Several of the highest honours in financial planning were awarded at the Financial Planning Association Professionals Congress in Hobart today, attended by about 1100 delegates.
It was a double whammy win for Perth-based Capital Partners Private Wealth Advisers, hailed as the most outstanding practice with long-serving employee Michael Hayward taking home the coveted FPA Certified Financial Planner Professional of the Year Award.
Hayward, a private client adviser, was recognised for his commitment to excellent client service, mentorship and innovative ideas around the Statement of Advice (SOA) supplement.
FPA chief executive Dante De Gori acknowledged Hayward for understanding that trust and respect is earnt through excellent client service.
"His reputation has been built on the service he has provided over the past 13 years within his practice, and his client testimonials were outstanding and a testament to his work," De Gori said.
The firm took out the Professional Practice of the Year Award for its industry thought-leadership, client education, and for promoting professional advice. The practice was also commended for investing in quality people and ongoing contribution to the community.
Patricia Garcia of WB Financial in Brisbane won the AFP Financial Planner of the Year Award for demonstrating that quality advice is more than solutions and strategy. Her ability to coach clients to feel more confident and empowered also made her a standout.
As well as being a good mentor, Garcia uses her professional skills to regularly give back to the broader community via pro bono work.
Adriana Brink from Alman Partners took home the Paraplanner of the Year Award, notably for her 'client first' ethos, technical skills and ability to execute complex strategies.
Brink also takes the lead in mentoring new staff and provides pro bono assistance to aged care and Centrelink clients, the FPA said.
Azaria Bell of Griffith University collected the University Student of the Year Award in recognition of academic excellence and commitment to becoming a future leader in the industry.
An active and respected member of her institution, she is passionate about encouraging peers to consider the opportunities of a career in financial planning.
The Gwen Fletcher Memorial Award, which salutes the highest performing student in the final unit of the CFP Certification Program, went to Michael Forer from Next Level Financial Services. Bronnie Abraham from Brisbane-based advice firm Dolphinwise was the semester one winner.
Reuben Zelwer, owner of Adapt Wealth Management in Melbourne, won the Future2 Community Service Award for educating and empowering those experiencing personal and financial hardship within the community organisation, Jewish Care Victoria.
Zelwer has dedicated 10 years to growing the financial services support offered to this community, which provides financial counseling services and financial literacy for high schools students.
FPA chair Neil Kendall helped hand out the awards in place of chief executive De Gori, who wasn't able to be there in person, but addressed the congress via video link.