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

Australia’s top performing financial planners honoured at FPA Congress

The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) has announced the winners of the 2017 FPA Awards, Gwen Fletcher Memorial Award, and Future2 Community Service Award at the opening keynote session of the FPA Professionals Congress today in Hobart.

Taking out the coveted FPA CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® Professional of the Year Award is Michael Hayward CFP® of Capital Partners Private Wealth Advisers in Perth.

The award acknowledges Michael’s dedication to excellent client service, his innovative ideas around presenting clients with a one page SOA (Statement of Advice) supplement, and his mentorship of those around him.
FPA CEO Dante De Gori CFP® said, “Michael knows that trust and respect is earnt through excellent client service. His reputation has been built on the service he has provided over the past 13 years within his practice, and his client testimonials were outstanding and a testament to his work.”

Winning the FPA Financial Planner AFP® of the Year Award for 2017 is Patricia Soares Garcia AFP® of WB Financial in Brisbane. Patricia’s award application demonstrated that quality advice is more than solutions and strategy – it’s also about coaching clients to feel more confident and empowered. She is a regular mentor to those around her, and in her professional capacity she gives back to the broader community through pro bono work.

The FPA Paraplanner of the Year Award was given to Adriana Brink AFP® of Mackay-based Alman Partners. Adriana demonstrates a true ‘client first’ ethos to her work, and her technical skills and ability to execute complex strategies was noted by the judges. She takes the lead in mentoring new staff and gives pro bono assistance with Aged Care and Centrelink clients.

For the second year running a WA-based business has won the FPA Professional Practice of the Year Award. Capital Partners Private Wealth Advisers in Perth was hailed a leader in the promotion of professional advice, and an industry thought-leader, with a focus on educating clients. The practice was also commended for its investment in quality people and its ongoing contribution to the community. The win rounds off a special year for the business, with the CFP Professional of the Year winner Michael Hayward also being from Capital Partners.

The FPA University Student of the Year Award was given to Azaria Bell of Griffith University in recognition of her academic excellence and commitment to becoming a future leader within financial planning. An active and respected member of her university, she is passionate about encouraging her peers to consider the opportunities of a career in financial planning.

The Gwen Fletcher Memorial Award recognises the highest performing student in the final unit of the CFP® Certification Program. Michael Forer AFP® from Next Level Financial Services in Melbourne is the 2017 Semester 2 winner of the honorary award named after the late “first lady of financial planning”.

Mr De Gori said, “The rigorous CFP® Certification Assessment unit demands students be at the top of their game, so to receive the Gwen Fletcher Memorial Award is a significant achievement. Michael’s outstanding results reflect his commitment and dedication, and I congratulate him on his efforts.”

The winner of the Future2 Community Service Award is Reuben Zelwer CFP® of Adapt Wealth Management in Melbourne, who plays an instrumental role in educating and empowering those experiencing personal and financial hardship within the community organisation, Jewish Care Victoria. Over the past 10 years, Reuben has dedicated his time to setting up and growing the financial services support offered to this community, including valuable programs such as a financial counselling service and financial literacy for high schools students.

Below is a summary list of the 2017 FPA Award winners:


Michael Hayward CFP®
Capital Partners Private Wealth Advisers, Perth, WA

FPA Financial Planner AFP® of the Year

Patricia Soares Garcia AFP®
WB Financial, Brisbane, QLD

FPA Paraplanner of the Year

Adriana Brink AFP®
Alman Partners, Mackay, QLD

FPA University Student of the Year

Azaria Bell, Bachelor of Commerce student
Griffith University, QLD

Gwen Fletcher Memorial Award

Michael Forer AFP®
Next Level Financial Services, Melbourne, VIC

Future2 Community Service Award

Reuben Zelwer CFP®
Adapt Wealth Management, Melbourne, VIC

FPA Professional Practice of the Year

Capital Partners Private Wealth Advisers, Perth, WA