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Group guides players to goals

PERTH may well have its own answer to Jerry Maguire.

But unlike the fictional sports agent, Barrington Partners partner and Sports Group director Frank Cornelius believes it takes more than one person to show sports stars the money.

Mr Cornelius has joined forces with former sprinter and Claremont premiership coach Murray Ward, Michael Whyte and Co solicitor Mal Harford, McInerney Ford principal Dennis McInerney and sports management specialist Helen Goldfinch.

“I think having a team of people to manage a player is the way of the future. I believe it is too hard for one person to do all things,” Mr Cornelius said.

He said the group was designed to provide tax, accounting, investment, banking, insurance and superannuation advice to ensure elite sportspeople made the most of their maximum money-earning years.

Mr Cornelius believes most athletes have about seven years of top earning potential in their given sport.

So far the Sports Group has signed several prospective AFL players.

“We’re looking to do some things on the cricket side,” Mr Cornelius said.

“We also want to do something with soccer – mainly promotion combined with developing the business side of the sport and the individuals within it.

“While we look after the players, we want to make the sport into a properly run business.

“We’re also looking at how we can develop soccer coaches.

“Hopefully, at the end of the day we’ll have talented coaches and players who can be paid to use their talents.

“There are undeveloped markets for these sorts of people offshore, particularly in countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.”

Mr Cornelius said the Sports Group was also making inroads into the arenas of tennis and golf.

His entrepreneurial approach is also mirrored in Barrington Partners which is targeted at high net worth individuals.

“We try to syndicate clients into projects such as vineyards and take equity in the project ourselves,” Mr Cornelius said.

“One of our first projects was the Smithbrook vineyard near Pemberton.

“Some of the syndicates we’re currently involved in include Gnarabup Beach, the Gosnells Markets and NEC House.

“We also have syndicates in smaller vineyards and we’re involved with the Larenta Olive Project. We’re about to undertake Stage II of that development.”

Mr Cornelius said a syndication approach meant the firm had to do its homework “or else we lose both money and our clients”.

“We want our clients to think we’re not only doing their taxes but also making them money in a tax effective manner,” he said.

“But we’ve never been a flogger of tax effective schemes.

“At the end of each financial year we produce a list of what we believe to be the top ten schemes – but we don’t advise our clients to go into them.”

Mr Cornelius said the success of the syndications had forced the creation of a special projects division.

“We can’t afford to take our eye off the ball of running the practice,” he said.

Mr Cornelius said he had been attracted to Barrington Partners by its boutique firm approach.

He had previously spent time with then Big Eight firm Peat Mitchell Marwick – now KPMG before joining Barrington fourteen years ago.

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