The Client is the real Winner


The client is the real winner ~ Mark MacSymon, CFP®

Mark MacSymon, CFP® at Private Wealth Holdings was declared the winner of the 2017 FPI Financial Planner of the Year Award at the Financial Planning Institute’s (FPI) Gala Dinner held in Cape Town on 19 October 2017. He pipped two of his CFP® professional peers, Francois Le Roux, CFP® and Janet Hugo, CFP®, past the finishing post.

MacSymon used his acceptance speech on day two of the 2017 FPI Annual Convention to congratulate Le Roux and Hugo on their achievements. “This is a tough competition and success requires persistent and diligent effort over a long period of time – congratulations for the incredible effort you have both undertaken,” he said. He also had kind words for the 2016 FPI Financial Planner of the Year, Bruce Fleming, CFP®, who he thanked for his hard work and dedication in representing the CFP® professional community.

An economist by profession and a wealth manager at Private Client Holdings, Mark believes that the most important attributes of the modern financial planning professional are impartiality, transparency and a commitment to service excellence. “As professional financial planners, for as long as we keep clients at the heart of everything we do, we will collectively elevate the status of our profession,” said MacSymon. He noted that the role played by skilled financial planners were as important today as ever.

Many financial planners and advice practices have benefited from entering the FPI Financial Planner of the Year competition, which through its stringent criteria serves the important function of uplifting advice and advice practice standards. MacSymon observed that his desire to scoop the coveted accolade was instrumental in his firm redesigning its processes and enhancing the financial planning offered to clients.

“We improved the consistency and quality of our advice, made enhancements to our systems, enabled us to spend more time in front of clients and culminated in our approval as a FPI Approved Professional Practice™,” he said. “At the end of the day it was our clients that were the real winners – entering this competition helps you to improve your processes and services to clients”.

The 2017 FPI Financial Planner of the Year had some tips for his colleagues. Top among these was that financial planners should be more discerning about the mandates they go involved in and the type of clients they courted. The focus should be on building relationship to add value to clients over the long term and to always be mindful that advice is the product and not the solution one puts in place for the client – it always starts with advice.

As for the future… “The hard work starts now,” concluded MacSymon. “I look forward to making a lasting and meaningful contribution to promote the CFP® mark brand and encourage young leaners to join the profession – I challenge each of my peers to join me in achieving the FPI vision of ‘professional financial planning for all’ through inclusive and transformative growth”.