When Kath Orman of Goals and Dreams Financial Planning joined Fortnum Private Wealth in August 2021, her goal had been to find an AFS licensee offering genuine cultural alignment and a sense of community.
Today, Kath is pleased to report that she feels more at home than ever. Here, we share Kath’s perspective on the Fortnum difference.
Kath has been a financial planner since 1987, back when it wasn’t unusual to find herself the only woman in the room at financial planning conferences. Following 14 years of dedicated service at a major bank, Kath established her own practice in 2001 with the aim of doing things her way – “from the heart, in a more holistic manner,” she explains.
Since then, her approach has been guided by a simple yet powerful goal: to provide top quality, holistic service for all her clients’ financial matters.
“For me, it has always been about providing people with the service they deserve, rather than focusing only on getting them through the door,” she says.
With a client base that includes a mix of families, couples and individuals, Kath and her dedicated team foster an attitude of ‘abundance and action’, empowering clients to take control of their financial journey and remove the fear from managing money matters.
One of the first things clients see when they visit Kath and her team is the huge collection of postcards that covers the walls and ceiling of the Goals & Dreams reception. The postcards, sent to Kath and her team from clients on their travels all over the world, serve as a tangible reminder of the difference they’ve made in clients’ lives.
“It gives us such a buzz each time we receive a new postcard, and it also plays a role in the client experience, which is very important to us,” she explains.
A sense of alignment
It’s not lost on Kath that the culture of positivity and sense of community she fosters both within her team and among her clients aligns well with Fortnum.
“Fortnum genuinely want to help practices become better on all levels, just like how I work with my own clients, so I could sense fairly quickly that Fortnum’s culture aligned with my business,” she says. “It’s a great group, with great people – it has really been like coming home.”
Since joining Fortnum, Kath and her team have been active in adopting new technology based on Fortnum’s technology stack, participating in Fortnum’s adviser PODS and attending events and professional development, both online and in person.
Fortnum’s collaborative approach to seeking feedback and gaining adviser input into systems and processes has also earned the tick of approval from Kath and her team.
“You often see organisations go off on a tangent without asking the people on the front lines what they really want,” she says. “They end up with something that they think works but in reality, it is completely inappropriate for the people who will actually be using it. What I like about Fortnum is that they are very good at asking for input and incorporating adviser feedback.”
Having recently presented on a panel at the 2022 Fortnum Conference, Kath points out the value of face-to-face interaction and the peer learning that Fortnum offers.
“It’s fantastic to meet the other advisers in person,” she said. “We have our peer group PODS, where we get together online regularly, but meeting in person at the conference adds a whole new dimension. For starters, no one guessed that I’m five foot ten!” she laughs.
“There’s a lot of sharing that goes on between advisers at the conference, and that’s because it’s part of the Fortnum culture – everyone shares their ideas.”
Kath also shares praise for the wealth of online professional development Fortnum facilitates.
“What I appreciate about Fortnum’s webinars is that they bring together a panel of three or four speakers on an important topic, so you’re able to hear a number of different perspectives without leaving your desk, and only giving up a small part of your day,” she says.
However, it’s the genuine sense of community that best summarises what Kath views as the most important difference that Fortnum offers.
“It’s a really good culture. It aligns with what I believe in. There’s always someone there to assist when you put your hand up and say ‘Hey, I need some help here’ – I’m never left waiting.”
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At Fortnum, we are known for our caring, energetic approach, adviser-aligned licensee ownership and a highly collaborative community of financial planning practices. We provide freedom within a proven framework which has a robust approach to risk and governance that creates opportunity for financial planners to build their ideal financial planning business.