39 Development Finance Partners


$3.4 million




Baxter Gamble, 53, Matthew Royal, 42

Head office

Sydney, NSW

Year founded





Finance and insurance



For many business owners one resignation can be a dramatic turn of events. For Baxter Gamble and Matthew Royal of Development Finance Partners, it wasn’t just one resignation – it was a string of key staff leaving all within the same month.

At the same time the business had some crucial deals in the pipeline.

“Losing staff meant we were under resourced and our client experience and ability to get results in the right timeframe was at risk,” says Gamble.

It could be easy for many businesses to throw in the towel at that point for many of those deals. But the financial advisory firm got to work, quickly engaged a recruiter, and offered a referral fee for any staff or contacts who found the right candidate.

But Gamble says even in the midst of a crisis, the company didn’t rush the hiring process, instead saying it “focused on it to make sure we recruited the right people”.

The benefits are obvious: the company has experienced 93% revenue growth, and booked another spot on the Smart50, even in the middle of some significant regulatory change.

Funding is hard to find, and many developers are stuck. But Gamble and Baxter say the last 12 months has shown them how quality staff can make a difference.

“With a fast-growing non-banking sector, the demand for quality staff is high, making it a very competitive environment when it comes to recruiting and retaining people,” says Gamble.

Given such a tough environment, Gamble and Baxter’s secrets for growth are based on traditional values.

“Improve our client relationship and sales management systems through technology and reinvestment in online platforms which will provide a more sophisticated and efficient response time for our clients,” they say.