FPI hires new consumer advocate

By Staff Writer

The Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa (FPI) has hired well-known certified financial planner Paul Roelofse as their new consumer advocate. Roelofse, who took on the newly created position this month, also hosts the ‘A Word on Personal Finance’ show on Radio 702 and Cape Talk 567 every Wednesday.


His appointment comes in conjunction with the FPI’s new strategy which it unveiled earlier this month. The strategy involves addressing need for the availability of qualified professional financial planners for consumers. The FPI said Roelofse will work with the FPI in driving consumer education about their real financial needs and the right to professional financial planning.


“My role is to try and create awareness among consumers on the need for financial planning. [It will involve explaining] what the process is and I will help them to understand it a lot better. At the FPI we have a lot of fully qualified financial planners and there are a lot of reasons why you should make them your first port of call as opposed to a normal advisor/consultant,” said Roelofse.


Roelofse said he would also welcome hearing about any complaints or concerns that the public had. “They could use me as a conduit if they have any questions or concerns. They can direct themselves to my desk and I will either give advice first hand or take it on to somewhere else. The financial planning institute has its own code of ethics and in that the consumers have the assurance of quality advice.”


Roelofse added that his role would complement what the FSB, which regulates the financial services industry, already does. “The FSB is the regulatory authority in the industry and there are minimum standards that financial advisors have to adhere to in order to provide advice. My role will compliment what the FSB does.”


In addition to Roelofse’s appointment the FPI will be introducing, for the first time, a professional designation for financial advisors that can be attained on completion of a specially designed FPI board examination. “The Financial Services Advisor/FSA certification effectively enables individual financial advisors to once again differentiate themselves as well as provide trusted expert advice to consumers,” said the FPI in a statement.


The FPI will also launch a new interactive website, which will provide consumers with information and answer frequently asked questions about financial planning. The FPI is a non-profit professional body formed in 1981 to improve levels of professionalism.
 

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