‘Gorgeous’ pioneer of financial planning dies

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The ‘first lady of Australian financial planning’, Gwen Fletcher, died peacefully on Friday at the age of 94.

Fletcher is widely recognised as one of the pioneers of financial planning in Australia, and was heavily involved in the formation of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) in 1992.

Mark Rantall, the CEO of the FPA, spoke to Wealth Professional about the “extraordinary” woman he came to know and respect.

“She was a gorgeous woman who lit up the room with her enthusiasm and positive stance,” he said. “Even when she wasn’t well she made every extra special effort to be involved. It’s rare to get someone for such a long period of time to be such an ambassador.”

Beginning her career in accountancy, Fletcher recognised the importance of financial planning and made the move to the fledgling industry in her 40s.

By the early 1980s, she had set up a formal education program in financial planning through her Investment Training College, and extended her reach by holding lecturing posts at Macquarie University.

Fletcher also played a pivotal role in bringing CFP Certification to Australia in 1990, making it the first country outside of the United States to offer the designation.

In 1992 she was part of the team that planned the merger between the International Association of Financial Planners, and the Australian Society of Investment and Financial Advisers: what is today known as the FPA.

In 2007, Fletcher’s hard work was officially recognised when she was made a Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM).

“I’m thrilled, I really am. It's really acknowledgment for the financial planning industry,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald at the time.

As the matriarch of the FPA, Rantall said Fletcher will be remembered as a true leader.

“Gwen was an extraordinarily instrumental person in the profession of financial planning,” he said. “Her leadership, integrity, and drive will be sadly missed.”

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  • Tony Bates on 4/03/2014 10:01:57 AM

    Gorgeous Gwen
    Thank you for inspiring a generation of planners. You were my first appointment as a Fund Manager BDM, you were my teacher when I trained to be a planner and my referee when I took the plunge. And you have been my inspiration since.
    Gratis et Vale

  • Rahul Bindra on 4/03/2014 10:17:57 AM

    Gwen, you will always be fondly remembered, my first foray into financial planning was through Investment Training College under your stewardship and John. May your soul rest in peace.

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