Prepare for the decade to come

Future-proofing FPI by putting members first.

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FPI has always existed – and will always exist – to serve its members. However, to remain truly valuable in today’s ever-changing world, we’ve needed to fine-tune exactly how we do this. Read on to find out how we’ll be putting YOU first in 2020 and beyond.

As the chairman, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our members for their ongoing support. Our success is entirely dependent on your participation, which is why we all need to work towards a better future for the financial planning profession in South Africa.

With this in mind, we’ve have tweaked our strategy to ensure that it is relevant to the changes on the horizon underpinned by regulatory and technological changes in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We will be focusing on the following areas.

Governance

FPI has been on a journey of reviewing, benchmarking and strengthening our governance framework. To this end, we made changes to our policies and regulations where appropriate to strengthen the overall framework. We also ensured that our governance committees and board committees are appropriately skilled and resourced.

As a professional and standard-setting body, we believe in aspiring to the highest levels of governance. In pursuit of this ideal, we are proud to announce that FPI has voluntarily made a decision to adopt King IV principles (taking the principle of proportionality into consideration) on corporate governance. We are in the process of implementing King IV principles applicable to non-profit companies.

Regional committees

It goes without saying that interaction and engagement with our members have been and will continue to be key to us at FPI. Our regional committee structures are key forums at which members can interact with FPI and FPI with our members. It is through this mechanism that the future leadership of FPI can be identified, future Financial Planners of the Year can be mentored, regulatory changes can be debated, the members’ collective voice can be heard, and more importantly where members and FPI can support each other in trying and difficult times.

Under the leadership of Kirsty Scully, CFP® our Chairperson elect, we implemented some changes at these regional committees which have yielded successes. I thank you for your participation in the regional committees. For those members who are not as active in the abovementioned committees, I encourage you to start participating and supporting your professional body. We need your participation and feedback so that we can grow as a professional body.

Change

The rate of change has been profound over the last few years and the pace continues to be unrelenting. Regulatory change impacting financial services has been intensive and intrusive, as the regulator puts it. FPI, through the advocacy committee, has been actively involved in commenting and advocating for the professionalising of the financial planning profession.

Technology presents an opportunity for financial planners. It is a question of how technology is embraced and, in this regard, we will continue to bring you thought leadership and practice management insights.

After years of advocacy, the draft paper on Adviser Categorisation issued by the FSCA in December 2019 proposes the protection of the financial planner designation. Although still a draft paper, this is a huge achievement and recognition of the excellent and persistent work done by the advocacy committee.

Changes in technology and its impact on financial planning have also been very topical. FPI has been actively involved in assessing developments and conducting research into the changes and is part of the FPSB Financial Planning Technology (FPtech) working group. Our assessment of technological changes as well as affiliate members of the FPSB is that technology presents an opportunity for financial planners. It is a question of how technology is embraced and, in this regard, we will continue to bring you thought leadership and practice management insights.

We are also participating in an FSPB initiative to assess competency profiles, financial planner curriculums, abilities and skills needed to future proof the profession.

Continuous Professional Development

During November 2018 the board passed a resolution that moved the Centre for Professional Development (CPD) from the with-profit company back into the Professional Body (NPC). The Centre now forms part of the Membership Hub, headed up by Adele Whyte.

Navin Ramparsad, CFP®, Chairman of FPI Board

We furthermore enhanced our CPD offerings in that members of FPI now have access to over 50 webinars (verifiable CPD), which is more than sufficient for members to comply with both regulatory and professional body CPD. These webinars are membership benefits and do not come at an additional cost for members of FPI.

Final word

I’ve just taken you through the basic blueprint of how we plan to future-proof FPI. With a few tweaks, all of the same tactics could be used to prepare your business for the decade to come. So, let’s embrace change together – the future of our profession depends on it.

Technology presents an opportunity for financial planners. It is a question of how technology is embraced and, in this regard, we will continue to bring you thought leadership and practice management insights.

www.fpi.co.za