12/03/2008 - 22:00

Success and succession at JVA

12/03/2008 - 22:00

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A new name and modern premises are the more visible signs of the change undergone by Subiaco-based financial planning firm, JVA Financial Services, in recent months. But things are also changing behind the scenes, too.

Success and succession at JVA

A new name and modern premises are the more visible signs of the change undergone by Subiaco-based financial planning firm, JVA Financial Services, in recent months.

But things are also changing behind the scenes, too.

Formerly known as John Vukman & Associates, the firm, started by John Vukman in 1972 has been servicing its clients’ financial planning, investment and superannuation needs for more than 35 years.

While only a relatively small business in terms of staff numbers, the practice is one of the most rewarded by AMP Financial Planning, of which it is an authorised representative, receiving a number of gold awards for superior performance.

But, given the significant consolidation within the financial planning industry in recent times, Mr Vukman said it was vital his business remained in a growth phase.

“In our business, you either sell or have the existing people in your business grow,” Mr Vukman told WA Business News.

He also wanted to ensure the firm had strong foundations to continue to grow without him, by gradually moving it away from being principal dependent and developing a succession plan.

Leveraging off the firm’s established relationships and reputation, Mr Vukman implemented a change in company culture, focusing on upskilling staff and elevating the roles of some of the other financial planners.

“Principal dependence can be so good, but it’s so limited in terms of expansion of the business,” Mr Vukman said.

“We wanted to improve the accountability of individuals, and change the culture of the organisation so people can take ownership of what they’re doing.” With the aim of eventually removing himself from regular client contact, Mr Vukman plans to provide more of a mentoring role to staff.

“Ultimately, the growth of the organisation needs to have people who take ownership.” “The business needs to continue without me,” he said.

The relocation to new, modern office also works towards the firm’s goal of making all its staff more accountable, as well as giving it room to grow.

Moving to a custom designed openplan office in Jolimont two months ago has improved the internal flow of communication between staff, and improved the overall working environment, with modern amenities, better technological capabilities and parking facilities for clients and staff.

The fit-out was designed by interior designer Scott Wilson, who was also responsible for the interior design of The Richardson Hotel in West Perth.

The name change, to the more generic JVA Financial Services, reflects the firm’s changing approach, while still retaining a loose association with its founder and principal.

Mr Vukman believes the new strategies will enhance the overall client experience and keep up with client expectations in a rapidly evolving marketplace.

“The clients expect something different, and we have tried to focus on our points of difference,” he said.

“We’re working at building relationships, so clients have a total experience not just with one person but the entire organisation.”  

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