The whole kit and caboodle

Caboodle Financial Services co-founder Peita Diamantidis tells ifa about the business' name change in 2013, passive clients and her practice's focus on innovation

When Peita Diamantidis changed the name of her financial planning practice from DeltaPlan to Caboodle in 2013, she wanted a name that could better capture the practice's approachable and fun nature.

"We needed something that would capture us and our style of advice, so we went through a rebrand with a new website, new logo, and got our whole kit sorted – the whole kit and caboodle," she says.

"That's where the Caboodle name came from."
Before moving into financial planning about 12 years ago, Ms Diamantidis worked as an investment banker.

She had realised, however, after many years in investment banking, that it wasn't for her and, through family and their contacts, she started chatting to a few people who were in financial planning – and then she made the transition.

"Given my financial background, it was such a natural step," she says.

Targeting passive clients

After a couple of years working in financial planning, and with thoughts of starting her own practice, Ms Diamantidis realised she could play a role in a part of the market that largely was untouched – passive clients.

She began developing a business model focused on passive clients – people who can shell out for a policy but who are very passive about their money.

"Naturally, people want to focus on high-net-wealth clients, but if we could get it right with the rest of Australia, how exciting that would be!" she says.

Ms Diamantidis admits the demographic of passive clients was younger than she had expected.

"Because we're taking on older policies, I expected the demographic to be a bit older, but it's not," she says. "It's because the younger people are the ones that have the single policy but haven't done any more."

Embracing innovation

One thing Ms Diamantidis is most proud of is her approach to innovation.

While she admits that innovation is not something that comes naturally, given her financial background, she sources all sorts of technology and ideas from around the world, constantly absorbing, assessing and reviewing it against what Caboodle has, before making the appropriate changes.

"We're looking after clients whose average business income is very low, meaning the margins are also low, so you need to be getting better and better at what you do," she says.

"We're not talking about big changes like brand new systems, but little tweaks – finding a way to do something that would normally take 10 minutes and do it in two."

Also, in terms of fostering further client engagement, Ms Diamantidis wanted to ensure that Caboodle took the time to listen to clients' stories.

"A lot of clients that we service have never had personalised service," she says. "We don't want the 'two seconds on the phone' call-centre style of interaction.

"If we're doing most of our work at arm's length, we have to build rapport and let clients chat over the phone for 20 minutes, even though we're just checking in with them."

Looking to the future

As for her future plans for Caboodle, Ms Diamantidis wants to do more than just simple client engagement.

"We want to empower clients, and that means education and inspiration," she says.

One empowerment tool she has been working on is a collaborative effort with a San Diego business titled 'Map My Progress', with diagrams used to illustrate goal achievements.

"Instead of it being a boring spreadsheet, they have a piece of artwork that they have up on their wall that they've coloured in to achieve their goal," she says. "It's bringing a whole lot of connection and engagement but also real inspiration to these clients."

But most importantly, Ms Diamantidis prefers clients to view their finances as a self-discovery journey – and to come to their own conclusions.

"I would love it if all this effort at empowering clients just causes people to act," she says.

"The fact that not everyone will come to us I'm not as worried about because I know some people will. But if they just act, then yay! What a great impact!"

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