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  • Rob Vitnell

Special communique - A note from Rob Vitnell, Acting Managing Director, AFRM - 9 October 2020

Important notice to Clients regarding end of AFRM’s commercial relationship with Cutcher and Neale:

The purpose of this communication is to confirm that accounting firm Cutcher and Neale (C&N), ended its long-term business relationship with AFRM, as at 30 June 2020. We believe their decision relates to their new corporate strategy to adopt a “one-stop-shop” approach to the provision of a broad range of financial services. Accordingly, they have begun to provide financial risk advice in competition with AFRM, despite our decades of highly specialised experience in the field.  As you know, we are not and never have been interested in trying to be a jack of all trades. For more than 23-years we have adopted a very focussed approach to providing the absolute best financial risk management advice to ensure the best possible health and financial outcomes for our clients. We are proud of the focused specialist service we provide and in being there to support our clients when they need us most – at claim time. The ending of the commercial arrangement between AFRM and C&N does not impact our long-term relationship with you. You are in fact still a client of AFRM and you will continue to receive the benefits of our specialist risk advice. However, we understand that some of AFRM’s clients have been approached by C&N and asked to sign transfer forms, transferring oversight and management of their risk advice (life insurance policies) away from AFRM to C&N. Please do not be confused by any suggestion that you must transfer the management of your insurance products to C&N. This is not true. You have the right to choose to continue as a client of AFRM, to continue receiving the same high level of service and financial risk management advice as you have been receiving over the years from AFRM. Upon the termination of the former business agreement with C&N, you continued to be AFRM’s client and we continued to be your specialist financial risk management adviser. What makes AFRM different to many other financial planners and financial services firms, is that we are purely specialists in analysing financial risk and developing strategies to manage those risks for you. We have called ourselves financial risk analysts from the day we founded this company because that is what we do. We analyse risk. We have retained our niche focus on risk advice to help protect families against the unexpected financial misfortune that can occur as result of accident and illness. We have a singular focus; a fundamental desire to help people. And that is where we are different. We have always put people before profit. We help our clients plan for unexpected calamities that may come their way and we stand by them and fight for them if the time comes that they ever have to make a claim. The entire AFRM team is proud of the fact that we have achieved more than $190 million in claims paid to our clients. Our knowledge of insurance terms and conditions is unsurpassed. While insurance is merely a funding mechanism to address financial risk, it is critically important to get the product correct to make sure we have got the best definitions, the right pricing, the right packaging, the right taxation outcomes. That’s the detail we help you work through. After all, insurance policies are contracts, and we understand the fine print and its relationship to making a successful claim. We are not afraid to challenge insurance company decisions and our length of time in the business means their senior management listens when we do. We understand that insurance needs change as our clients move through their lives. That’s why we annually send you details of your current policies and always offer you a full review to ensure the appropriate risk strategy remains in place. Our whole team has been guided and mentored by AFRM co-founder, Nicholas (Nick) Hatherly. We share his passion and commitment to helping people through the work we do every day at AFRM. Collectively, the AFRM Leadership Team has 57 years’ experience working at AFRM and specialising in financial risk management. I, myself, have been a financial adviser for a total of 19 years and am grateful for the tutelage I have received from Nick during my 12 years as a specialist risk adviser with AFRM. I am honoured to have taken over his legacy as the new Managing Director of AFRM. Supporting me is the strength and experience of the whole Leadership Team. Amanda Anstess, General Manager – Client Relations, has been with us 19 years, Wathana Farley, our Accountant, has been with us 15 years, and Damien Jones, General Manager – Services, has been with us 11 years. That depth of experience also carries into our advisers. Phil Hatherly has been with AFRM for almost 13 years. Daniel Musumeci has been with us for 14 years and even our youngest adviser, Sam Brennan, who has been with four years; is highly skilled and passionate about what we do. Of course, AFRM is more than just our advisers. We have a whole team of passionate experts and specialists across the business. Our client service administrators are specialists in the administration of specialist risk advice. And we have experts in insurance claims management with decades worth of experience. Even our internal accounting team are absolute specialists in the niche services we provide. Put simply, good advice leads to good claims outcomes. That is AFRM’s customer value proposition. If you have been approached by C&N in recent weeks and are in anyway unclear on your current status, please feel free to contact us for clarification. Meanwhile, rest assured that as a valued AFRM client we are proud of the focused specialist service we provide and in being there to support you - our clients - when you need us most – at claim time. Sincerely, Rob Vitnell Acting Managing Director, AFRM


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