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Celebrating standards for financial planning practices in Southern Africa

27 July 2020 The Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa’s (FPI)

The Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa’s (FPI) vision is “Financial Planning for All”. One way in which the FPI gives effect to its vision is via its Approved Professional Practices that complies with FPI’s Approved Professional Practice’s audit criteria.

The FPI is the standard-setter for financial planning in Southern Africa; this includes setting standards for not only financial advice and financial planning, but also standards for financial planning practices.

“It is through the FPI Approved Professional Practice™, that we recognise those practices that have embraced financial planning as their core service, embedded the FPI Code of Ethics and Professional responsibility in their practice and contribute to the growth of our young profession,” says Lelané Bezuidenhout CFP®, CEO of the FPI.

Each FPI Approved Professional Practice™ consists of a team of CFP® professionals and those candidates on the pathway in becoming CFP® professionals. Clients holistic financial planning needs are often looked after by the whole practice and not just by an individual financial planner.

The winning formula

In becoming an FPI Approved Professional Practice™, practices must meet specific criteria and are audited via a three-phased application and audit process. All approved practices are reviewed on an annual basis as well as a full re-application audit every three-years.

While the road to becoming an FPI approved professional Practice™ is not easy, it is worth it. Take it from those who are already there:

“Being an FPI Approved Professional Practice™ is a great accolade for our business and something that our clients really appreciate,” says Eric Jordaan of Crue Invest. “They know it represents the highest levels of expertise and professionalism, and that helps to cement firm trust relationships.”

Ian Beere, of Netto Invest, explains that “in a business where trust is a key component, professional bodies can play an important role in giving clients and potential clients some peace of mind.” Beere goes on to list the benefits of gaining accreditation – as he sees them – in order of priority:

1. Providing peace of mind to existing clients (our primary goal)
2. Attracting the best new talent when required and
3. Providing differentiation for new clients

An added bonus in achieving the FPI Approved Professional Practice status is that it has given us a voice with the FPI leadership to participate in important issues,” says Beere.

How to achieve FPI Approved Professional Practice™ status

Given the responsibility that comes with the above status, the criteria are fairly onerous. These are a few of the criteria for consideration:

- Financial planning must be the practices’ core activity;
- 50% of the practices’ financial advisors must be CFP® professionals in good standing;
- the practice must have a minimum of two key individuals that are CFP® professionals in good standing;
- the practice must adhere to FPI’s Code of Ethics and Practice Standards Incorporating the Rules of Professional Conduct
- the practice must participate in FPI pro bono financial literacy programs and
- must be an FPI Mentorship Centre where young professionals on the pathway can obtain the necessary financial planning experience.

To view the full list of criteria, please click here.

Launching FPI Professional Practice™ of the year award

“With the coveted financial planner of the year competition in its 20th year, and the FPI Approved Professional Practice™ now well established we believe that 2020 is the right year to launch the Practice of the year award,” says Bezuidenhout

Opening your practice up to the judges’ scrutiny may be daunting, but this is a small price to pay for ensuring that your practice remains at the forefront of the financial planning profession in SA. Entering the competition means that your practice is a showcase of absolute professionalism and dedication to growing the financial planning profession.

If you are an FPI Approved Professional Practice™ and feel that your practice represents the very best of our profession, why not enter the FPI’s Professional Practice of the Year Competition? Best hurry, as entries close on 3 August 2020.

To find out more about gaining FPI Approved Professional Practice™ status for your practice, contact the FPI on 011 470 6000 or email [email protected] or [email protected]

Quick Polls

QUESTION

The intention with lockdown was to delay or flatten the Covid-19 infection curve and give both the private and public healthcare sectors time to prepare for the inevitable onslaught. Did the strategy work?

ANSWER

No, the true numbers are not reflected. Almost a quarter of South Africans may already have been infected with Covid-19
It’s too soon to tell. We will likely get a second wave with stringent lockdown regulations in place again
Yes, South Africa bought enough time to make a significant difference. We saved lives and have passed our peak. The worst is over
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