John & Jill Hennessy
John has kindly written the article below on their working life, family, and their experiences with GFM Wealth Advisory since 1976 and GFM Gruchy Accounting. We much appreciate John’s contribution to Trade Secrets.
Way back in 1972 while I was single and living a bachelor’s life in Heidelberg, a Legal and General Life Insurance Broker made contact. As I’d been toying with doing something investment-wise, it was a timely call, I signed up and began contributing to a Life Insurance Policy, and didn’t hear from them again.
Little did I know this would be the starting point of a wonderful association with GFM Wealth Advisory.
In 1976, Tony Gilham called to introduce himself as he had been assigned as my Legal and General representative, taking over from the original broker who was no longer with the company. I gladly agreed to Tony visiting me and updating my situation, which had significantly changed.
During 1975, Jill and I married and set up in her home town, as it was then, Werribee, “The Country Suburb”.
Fast forward to today, and here we are in the same place, a vastly different Werribee, forty-five years later, a wonderful home and area to raise our four children. We have two girls and two boys now well into their thirties, and we are proud grandparents with two grandsons and a granddaughter.
Our eldest child Anthony lives in London with his Croatian wife having just had their first daughter during November. He’s a digital expert with an international management consultancy.
Our first daughter Louise, has worked in the Employment Industry and is now full time parenting their three-year-old son, and lives locally.
Ann-Marie lives in Pordenone, Italy, with her German Engineer husband and eight-month-old son.
Our youngest Chris is a teacher at a local school in Werribee and is an active member of Werribee Cricket Club.
Jill and I are very proud of our children and the diversity of their life experiences.
As a retired primary school teacher, Jill loved her students and was highly regarded. She loves children and shows a keen interest in what they are doing and how she might help them. As scorer for the Werribee Cricket Team, whichever one Chris plays for, she’s like a “mother” to the boys.
My story is probably less interesting, as I was an average student and regretted never having gone to University. It wasn’t until my late twenties that I realised I wanted to do further studies, and embarked on a Marketing and Management Course, and did pretty well at it. It didn’t make me a chief executive but gave me the confidence to undertake more senior roles, in middle management areas. Sales and Marketing Management roles in the Agricultural machinery and Hydraulics areas provided much satisfaction. A moderately successful period in local real-estate took me into retirement after a further eight years. During this transition to retirement, with Jill, a part-time teacher, we heavily concentrated on saving for our retirement via salary sacrifice into our SMSF.
During all of this was one constant – GFM for over 45 years.
From the early days, a strong culture of enthusiasm, knowledge, communication and passion were guiding principles practised by all staff at GFM. As my working life was, at times, a bumpy ride, knowing that GFM was steadily securing our future was a great comfort.
GFM took us from Life Insurance through to the change to superannuation, then onwards to SMSF in 2007: an excellent move.
Keys to GFM’s success, from my experience, are the research and preparation that goes on before meetings so that our meetings are conducted in an easy-to-understand logical language that Jill and I can follow. Investment opportunities are thoroughly researched and well explained.
A strong point pushed when promoting GFM to others, is the fact that GFM is not associated with any other financial institutions.
From day one, GFM amassed a fine team of first-class staff, all dedicated to generating the best advice and service, and this is contagious within the team. We feel confident that we could deal with any member of the team, not that we would want to change from Paul, who has been our adviser for the last 20 years!
A further improvement was made with the amalgamation of GFM Gruchy Accounting. This made for a very convenient one-stop-shop.
An annual event not-to-be-missed is the GFM Golf Day where meeting and playing with other “Family” members is a most enjoyable experience and look forward to each year.
In many ways, our story is not of overly successful corporate life, but a rich, happy and satisfying family life, stress-free thanks to the management of our financial affairs by the team at GFM.