Springsteen on Broadway, visit my cousin who runs a restaurant in Boston, and visit my wife’s uncle and auntie in Florida and Stamford Connecticut. Anthony Smith from the Sydney Office was also attending the Harvard Business School and organised for us to watch the Superbowl in Minneapolis where the Philadelphia Eagles beat New England Patriots. Needless to say, it was a fantastic opportunity.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I’m approaching the final 5 years of my career with RSM, and for the next 5 years, I look forward to mentoring staff and team members. Professional life is like a marathon, you have to finish the race, you can’t stop at 40kms!
I have moved on from sleepless nights and waking up at 3 am thinking about work - experience and time have enabled me to deal with situations more calmly and from a different perspective.
TELL US SOMETHING WE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU... YET.
I am a Bruce Springsteen fan and have been to 7 of his concerts. My favourite song is Dancing in the Dark. His latest albums Western Stars and A Letter to You are worth a listen!
IN THIS COVID-19 WORLD, WHERE ARE YOU NEXT LOOKING AT GOING ON A HOLIDAY?
I am looking forward to going on a health and yoga retreat in the Hunter Valley. I am also going to Tasmania to walk Cradle Mountain.
WHO HAS INFLUENCED YOU AND WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
My previous rugby coach, Colin Maxwell, from the Queanbeyan Whites. Colin would always say “make things happen”. This really resonated with me and I have always lived by this belief.
WHAT’S ONE THING YOU’RE CURRENTLY TRYING TO MAKE A HABIT OF?
I'm trying to get up early every morning. Getting up at 6.30 am you're ahead of the game and have a few extra hours to get things done.
WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF PROFESSIONAL ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
I attended an International Insolvency Conference in Sydney, which had a major impact on me.
One of the guest speakers remarks was “put yourself in a position to be lucky." Make that extra phone call, attend that client event, you never know what is going to come out of it.
Another quote that has resonated with me is "always run like you ‘re coming second, by refusing to ever accept that it’s down and out or anywhere near it. Keep the stories relevant and of value. Stay up to date and always run harder than the competition” - Peter Harvey, Print, TV and Radio Journalist.
WHAT ARE THE MOST SATISFYING ASPECTS OF YOUR JOB?
Helping people when they are in financial difficulty - alleviating their stress and getting them to the finish line with as little loss as possible. I also love when someone approaches me to take on a job. Meeting them for the first time and being successful with the right outcome for the client is great. Getting phone calls from referrers (solicitors, accountants, and business acquaintances) to be entrusted with their clients is a great feeling.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE CULTURE IN YOUR OFFICE/DIVISION?
Very positive, everyone seems to have a bit of fun. We all get on well together whilst improving our skillset and doing better each day to meet clients' expectations. This year our motto is 'Get Uncomfortable'. Take on something that you may not be good at such as public speaking, and try to improve on this.