Recognising value from within: Werner Watzdorf

5 min read

Initiated a program within our practice to ensure all female staff will undertake the DFP programme.

By Julia Newbould

We have initiated a program within our practice to ensure all female staff will undertake the DFP programme to be full financial planners and potential business partners by 2020. Our business is currently 60% female.

McLeod Watzdorf is a 9-person practice in Adelaide made of up two CFP financial planning principals – Don McLeod and Werner Watzdorf, an independent CFP, HR manager, financial controller, office manager and two client service officers.

Starting in the industry 26 years ago after successfully transitioning from being a top chef, Werner built up his business to the current $2million turnover practice it is today.

With one of the CFPs retiring soon, the business has succession planning issues coming up. “We knew that day was coming and have tried twice to bring in new planner businesses. Both did not work out and we’ve since realised that the best fit would be to train up the current staff with education and experience and start them on their DFPs, and then ADFPs with the intention to promote them to financial planners and eventually have them share in the businesses. They have to pay for the course but if they pass we reimburse them.

“The reaction from staff has been good and solid. They know how the practice operates,” Mr Watzdorf says.

The intended impact of the training is to have more financial planners in the business, and to solve the succession planning issue over time. “The staff will benefit from professional qualifications, profit share and eventual ownership and will bring a fresh outlook to the business,” Mr Watzdorf says.

“I’ve got it as good as it gets and I’m confident the staff I’ve got would make ideal partners and will be part able to successfully advocate on behalf of the financial planning industry in the future.

“The staff is all committed since January this year, they are taking on more study and becoming more aware of the business. My future is also their security.”

Mr Watzdorf has four daughters, and is currently living with five women.