Updated: Sep 29, 2020
86 Hawthorn Grove
Barry Thatcher, owner of Thatcher Finance, believes he is “so lucky to have such a great office and nice location. Every time you step out, it feels like you’re already on a break.” Barry began his own finance brokerage and consultancy firm in 2015 with the support of his wife and marketing manager, Michelle. They originally started in Toorak, before moving to Glenferrie Hawthorn where they have been now for almost two years.
The pair grew up around the eastern suburbs and they enjoyed much of their twenties around the Hawthorn and Camberwell area, with Michelle working at the Rivoli Cinema. As a family, they eventually settled in Surrey Hills. With their three children at local schools, living and working locally allows the family to be a part of the community: “we’re here, we can turn up to things, people can come see us”. Barry feels lucky to be able to step out of the office every Tuesday afternoon to take their youngest son to football practice in Camberwell.
The local life was not always reality for Barry. He has come from a long and lucrative career in corporate finance, where he held national leadership roles in specialised sectors within some of the big four banks. In the corporate world, he says, it is “easy to be swept up in constantly chasing success, and then when you get there, realise it’s not actually what you want”. The “turning point” for Barry was when he started his family, and travelling constantly for work meant leaving three young children at home. Barry realised that for him, finance was “never about making transactions” but about helping people. Using his expertise at navigating the finance world, he started financial advising as “business owners just need someone to sit down with them, talk to them, and guide them through the process”, which is what he does now at Thatcher Finance.
Most important for Barry has been striking that work-life balance, which he believes everyone talks about, but not enough people actually achieve. Barry goes cycling twice a week, circling Kew Boulevard before going for a coffee in Hawthorn. He believes cycling is great for fitness, socialising, and for “keeping that mental balance”. He has met a diverse range of people through cycling he might “never have connected with otherwise” and believes it is particularly beneficial for men to have a place to talk about “whatever might be on your mind.” It is no surprise he likes to pop into the local Lawrencia Cycles. “I know a good half of the people in the shops up Glenferrie Road just from going in there all the time,” says Barry, whose other favourite spots include Osteria 20, Lulo, and Liar Liar.
What Barry loves most about Glenferrie is the ‘village mentality’ which comes from its “great diversity”. After working in the city for around twenty years, Hawthorn is “a welcome change” as it is “close enough that you can get to the city whenever you want, but far enough that you don’t feel like you’re in the city”. His corporate clients often insist on visiting his office, which he believes speaks volumes for the area.