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14th FIA industry awards provides opportunity to highlight professionalism







By Justus van Pletzen, Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa


With professionalism being one of the key drivers behind the strategy of the Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern African (FIA), the organisation came to the decision 14 years ago that the conduction of an annual survey among its members would not only encourage the FIA’s business partners to maintain a high standard in the financial services sector, but also ensure they adapt and stay up-to-date with the needs and challenges of this dynamic industry.


Since the implementation of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act (FAIS) in October 2004 South African financial intermediaries have been bombarded with numerous legislative changes which - although positive in the long term for the consumer, intermediary and industry as a whole - have impacted the way intermediaries run their businesses as well as the way they service their clients.


As a result financial intermediaries have begun to rely quite heavily on the quality of service from their partners - the product providers. In the financial services industry, the basis of a successful partnership is built upon a solid foundation of healthy business relationships, appropriate and sound products, and excellent service. After all, intermediaries can only provide quality service to their clients if all of the above is met by their service providers.


It is important to recognise those who have gone the extra mile in making the FIA Annual Industry Awards a noteworthy measure of the standards of financial services product providers in South Africa, which has grown to become a highly anticipated industry event. Bluestream Consulting, an independent research company, is responsible for the survey which involved 23 000 phone calls made to financial intermediaries as well as the rating of 6000 contracts this year. The survey is approved by the Department of Statistics at the University of Pretoria, therefore we are confident that the process as it is also is objective and in line with international standards.


The FIA congratulates all its winners who have proven, like every other year, that the competition is clearly getting tougher as the results were very close.


The FIA is proud that its members strive to operate according to the FIA’s Code of Conduct which, together with the support of our business partners, keeps the interests of our members’ most important assets, namely their clients’ interests, as their number one priority. Without a doubt, FIA members are well informed intermediaries who have a unique commitment to their clients, which is highly valued.

Source: Epic Communications (Pty) Ltd
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