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

FPA Congress sets financial planners on growth trajectory

The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) attracted over 1,000 delegates from around the country to the 2016 FPA Professionals Congress in Perth from 23-25 November, where the ‘Future Ready’ theme was enthusiastically embraced by the financial planning community.

The sold out Future2 Gala Dinner and the record attendance at the Women in Financial Planning breakfast were just two of the highlights of the Congress that featured an impressive line-up of speakers including Andrew Denton, Anna Meares OAM, Tracey Holmes, Ange Postecoglou and Catherine McGregor AM.

Commenting on the success of this year’s Congress, Dante De Gori CFP®, CEO of the FPA, said, “This was the first time our annual gathering was held in Perth since 1994 and we were very pleased to see 75% of delegates make the trip from other parts of Australia, demonstrating the appeal of the program.”

In the opening address, Mr De Gori revealed the future growth of financial planning will be built on three pillars: student engagement, professionalism and consumer awareness. This followed the FPA’s announcement earlier in the day that it welcomed the Government’s introduction of legislation on the Professional Standards and Education Framework into Parliament.

Another significant step in the development of the profession was ASIC’s approval of the FPA’s Professional Ongoing Fees Code, which was also announced on Wednesday.

“From July 1 next year, our members will have the option of signing up to a new section of the FPA’s code covering opt-in, which will remove them from the need to comply with the legislative version of opt-in contained in the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) laws,” said Mr De Gori.

In line with its goal to increase consumer awareness, the FPA also announced a new online destination called Money & Life will be launched in the New Year. The website is designed to help Australians improve their financial wellbeing and will offer regular content that empowers and educates readers with up-to-date information, practical tips and inspiring real life stories to help them manage their finances.

The FPA recognised the outstanding achievements of its members with a series of awards at the FPA Congress, including two new awards for 2016, the FPA Professional Practice of the Year and FPA Paraplanner of the Year award. The FPA’s first-ever Paraplanner workshop was a success, with over 100 delegates registered to attend. The FPA Professional Practice workshop was a sell-out.

Thanks to the dedicated fundraising efforts of the FPA community, the Future2 Foundation announced $147,000 in Future2 grants. The grants will go to community not-for-profits around Australia, helping bring opportunity and hope to socially and financially disadvantaged young Australians.

Building on the success of this year’s Perth event, the 2017 FPA Professionals Congress has been confirmed to take place in Hobart from 22-24 November, where financial planners will have more opportunities to grow, share and connect.