Lelané Bezuidenhout CFP®– the CEO of the Financial Planning Institute – welcomes you to a very special issue.
The Financial Planner of the Year award is the most prestigious accolade in the financial planning profession. Entering takes a lot of hard work – and winning has nothing to do with luck.
I have been privileged to judge this competition for the last six years. Each year I am left more awestruck than the year before. Entrant after entrant showcases the practices and processes which ensure that holistic financial planning is the order of the day for consumers in all corners of South Africa. The absolute professionalism that I’ve been blessed to witness leaves me with a sense of immense admiration for the CFP® professional who has worked exceptionally hard to get where he/she is today.
Entering the competition is no laughing matter. Only individuals who take the responsibility of being a CFP® professional very seriously and who understand the difference they make in their clients’ day-to- day lives need to apply. I remember one entrant’s story about how he put the right type of Critical Illness risk cover in place for one of his clients – a cancer sufferer – to ensure that she still enjoyed the last few months of her life with her loved ones. At the time, my dad was locked in his own battle with cancer, so the real-life story hit close to home that year.
So, what does it take to enter and win the competition? Being crowned champion requires successfully navigating three distinct – but equally demanding – phases
- Each entrant submits a thorough holistic financial plan that is assessed by both academics and practising CFP® professionals.
- A rigorous site audit (at shortlisted entrants’ place of work) gives judges a chance to validate the plan mentioned above and provides entrants with an opportunity to showcase how they incorporate the FPI Code of Ethics and Practice Standards into their daily operations.
- A gruelling panel interview tests the finalists on their knowledge of the latest financial planning techniques and the regulatory universe of the profession.
The Financial Planner of the Year competition is about celebrating excellence in the Financial Planning profession. I speak from experience when I say that the competition is getting stiffer every year and that the finalists all come within a hair’s breadth of winning the prize. But we can only have one winner each year.
Join me in reading this publication that not only celebrates our previous winners but also offers invaluable insights from the crème de la crème of the financial planning industry. Thank you, Tony and Cover magazine for the wonderful opportunity to showcase the Financial Planner of the Year competition and to celebrate our pantheon of champions.
Entries for this year’s competition opened in January. Monitor social media and check www.fpi.co.za to ensure you don’t miss your chance to shine.