Sydney Sekese

2016 FPI Media Award Winner

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Sydney Sekese, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®/CFP® professional, says that the concept of starting with the end in mind - and assisting clients to map out their financial goals - provides him with a sense of fulfilment especially when the plans come to fruition.

Sydney has dedicated his studies to financial planning. He has an undergraduate BSc Degree and a Diploma in Actuarial Techniques, as well as an Advanced Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning, specialising in investments. At first Sydney thought he would apply his studies in an actuarial career. However, he soon realised that his personality was not compatible with his initial career choice. He then moved into the client servicing unit of the then Southern Life Assurance Company in the early 1990s. As a senior investment specialist at Old Mutual Corporate; he is responsible for servicing and maintaining a portfolio of institutional clients. Sydney has a real passion for consistent superior client experiences and delivering relationship-based service that enables his clients to meet and exceed their investment objectives. During his time in the financial services industry, he has filled a diversity of roles, from fund administration and actuarial support to investments product marketing and investments consulting. This has afforded him extensive and valuable insights into various aspects of the industry as well as local and international investment markets.

Sydney is passionate about the investment planning sector of the financial planning aspect. This passion is a result of the dynamic profile of this sector and the never-ending tools that are applied to match the changing dynamics of the investments landscape. He is actively involved as a member of the FPI Investment Competency Committee providing support and assistance to members. He has found that many consumers tend to chase last quarter’s top performing funds/portfolios and in the process deviate from their investment philosophy and strategy that they are supposed to remain committed to follow. He believes that in this current unusually and uncertain environment, it is prudent for clients to stick to their plans and reduce the emotional tendency of chopping and changing/switching their investments. Sydney believes that one of his greatest successes has been attaining the CFP® designation. He feels a sense of accomplishment in successfully passing the rigorous training that is well sought out in the industry. In addition to that, he was very honoured to receive the 2016 FPI Media Award as his participation in various FPI activities is done with passion and with no expectations of any reward and/or recognition. When he isn’t helping people ensure that they are financially healthy, he ensures that he is physically healthy by visiting the gym as often as possible and taking part in half-marathons.

Sydney has won several music awards via the National Eisteddfod of South Africa and loves singing. Keeping a holistic life balance is his top priority, and this means keeping up with his spiritual wellbeing as well as that of his family.Sydney advises aspiring financial planners to have realistic expectations. “Reaching a high-level position in record time may not always be an achievable goal. It is prudent for them to set short- and long-term career plans which are aligned to their various stages of the career,” says Sydney.

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