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CFP strides ahead

Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB), owner of the international CFP certification program, has been approved as an affiliate member of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) – the international standard setter for securities markets.

The Financial Planning Association (FPA), an affiliate member of the FPSB, is the only body authorised to administer the world class CFP certification in Australia on behalf of the FPSB.

“Having FPSB represent our profession in the international standards debate is a great moment for the future of financial planning worldwide, and in Australia. The FPA’s membership boasts over 5,500 CFP professionals and, with FPSB representing all CFP professionals; this latest announcement confirms the role our members play in the future of the profession,” said FPA CEO Mark Rantall.

“We will continue to work with the FPSB to represent CFP professionals in Australia in striving to provide our consumers with the highest quality of trusted advice worldwide.”

Centuria Property Fund wins award

Centuria 19 Corporate Drive Fund, managed by Centuria Property Funds, has been awarded the Unlisted Fund of the Year 2012 at the 18th Annual Property Funds Industry Forum.

The Centuria 19 Corporate Drive Fund was commended for its high level of income return and forecast capital gain, and the industry-leading governance structure, which reflects a focus on investor rights.

“Centuria is pleased to receive this award as recognition of the strong performance structure of the Centuria 19 Corporate Drive Fund. It also reflects the calibre of our team and the high quality investments we aim to offer investors. We continue to explore opportunities that respond to trends we see in property markets that have the potential to deliver excellent returns to investors. We have great expectations for Centuria 19 Corporate Drive Fund and this latest award supports these,” said Centuria Property Funds CEO Jason Huljich.

Challenger expands distribution team

Retirement income specialist Challenger Limited has implemented a new, expanded distribution structure to ensure targeted services with varying levels of technical support for financial advisers recommending its annuity products.

Challenger exclusively distributes annuities through bank-aligned planners and independent planning practices.

“Before 2009 annuities were viewed as a social security product but with five years of market volatility their original purpose has once again come to the fore. Increasingly they’re providing the guaranteed income layer of a retiree’s portfolio so are standing on their own merits as a legitimate retirement solution rather than as way of obtaining higher age pension payments,” said Challenger GM Vito D’Introno.

“Although it’s worth noting that despite a social security uplift being the primary driver of annuity sales before 2007, it was their guaranteed nature that proved annuities greatest value to thousands of retirees with the onset of the GFC”.

Building on last year’s creation of annuity specialist BDMs, this year Challenger has created two new roles of annuity specialist and account manager to serve as stepping stones for future BDMs. Account managers will focus on generating new business while annuity specialists will provide technical support and product expertise.

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