The Financial Planning Association of Australian (FPA) has wrapped up its first in-person Professionals Congress in three years, with over 1,200 delegates attending the two day event in Sydney last week (22 and 23 November).
Under the theme, ‘Reunite, Reset’, the FPA Professionals Congress hosted a range of sessions designed to help members better understand the issues facing the profession as well as provide practical tools and information enabling them to work more closely with clients and understand their changing needs. It also celebrated the FPA’s 30th anniversary.
Sarah Abood, CEO of the FPA, said the most common feedback from members was that they were delighted to be back together after so long.
“At my first Congress as CEO, it was wonderful to feel the energy from having so many members in one room, and experience first-hand the enthusiasm and passion for the profession that they share. I have attended many smaller member events since I joined the FPA but this was very special.”
Ms Abood said that much of the feedback from members made special mention of the keynote presentation by Professional Andrew Scott from London Business School, which looked at the implications of a lifespan of 100 years becoming the norm.
“A lot of financial planners are grappling with the challenges – and the opportunities – that increasing longevity creates in their work with their clients, financially as well as from a health and wellbeing perspective.
“Another session that generated a high level of interest was with Michelle Levy, chair of the Quality of Advice review, which triggered discussion about the points she raised including how the law governing financial planners needs to change, and the role of ‘general advice’.
“Probably the most contentious proposal amongst planners has been the idea that product issuers would be able to provide simple personal advice in some circumstances. It has been encouraging to hear Michelle acknowledge this concern, and the concerns of financial planners, and seek to address it in the review.
“We are very supportive of the many changes proposed that will simplify the delivery of advice and reduce the unnecessary red tape and duplicated compliance that currently bogs us all down. It’s encouraging to hear that these proposals remain and are likely to be included in the final paper.”
Ms Abood also congratulated Marisa Broome, former chair of the FPA, who was made a life member of the Association at the Congress.
“Marisa has been a driving force of the FPA for many years, and her recognition as a life member is very well-deserved.
“She was also an integral part of the Congress’s organisation, and its success, and on behalf of the FPA, I thank Marisa for all her hard work.”
The 2023 FPA Professionals Congress will be held in Adelaide on 22-24 November. The FPA is also planning a number of regional roadshows across Australia in May 2023.