John Short, a 20-year veteran in the banking and financial services industry, now heads up Ord Minnett Financial Planning (OMFP) in Victoria. Short explains the OMFP strategy for dealing with high net worth clients.

John Short is coming up to a decade with the Ord Minnett Financial Planning group in Melbourne – a remarkably stable career in an industry with such a high level of churn. Short made the transition to financial planning after spending time as a research analyst working for entities such as Commonwealth Treasury in Canberra and the State Bank of Victoria. When the State Bank was taken over by Commonwealth and headquarters moved to Sydney, the group established a financial planning division in Melbourne, the team Short later joined. From there the rest is history. He has not looked back and thoroughly enjoys his career in financial planning. Short moved to OMFP in 1996. “The transition to OMFP came at the right time; they offered me advancement in my career, and the opportunity to transition to the high net worth market segment,” Short says. He also says the move reduced the conflict of interest he experienced at the bank as OMFP is quite separate from any asset management division. OMFP offer a comprehensive financial planning service, which includes portfolio structure, taxation, asset allocation, superannuation, estate planning, and life insurance. The planners also work closely with client’s other professional advisers, such as accountants and solicitors, to ensure customers receive end-to-end service offering. OMFP groups its clients into three main categories: Premier; Review, and; Consulting. At the top end of the scale, there are Premier clients who require complex, intensive planning. These clients typically have investment assets in excess of $1 million. In the Consulting category, the planners will provide one-off or specific financial advice, while Review clients, as the name suggests, receive a simple but independent review of the their portfolios. Regardless of the type of client, OMFP applies the relationship approach which it deems as absolutely essential to its long-term strategy. “It’s what differentiates us from our competition and as a result our client retention rates are very high,” Short says. He says the sales approach may work in some disciplines but to retain clients in financial planning it’s the relationship approach that works.

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