The Financial Planning Association of Australia The Financial Planning Association of Australia

Global research find CFP professionals highly valued by financial services firms


Thursday, 13 February 2014

The FPA says a major global research study has revealed that financial services firms that hire CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professionals are more productive, generate higher revenue and profit, and reduce corporate risk.

Conducted by independent researchers Comparator, the global benchmark study was released by the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB) owner of the international CFP®Certification Program.

“This is good news for the institutions who support higher professional standards within their financial planning operations,” said FPA CEO Mark Rantall. “The study also backs the FPA’s own research which shows the professional dividend benefits that accrue to the individual planner by pursuing the CFP certification pathway,” he said.

“On top of that, we know the consumer best interest duty compels the ultimate benefit of delivering highly qualified, ethical outcomes for the clients of CFP professionals”.

The FPSB/Comparator study surveyed 92 financial services firms in 12 territories, representing 120,117 financial advisers and 11,568 CFP professionals. The results of the research demonstrate the positive impact of hiring CFP professionals across numerous areas of business.

Financial services firms in Australia report higher profitability and client satisfaction from CFP professionals, as opposed to planners without certification. A majority (64%) of firms also believe that advisers/planners with CFP certification are more productive. Meanwhile, CFP professionals are seen to lower compliance and legal risks for 64% of firms.

CEO of the FPA, Mark Rantall, said the research highlights the vital role of CFP professionals in universally advancing the financial planning profession. Commenting on the findings, he said:

“The CFP Certification Program is part of the FPA’s commitment to enhancing the professional standards of financial planners. As the research from the FPSB confirms, the 5,500 CFP® professionals in Australia and 150,000 globally have contributed significantly towards transforming financial planning into a universally respected profession by continuing to adhere to the highest standards in our profession.

“Moreover, what this indicates is that employing CFP professionals is not just a matter of providing the highest professional and ethical service to clients but also delivering results to a company’s bottom line. We truly believe that the highest certification available in Australia has significant professional dividends, both to the individual CFP professional and the firms that employ them.”

The FPSB research findings come during the first intake of enrolments in the CFP Certification Program for the year. There has been strong interest in enrolments so far with a high number of enquiries received.

Mr Rantall went on to encourage planners to enrol in the CFP Certification Program as a tool to further their financial planning career.

“With more than two thirds (69%) of firms in Australia planning to increase the number of CFP professionals they employ this year, and more than half (55%) saying that CFP professionals have faster career advancement, the reasons to take the next step in your professional development are clear. The CFP designation is a true professional passport for financial planners looking to improve their hiring prospects and client value proposition.”

CFP Certification Program enrolments close on 21 February 2014. Visit the website to enrol or contact 1300 337 301 or email [email protected].

Key findings of research for Australian firms include:

CFP professionals are more productive and profitable

Compared to advisers/planners without certification:

  • 64% of firms believe advisers/planners with CFP certification see a higher rate of growth of assets under management
  • 55% of firms think CFP professionals generate higher revenue, with 50% agreeing business revenue increased as a result of employing CFP professionals
  • 64% of firms believe advisers/planners with CFP certification are more productive

CFP professionals lower compliance risks

  • 58% of firms report that employing a greater number of CFP professionals lowers corporate risk
  • 50% of firms report that having a greater number of CFP professionals lowered complaints from clients

Compared to advisers/planners without certification:

  • 64% of firms indicate that CFP professionals present lower compliance and legal risks

CFP professionals improve client satisfaction

  • 70% firms report that employing a greater number of CFP professionals positively impacts client satisfaction with the firm
  • 56% of firms say CFP professionals led to increased client retention

CFP certification as professional passport

  • 69% of firms plan to increase the number of CFP professionals in the firm during the next 12 months, though both hiring more CFP professionals (38%) and supporting attainment of CFP certification among current advisers/planners (31%)

Compared to advisers/planners without certification:

  • 55% of firms see higher rates of career advancement for CFP professionals

To download an infographic of the FPSB’s global research results, click here.