*This Infocus report is written in partnership with Godfrey Pembroke

Max Weston and John Godfrey forged what has proven to be an enduring business when launching Godfrey Pembroke Group in 1981. Indeed, their vision has stood the test of time.

Today, Godfrey Pembroke is a highly regarded and trusted part of the financial services landscape in Australia. The network of advisers and integrated wealth management firms has a long history of delivering bespoke, quality advice.

The firm has cemented its position in the market, serving mostly high net worth individuals with more complex investment requirements.

This year marks 40 years since the business launched. Today, the boutique firm is backed by IOOF, giving the firm access to extensive support and solutions, such as technology, education, compliance guidance and research.

The anniversary provided the founders of the business with an opportunity to reflect on the journey so far and contemplate what the future might hold.

The heritage

One of the original founders John Godfrey, is now 78. He recalls having big plans from the very beginning when setting the business up with industry colleague and friend Max Weston.

Godfrey’s idea of what a financial consulting process could look like was formed early in his career. He got his start in stockbroking, where he managed a client service department, advised private clients and managed discretionary portfolios before moving into a research and institutional advice role.

He left stockbroking to join Development Finance Corporation’s underwriting department, then moved into the financial controller role at Mercantile Credits.

He recalls setting up the first Godfrey Pembroke office and building the business from the ground up, one day at a time. In a bold step, Godfrey Pembroke became the first large scale licensee group to adopt a fee-for-service model.

In those early days, he had to think outside the box to drum up customers. Godfrey had a five-minute radio spot talking about financial issues on community FM radio in Sydney. He decided to announce over the airwaves that he would offer free advice to the first 12 listeners to take up the offer, and the business grew from there.

He had also forged relationships with the Rotary Club of Sydney, which allowed him to be involved in local business communities and yielded a steady stream of new clients. “I knew this was what I wanted to do. I knew the work was important,” he says.