The Settlement Alliance

Settlement Planner Spotlight: George Audi, CFP®, ChSNC™

Settlement Planner Spotlight: George Audi, CFP®, ChSNC™

May 1, 2017

George Audi, CFP® (Certified Financial Planner), ChSNC™ (Chartered Special Needs Consultant)

Primary Office Locations: Sinking Spring, PA & Philadelphia, PA

Why did you choose to become a settlement planner?

I was in the financial planning business for 12 years when I was approached to become a settlement planner. Once I learned what settlement planning was all about, I knew I had found the business I was born to be in. I saw injured people who had to deal with a lot of financial and emotional rollercoasters, and I could help them mend some of their broken fences and get back on their feet. The opportunity to enter into someone’s life, put together a plan for them and their family, and have them know that they are going to be okay…it’s one of the best feelings in the world.

What are some of the challenges that your attorney clients face- and how do you help them?

My attorney clients work so hard every day to advocate and to obtain the most compensation they can for their clients. One of the things attorneys hate the most is getting that phone call a year and a half down the road, only to hear the client ask if they can get more money from their case because there’s nothing left from the settlement. That’s why I try to get involved in cases as early as possible. By earning the respect and confidence of my attorney clients and in turn, building personal relationships with the plaintiffs, the attorneys know that I care about their clients’ well-being just as much as they do. I’m a part of the team. I am there to make sure that their clients’ financial futures are properly planned and in line with their individual objectives so that the attorneys can focus on their inventory of cases.

What are some of the challenges that your plaintiff clients face- and how do you help them?

Many of the plaintiff clients I work with have been involved in a personal injury lawsuit for two years or more. The stress of recovering from an injury, when coupled with making decisions that will have lifelong implications can be very overwhelming: Should they settle or go to trial? If they settle, how much is enough? Are they making the right decisions?

I really try and put myself in the client’s position to get a good understanding of where they are at in the process. When a plaintiff gets to mediation, oftentimes they are very nervous and full of anxiety. Many of them have never even heard of the word “mediation”. They enter the room filled with suits, and if the case settles, most claimants will be getting more money than they have ever seen in their lives—exciting, yes, but also overwhelming because many would choose to give it all back to be like they were before the accident.

I think it’s extremely beneficial to have well-developed emotional intelligence and to create a sense of comfort when discussing these very difficult situations. When plaintiffs can tell that I care, feel comfortable that I’ve been doing this work for a long time, and that I have the industry designations (critical for some claimants) to help them with their specific settlement and with whatever comes down the pike in the future, that’s what solidifies the relationship.

What three traits define you?

Energetic, emotional, and empathetic

Who is your personal hero?

My 91-year-old dad is my personal hero. He’s a US Navy veteran who served in WWII and the Korean War. He taught me that you can have very little financial resources and still lead a very happy and fulfilled life. His love of life (always feeling ‘fantabulistic’), his love for people, their love for him, and his positive approach to all aspects of life has greatly influenced the person I am today.

What is your personal motto?

If you do the kind of things that you don’t want to do when you don’t want to do them…you’ll be able to do whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want!

If you weren’t a settlement planner, what would you be doing for a career?

I would probably be in sales somewhere in the golf industry. It would be a great combination of work and fun.

Categories: Settlement Planning

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  • MetLife
  • Mutual of Omaha
  • New York Life
  • Pacific Life
  • Prudential