Local Interviews

Making Wanaka Work – Simon Russell from Forysth Barr

By on September 7, 2017

I recently finished reading a book where underlying theme was “it is what you put into life that matters”. This really resonated with me, particularly as to live here in Wanaka you really have to do just that – put the effort in meeting people, making the most of the outdoors and getting to know the community and you will flourish.  I spent an interesting hour with Simon Russell from Forsyth Barr who holds a similar mindset, not only with his own life but also when working with some very interesting and diverse people within the Central Otago region.  See my interview below.  Simon will be supplying me regular market updates too – you’ll find these in my weekly property emails.

What is Forsyth Barr?

Forsyth Barr is a full service share broking, advisory and bespoke portfolio firm that tailors the right mix of direct investments and funds that suit each client. Every single client has their own unique portfolio of investments that best suits their needs and aspirations.



How long have you been involved with Forsyth Barr in Central Otago and the wider financial industry? 

Since the Queenstown branch opened almost 8 years ago.


In your words, how does Forsyth Barr distinguish itself from other financial institutions agencies in NZ?

By offering bespoke portfolios and by having the largest (by 50%) and highest rated research team in NZ providing our clients with the best advice and advisors with the best tools to best serve the wealth and/or income requirements of our clients.


Is there a specific investment level required before they can utilise your skills?

There is no limit and there is no fee to come and sit down with us for a chat to see if we can be of service.


What is the most rewarding part of your role with Forsyth Barr?

Helping clients to make the most of their retirement. Those unforgettable moments during a portfolio review when clients realise they have more than they were expecting and can do more than they had previously realised.


Who is and what is the backgrounds of your typical client from the Central Otago region? 

We are an awesome and unique bunch, each with our own individual story about what brought us or kept us here, so to choose a ‘typical’ local would be to round off all those incredible people and stories that sit on the periphery of what it means to put down roots here. I could say a typical trait amongst my clients (and I’m sure amongst all locals) is that they all feel inspired by, and are quietly very proud to call Central Otago (Otago Pokupu) home.


Best place to get coffee in Wanaka? 

Its hard to beat Rob at Fedeli.


Does Wanaka differ from other NZ regions for your line of work?  If so, how so?

I have worked around the country and have clients spread from Auckland to Invercargill.  Wanaka and Central Otago clients have the highest happiness indicators of all the other regions.


What is Wanaka best kept secret?

If I told you then it wouldn’t be a secret! I could mention a couple of amazing and under-utilised DOC huts within a short drive and hike but then they wouldn’t be so under-utilised! To be honest I would say it’s the philanthropic nature of Wanaka’s locals. The Festival of Colour is a shining example. The billboard listing sponsors and benefactors is a true testament to the Community and the quality of acts that are brought in to perform for the benefit of the entire community is simply world-class.


Best advice for people moving to Wanaka?

Get stuck in. Once you commit to the community, the community will commit to you.


It’s 10am on a Sunday morning, where would we find you and what are you doing?

Skiing. What a magical sport.


Favourite time of year in Wanaka and why?

Winter. See answer above…


To get in touch with Simon contact him on simon.russell@forsythbarr.co.nz or 021 337 811.




mitch campbell

Welcome to my property hub, a place designed to showcase the very best of premium property in Central Otago and provide you with everything you need to ensure that your journey of buying or selling in this beautiful region is as smooth as possible.

I wanted to create a platform to share insights and knowledge on everything property-based from the Wanaka region, but also feature outstanding design products, interviews with industry locals, interesting architectural work and new trends to help inspire you with your own plans.

If you're looking at either buying or selling in the Wanaka region, please get in touch and let me help you achieve those goals.

Email mitch.campbell@raywhite.com
Phone number: 021 2424 280