Strong growth for SA professional financial planning industry

13 March 2017 Sherma Malan, FPI
Sherma Malan CFP®, Head Member and Corporate Relations at the FPI.

Sherma Malan CFP®, Head Member and Corporate Relations at the FPI.

The number people to qualify as CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNING® professionals continues to grow in South Africa and more and more women and black professionals are achieving this demanding designation.

“The number of women to hold CFP® professional status was above 30% of the total for the first time in 2016 and now stands at 1 424 female CFP® professionals in SA. Also encouraging is the growth of 3.3% in the number of black financial planners who qualified as CFP® professionals early in 2017 compared to 2016,” says Sherma Malan CFP®, Head Member and Corporate Relations at the Financial Planning Institute of SA (FPI).

“As the industry becomes ever more demanding due to challenges delivered by market volatility and client expectations as well as continued changes to the regulatory environment, we see that professionals between the ages of 40-49 remained the largest number of professionals for the third year running. This proves the value of retaining the CFP® designation even for experienced advisors and also shows dedication to deliver financial planning services of an exceptional standard. The second largest number of people that holds CFP® certification fall in the 50 -59 age group followed by those between the ages of 30 and 39. Together this make up 80% of the total CFP® professional members in South Africa. We further note that there is growing awareness amongst consumers and financial planning clients about the value of engaging a CFP® professional,” Malan added.

With a 2016 year end figure of 4 660 CFP® professionals the local industry is ranked at number six in the world in terms of the total of CFP® professionals according to a report issued by the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB), owner of the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® certification programme outside the USA, in February this year.

A total of 18 435 CFP® professionals were added to the global network in 2016 and the overall number now stands at 170 098 worldwide. The USA has the highest number at 76 760, followed by 20 683 in Japan, 16 878 in China, 16 582 in Canada and 5 601 in Australia.

“The FPI has a number of initiatives in place to encourage people to attain the CFP® designation and we are pleased with the steady growth achieved in the past five years. Although the industry remains dominated by white males, the changes in demographics thanks to growth in the number of women and black advisors achieving the qualification is positive. We also actively engage with higher education providers to promote financial planning as a career amongst students,” Malan says.

Beyond building the industry the FPI has also stepped up plans to broaden its outreach and consumer education projects in 2017. “The low savings culture in South Africa is well documented and it is also well known that consumers are under pressure and making poor money decisions. We enlist the participation of CFP® professionals and other FPI members to actively promote a better understanding of personal finance matters through the FPIMYMONEY123TM workshops at companies and university and school campuses and with contributions in media across all platforms,” she says.

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