Long client relationship required ongoing strategizing to overcome health and marital issues.
My relationship with Peter and his extended family started in 2001; they were among my first 10 clients on record. Peter and his brother John were partners in a growing and successful family logistics company. Peter and his wife had three children.
Although Peter was what we refer to in South Africa as middle to high income, he was struggling with alcohol and gambling addictions. Even though he was only 34, he was dealing with health issues due to alcoholism, which also caused strain on his marriage and his wealth.
Peter had done very little financial planning of any kind, and the case was complex as it would include financial and business needs planning.
I also worked with Peter on estate, trust, investment, protection and tax planning to create a holistic financial plan.
The complexity drivers would be dealing with the health issues during medical underwriting to obtain cover for business protection against creditors, estate liquidity concerns and the family business.
A can of worms opened when I started analyzing the client’s portfolio, and it soon became clear this would not be a normal case. My work with this client spanned 14 years and required many different and unique approaches to safeguard wealth creation and dependent protection, even more so as Peter’s health and marriage deteriorated, and the business interest became stronger and larger.
Throughout our relationship, Peter took my ongoing financial advice and added many policies including investments into his portfolio, retirement annuities, investment builders and education policies. He also purchased buy-sell and key person policies for business protection, as well as protection policies for life coverage, critical illness, income and occupational disability, and impairment.
The fact that we had protection cover in place when Peter died at 48 meant we could take care of the full estate and ensure his children and spouse were taken care of for the rest of their lives. I could look Peter in his eyes before he died and assure him he would not have to worry. It was a profound moment in my career as a financial planner.