Financial Planning Institute announces 2017 Financial Planner of the Year

20 October 2017 FPI
Mark MacSymon.

Mark MacSymon.

The Financial Planning Institute (FPI) of Southern Africa, last night at the FPI Awards Ceremony Gala Dinner, announced Mark MacSymon, CFP®, as the 2017 FPI Financial Planner of the Year in a hotly contested competition.

The FPI Financial Planner of the Year Award honours outstanding planners from across South Africa and is considered to be the highest accolade in the profession. It is one of the prestige prominent public projects undertaken by FPI.

Mark MacSymon, CFP®, an economist by profession and a wealth manager at Private Client Holdings, Mark was a finalist in the Financial Planning Institute's 2015/16 Financial Planner of Year competition. He has been recognised nationally for the quality of advice he provides to clients. He believes that life is the sum of (often difficult) decisions and is committed to making a difference to his clients’ lives by ensuring their financial security and prosperity.

Mark believes that the most important attributes of the modern financial planning professional are impartiality, transparency and a commitment to service excellence. Although he regards a strong academic background as essential to rendering a quality wealth management service, Mark believes first and foremost that the most valuable commodity in the financial services industry is trust – built over time

Commenting on his win, Mark said “I feel very proud to have won the Award. There is a tremendous amount of work involved to succeed in this competition and I feel privileged to be benchmarked against the best financial planners in the profession.”

Mark said one of his goals during his tenure as FPI Financial Planner of the Year, he would like to create public awareness around the value of the CFP® mark. “I want this to become conventional wisdom that when people require financial advice they do so through the use of a certified financial planning professional,” said Mark.

The other two worthy FPI Financial Planner of Year finalists are Janet Hugo, CFP® whose wealth management practice provides investment and financial planning advice and implementation services to clients in both Johannesburg and the Cape and Francois Le Roux, CFP® of Private Wealth Management. Francois has over 16 years’ experience in the financial planning profession. He is a proud mentor, mentoring aspiring financial planners as part of the FPI Mentorship Programme and was a finalist in the 2016 FPI Financial Planner of the Year competition.

More award winners announced at the Gala Dinner:

FPI It Starts with Me Award – Nigel Willmott, CFP®. The award recognises the CFP® professional who has made the best contribution to support and promote the CFP®.

FPI Harry Brews’ Award – Anton Swanepoel, CFP®. Anton was presented this award for his life-long outstanding significant contributions to FPI through promoting FPI and its impact in the areas of service to society, academia, training, government, media or any other professional activities.

FPI Media Award – Kobus Klein, CFP®. This award recognises the FPI member who is actively involved with and has made outstanding significant contributions to the media promote financial planning.

Top Student Award – Simone Sharman, CFP® for her top results in the FPI Professional Competency Examinations.

Diversity Scholarship Award – Lee Ann Visagie received this inaugural award for her commitment to diversity and inclusion which has had a significant impact on individuals, communities and organisations.

Financial Planning Challenge – Awarded to Team MAN Financial Solutions from the University of Johannesburg. The award is designed exclusively for students studying any financial planning or finance-inclined undergraduate degree programme registered in South Africa. Other universities participating in stage 2 and 3 of the Challenge include; Team LMJ Financial Planning from Nelson Mandela University, finished off as the first runner up, and Team Excel Wealth from Milpark Education, as second runner up.

The Exhibitor Excellence Awards - The Exhibitor Excellence Awards - Measured and rewarded based on a standard of Gold, Silver and Bronze performance. The award was issued not on how well the company performed in its industry, but rather on how well it used the exhibition as a marketing platform.

Gold Exhibition Excellence winner went to Just, with Iris winning the Silver Exhibition Excellence category and Old Mutual Wealth awarded the Bronze Exhibition Excellence award.

At the Awards, Godfrey Nti – CEO, Financial Planning Institute said “The Financial Planning Institute exists to improve the level of professionalism and positively influence the quality of advice provided by its members. The annual Awards allows us to recognise the best of the best in the various spheres of our profession; and the industry at large; and through this, we are continuously raising the bar of service we provide to our clients.”

“Congratulations to all of our worthy winners. I look forward to witnessing how they will continue to make a valuable contribution to financial planning,” said Nti

For more information about the awards and to read the full profiles of the FPI Award winners profiles, visit or email or contact FPI on 011 470 6000.


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