Since our inception in 1980, we’ve had different names, different offices, and different faces.
What has stayed the same is our commitment to our philosophies and our passion for providing quality service to our clients.
See how we have developed over the years and engage with our company’s history yourself, via our interactive timeline below.
John Hopkins grew up on Phillip Island where he spent much of his youth playing football, surfing, driving go-karts, working and assisting his parents with many residential property subdivisions in the area. His passion in property was hence instilled early and, in the late 1970s, John identified a distinct need in Australia for independent property investment advice, which is when the idea of John Hopkins and Company was first conceived.
John Hopkins and Company Pty Ltd was established in September 1980; one of the first independent property investment advisory groups in Australia. John, a pioneer in the industry, established and ingrained the company's philosophies (still in place today) and developed the Three Circle Financial Planning Methodology. The first premise of the business was on Queens Road, Melbourne (in the St Kilda Road precinct) where the organisation began offering property investment advice based on John's belief that "if the property isn't right for the client, we won't recommend it." In addition to recommending established property in Melbourne, John began negotiating properties before they were developed in order to gain access to quality investments for clients; this phenomenon (known today as "off-the-plan" and widely accepted as a form of property purchase) was quite uncommon at the time.
Whilst the Group in its infancy was property centric, John was determined to expand into financial services. To that end, the Group began providing financial planning advice, a mortgage and finance department was added as well as a property management arm. John was a foundation committee member of the Financial Planning Association of Australia. The Group expanded its recommended properties to Sydney, as the city now met John's strict property investment philosophies as to what makes a quality investment. Public seminars were a rarity in the 1980s, yet John ran hundreds of property focused presentations in Melbourne and Sydney. He also wrote regular columns in national newspapers and magazines (including a weekly syndicated piece distributed to about 100 different outlets) and spoke weekly on ABC radio and other commercial stations. The office was relocated to a new address on St Kilda Road to accommodate growing staff numbers and business expansion.
The recession of the late 1980s and early 1990s defined many organisations in their corporate, personal and professional tenacity, integrity and values. And whilst John Hopkins and Company was undoubtedly affected, the Group survived and maintained its corporate goal to "motivate and assist clients to build and protect their wealth so that they can live the life they choose, now and in the future." John Hopkins and Company continued to assist thousands of individuals to purchase quality investment property as the industry began to gain momentum. John and the Group were important instigators and associates in furthering off-the-plan methodology for the benefits of clients.
During the 1990s, John Hopkins and Company began developing its own properties as John was determined to gain a deeper understanding of the property development industry. Some of the prominent developments the Group developed in joint ventures were Riverside (Southbank Boulevard, Southgate), St Nicholas Apartments (Rathdowne, St Carlton) and Botanica (St Kilda Road, St Kilda). All these developments and more were a great success and resulted in hundreds of clients purchasing quality Melbourne apartments and townhouses.
The John Hopkins Group logo and brand was established. The logo, which first encompassed a horse on a gold coin, was designed around John's firm belief that there is more to life than money; and that is ensuring you have a fulfilled lifestyle and follow your passions. In John's case, his two passions are family and horse riding. The brand and logo was developed by Quentin Brown, Creative Director of Canyon Pty Ltd. Around this time, John determined it was crucial for the long term success of his clients and associates that the Group further developed into being a full financial services organisation, and so he began exploring possible opportunities.
John Hopkins recognised that in order to create a truly holistic investment group, he needed to expand the service offering of his organisation. During this time Michael Williams (who was managing a successful financial planning organisation) was coincidently looking to add a dedicated property investment advisory arm to his business. And so the two joined forces, creating the financial service investment house John originally foresaw and moving to the Group's current location on William Street in Melbourne CBD.
John and the Group established and became benefactor for the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (formally Property Investment Advisers of Australia), of which John was the inaugural chairperson; a not-for-profit organisation which, still today, regulates and represents individuals and companies involved in property investment in Australia. John and the Group also partnered with Deakin University to assist in the creation of the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) Accreditation Program, an industry recognised formal qualification for property investment which is still offered today.
The Group expanded its recommended properties to Brisbane, as the city now met John's strict property investment philosophies as to what makes a quality investment.
The Group hosted its inaugural Economic Briefing; a major annual event for clients, intermediaries and associates with industry recognised key note speakers presenting on various national and international economic matters.
Tax and Accounting services were added to the John Hopkins Group, further extending the holistic offering to clients. This new department specialises in personal tax returns and self managed superannuation funds. John Hopkins became an active ambassador for beyondblue and began delivering many presentations and seminars to a variety of audiences, with the aim of creating awareness about depression and anxiety and improving the mental health and wellbeing of the whole population.
Lantern Property Partners was launched; a rebrand for the John Hopkins Group's existing business that advises clients of other financial service organisations. A new brand and market presence strengthened and differentiated the property side of the business as Lantern continued to work alongside its network of referral partners introducing property investment to their clients.
bdhSterling was established; a cross border solution between the UK and Australia, focusing on the transfer of UK pensions to Australia. Global QROPS, Simon Barwick and the John Hopkins Group had been working together for over a decade before officially launching this ancillary business.
The Hopkins Group is launched; a fresh and contemporary rebrand of the business is undertaken to remain present and relevant to our clients and the changing financial services environment. Along with a change in name, a revitalised logo is created in the form of a chess piece; staying true to John's love of horses whilst incorporating the importance of achieving financials goals by taking the next strategic move forward.
This year, The Hopkins Group started a new chapter in its rich history and moved to a new office space to better serve its clients’ needs and keep up with the growth of the company. The new premises at 500 Collins Street are tailored for dynamic, productive and engaging interactions with clients, suppliers and partners.