Financial adviser, Brian Pert, has found his niche in the bright skies of the Gold Coast but now maintains higher ambitions for the business and is setting the controls for growth.

Brian Pert believes in the CFO model of financial planning – where the adviser acts as a client’s chief financial officer, advising on super, taxation, estate planning, risk and property. Since he started the practice on the Gold Coast in July 2003, after purchasing a book of clients from his former dealer group, the St George Bank planning network, Pert has fine-tuned his business and is now looking to concentrate on areas where he thinks he can add maximum value. He targets high net worth individuals, which was not St George Bank’s focus. St George Bank provides wealth solutions to all investors, Pert says. However, he remains under broad St George ownership with his new dealer group, Securitor, which is 100 per cent owned by the Bank. He has an association with an accounting firm, with whom he shares office space on Marine Parade, with a view up and down the coast, and outsources direct shares advice to Austock in Sydney, which provides its own Statement of Advice for his clients who elect to hold direct shares. “I don’t want to do everything in-house,” he says. “The CFO model means we look at all the important aspects of a person’s finances and the best way to do this is on a consultative model where you’re working with other experts.” In July this year he recruited a former St George colleague, Alison Hutchings, as the second adviser for the practice and hopes she will become an equity holder in the business in due course. He wants to grow the business organically and recently decided to look at providing a specialised service for a niche airline pilot market, after attending a workshop presented by consultant Jim Stackpool, called ‘Cultivating Advice’ and organised by Securitor. “I want to focus on high net worths with common but complex issues. I don’t want to accept clients unless we can add substantial value. My chosen niche market, not only have relatively high incomes, they also have special needs. For instance, they are forced to retire earlier than most people,” he says. As part of his marketing plan, Pert will write a research paper on the financial issues facing pilots. This article will also help position his practice as an expert in this chosen market. Moving into that area will also broaden the geographical spread of his client base, which is currently concentrated around the Gold Coast. Looking to further grow his business Pert recently joined the prestigious Grand Golf Club and this will hopefully open up introductions to successful business owners. He also actively prompts clients for referrals after reviewing their portfolios every six months. There is a strong focus ongoing relationships with a structured program for clients. As a member of the FPA, Pert believes the association should continue to raise the bar with educational standards for members. He thinks it’s a good idea CFPs will be required to have a degree by 2006 and he thinks that the FPA’s current TV and print campaign urging people see a financial planner is an important step in raising awareness. Adviser’s Name: Brian Pert Business Name and Location: Pert & Associates, Southport Qld. Dealer Name: Securitor Financial Group. Number of Staff: another planner and two support staff. Area of Specialty: developing a specialised service for airline pilots Relevant Qualification: Bachelor of Applied Economics from University of Dundee, Scotland, CFP, Dip FP. Member of the FPA: Yes Number of clients: 190 – 120 active. FUM/Advice: $75 million Method of fee collection: plan fee plus annual fee of 0.75 – 1.00 per cent of assets – either from the platform or billed separately. Some clients are fee-only based on the issues dealt with. Investment Platforms: Asgard. Front-end software: Assirt/S&P data, Goldmine client relationship management system.

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