AFRM celebrates 20 years of service to their valued clients

Posted by Bethany Shaw on 16 March 2017

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2017 marks a significant milestone in AFRM’s history as the company celebrates twenty years of continued service on April 1.

Nick Hatherly, founding Director and current Managing Director, likes to call it the longest running April fools joke. 

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Phil Young & Nick Hatherly back in 2001

“To be honest, I nearly didn’t start the company on that date, but told myself that it’s just superstition. We have built the company into something that we are very proud of. We have now paid claims out to our clients of over $110 million, which is a testament to the original advice we gave them. It all stemmed from good risk analysis and good product selection in the first place,” said Mr Hatherly.

“This claims milestone is a delivery of the promise we make when we take on new clients. To ensure we are there when clients need us the most.”

From a small office with one phone line and two staff, AFRM is now one of the largest specialist risk financial planning practices in Australia, if not the largest.

In 1997 leading risk adviser Philip Young encouraged and mentored Nick Hatherly into the industry and AFRM was founded. Mr Young, as the more experienced adviser, recognised a major need to provide quality research and advice. 

“In the mid 1990s accounting and financial planning practices throughout the country were grappling with sweeping changes to tax, superannuation legislation, the explosion in financial choices and the growing compliance regime. Our referrers recognised risk as a specialist field of advice that they needed help with,” said Mr Hatherly.

AFRM started with a base in Newcastle and a part-time presence in Port Macquarie and grew from there.  It now has six offices between Brisbane and Melbourne, with fly-in/fly-out type arrangements throughout North Queensland and NSW.

“We are about to move into another phase of rapid growth and now have our eyes on a national presence within two years,” said Mr Hatherly.

“The demand for good risk advice and claims management is massive throughout Australia. Our biggest issue is managing that growth and not to stretch ourselves too far too soon.”

In 2003 Mark Hoskin, an adviser with over 30 years industry experience, joined the founders as a Director to help service the rapidly growing demand for risk advice.  As part of that expansion Mr Hoskin opened the Central Coast office.

The biggest growth opportunity for AFRM occurred in 2010 when Paul Clitheroe’s Ipac Securities realised the clients of their multiple practices were in need of better advice. 

Ipac invested in AFRM and simultaneously entered into a management and referral agreement for AFRM to exclusively service their substantial client base. Neil Swindells, Ipac CEO at the time, explains why they made this choice.  

“Ipac chose AFRM to be their provider of life insurance services as they are the best at providing advice to people. It is their focus on the customer needs that is at the heart of their business. They will go into battle for their customer in order to get a claim paid. 

“AFRM is a place that measures claims paid out and tells customer stories as much as it talks about sales. These are people Ipac wanted to work with."

In 2015 Founding Director and former AFA Adviser of the Year Phillip Young retired, leaving Mr Hatherly and Mr Hoskin to continue managing the rapidly growing business.

“The expertise of AFRM advisers in understanding risk issues and insurance contract definitions as well as their experience in managing claims has become very well regarded in the industry,” said Mr Young. 

“I feel my legacy is complete.  AFRM live and breathe risk. They genuinely care about protecting families and businesses from the financial risks that we all face.”

It was this passion for helping people that really set the founders apart and is what still underlines everything AFRM does today.

Please note, this information has been prepared by Australian Financial Risk Management Pty Ltd (AFRM) ABN 21 001 696 868. AFRM hold an Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) 237186. The information is for general purposes only and has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. AFRM recommends that you seek professional advice before acting on any information contained herein.
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