April this year marks a significant milestone for local business Australian Financial Risk Management (AFRM) as it enters its 20th year of service.
Established on 1 April 1997, Nick Hatherly, founding Director and current Managing Director likes to call the business the longest running April fools joke.
“To be honest, I nearly didn’t start the company on that date, but told myself that it’s just superstition,” Nick said.
“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.
“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.
“In the mid 1990’s 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,” Nick said.
“Our referrers recognised risk as a specialist field of advice that they needed help with.”
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 have our eyes on a national presence within two years,” Nick said.
“The demand for good risk advice and claims management is massive throughout Australia. Our biggest issue is managing that growth and not stretching ourselves too far, too soon.”
IMAGE | AFRM Directors Mark Hoskin and Nick Hatherly.