Foreword

A new direction for the FPI

Forward.jpg

Greetings! For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve just taken over as the new full-time CEO of the FPI. (Ed: Read our profile of Lelané on page 18 to get to know her better.) Fresh off the plane from a convention in Washington, I’m now sinking my teeth into the exciting challenge of steering the financial planning profession into the future. With your help, of course…

Conventions and awards

Our first port of call is the upcoming FPI Convention on 17 and 18 July in Sandton – our 30th annual gathering! The convention is a fantastic opportunity for industry professionals to grow both their networks and their skillsets (the lineup of international and local speakers is out of the very top drawer). For me, it is also a timely chance for us all to take stock of the FPI’s strengths and challenges and to build on the progress made in the past 12 months to forge a new and fruitful direction for the Institute.

In the lead-up to the convention, we have the daunting task of choosing our Financial Planner of the Year from what has been an especially stellar batch of applicants. We are currently in the process of whittling the field down to three finalists (not easy!) whose practices we will visit for on-the-ground evaluations of their business and financial planning processes. From these three finalists, there can be only one winner – you’ll have to wait until the glitzy gala dinner on 17 July to find out who it is.

Nuts and bolts

There are also plenty of other matters to address. For the sake of our members, we’ve updated our CPD cycle to run from 1 June to 31 May annually. This will assist members who are also licensed under FAIS to file all their CPD documentation at the same time. It is important though to note that the recent FSCA exemption from CPD requirements (FSCA FAIS Notice 40 of 2019) does not apply to FPI members. Members must still comply with the 35 CPD hour requirement by 31 May 2019.

We’ve also made the decision to update – rather than phase out – the RFP™ designation. In order to protect the terms “financial planner” and “financial planning”, we changed the significance of the RFP™ SAQA-registered designation from Registered Financial Planner to Registered Financial Practitioner. This will enable us to reserve the term “financial planner” for individuals who have put in the time and effort to achieve the esteemed CFP® professional status, while at the same time allowing us to grow the industry and penetrate new markets where the underlying qualification does not need to be on an NQF 8 level. The RFP™ designation also serves as a learning pathway towards FSA™ certification and ultimately CFP® certification.

What’s more, we’ve introduced a new “Affiliate” membership category aimed at non-members who elect to complete their CPD hours using our very own Centre for Professional Development. There is no membership fee over and above the cost of the CPD activities. Affiliates merely have to sign an ethics declaration and ensure they acquire 20 CDP points annually.

This new category provides an elegant and affordable solution for FSPs that don’t have the staff/facilities to manage in-house CPD training for their Key Individuals and Representatives. Such companies can rely on our well-established CPD policy, procedures and Code of Ethics and Practice Standards to ensure that all of their Key Individuals and Representatives are objectively certified against our industry-leading benchmarks. In addition, affiliate membership also offers a foolproof road-map for newcomers who are working towards full, professional membership of the FPI.

Better together

The FPI is all about serving both its members and the wider financial planning community and its consumers – and this starts with listening to their concerns. In the months and weeks ahead I plan to speak to as many people as I possibly can. I know I’ll see many of you at the convention (please come over and introduce yourself), but I’d also love to hear what you’ve got to say before then. My door is always open.

Lelané Bezuidenhout, CEO, FPI

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