by Stephanie Pillay

Foreword

The way forward for the FPI

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As you know, 2018 was a tough year for the FPI. I’m pleased to tell you that we’ve formulated a new strategy and enhanced our governance processes. The FPI Board has since undertaken appropriate measures which are cemented internally to ensure our stakeholder engagements and relations remain intact. The withdrawal of the examination body, which highlighted gaps in our governance processes and policies overall, allowed for more introspection on what our core focus areas should be. A more prudent approach was actioned which would allow us to focus on our core function, being a professional body.

We remain committed to protecting our status as the only CFP® designation provider in South Africa. We’re committed to our members, professionalising the industry, and growth through uniting financial planners throughout the country.

Celebrate change

One of our greatest industry challenges is the need for diversity and inclusion. We want to weave diversity and inclusion into all our operations – to enhance our employees’ emotional commitment to their roles, to improve their performance, and to strengthen our brand.

Our membership statistics tell a story that needs to be addressed: Only 16% of our members are black, and only 36% are female. Of this 36%, only 20% are black. More than half of our members are over the age of 55. South African financial planners are leaders in many ways, but there’s a critical need for an industry succession plan, alongside the succession plans of individual businesses.

Although many industry bodies have invested significantly in training black financial advisors, we haven’t been able to retain those advisors, which suggests that these isolated interventions don't work. At the FPI, we’re committed to leading a cohesive approach to creating a demographically diverse industry. As part of this process, we’re arranging presentations to high-school students and undergraduates at various universities. We want to raise the profile of the profession and highlight the incredible opportunities available should you choose to pursue a career as a financial planner.

Our drive for inclusion also applies to the people we serve. A recent survey by Sanlam revealed that a staggering 92% of South African retirees do not have an adequate amount of capital to live on. We have a duty to assist those people.

Commitment to education

The Centre for Professional Development is no longer an entity on its own, but a division within the FPI. Our CPD offering is a trusted and valuable resource, and this structural change allows us to deliver the service more cost-effectively. It remains an essential part of our value proposition to our members. Also, by offering CPD packages including webinars to others in the industry, we will undoubtedly strengthen our expertise and credibility in CPD. The CPD cycle started on 1 June 2018 and ends 31 May 2019. With our new CPD Membership category, we are now enabled to serve the industry to meet their CPD requirements. We deliver Continuous Professional Development (CPD) events that add value and improve the knowledge, skill and ability of all delegates who attend. These events are delivered face-to-face and online. For more information, please visit https://www.fpicpd.co.za

Get involved

After standing in as acting CEO for the past eight months, I’ve set the stage for a dynamic, forward-thinking CEO to join our team and lead us into a successful future. Please spread the word to industry leaders, and email us at events@fpi.co.za if you’d like to present at schools or universities, or partner with us on the mentorship programme on membership@fpi.co.za. I look forward to positive change.

Regards,

Stephanie Pillay

Chief Operating Officer and acting CEO

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