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‘Being pickier with clients boosted my relationships’, says adviser

The secret to client engagement is becoming choosier about whom to work with, according to Multiforte Financial Services principal adviser Kate McCallum.

During an AFA Inspire event in Sydney, Ms McCallum said she was able to establish stronger relationships with her clients when she became more selective.

"In order to have a good relationship with clients – which I think is really important – you have to work out who you'll likely have a good relationship with," she said.

"So I'm very selective about the clients I work with. I don't work with everybody who walks through my door that was referred to me."

Ms McCallum said she learned this by developing a kind of checklist of client qualities and using that to determine whether or not she should take on a new client.

"I looked at whether they had enough assets to make my fee worthwhile, and their level of complexity – if they're more complex, they're more likely to value a relationship with me," she said.

"I looked at whether they were happy to refer people to me, whether I liked working with them and did I have an area of expertise that matched what they were looking for."


Having the scorecard has enabled Ms McCallum to develop stronger connections with her clients, she said. However, it also meant she had to terminate relationships with those who did not fit.

"What I don't want is someone who questions every decision that I make. I had actually 'sacked' a client two years ago. I just said to him, 'I'm not the right adviser for you'," she said.

"He wanted somebody who was going to time the market precisely. I don't time markets; I give clients a really detailed investment philosophy before I start working with them. So I think selection is really important."