Award in honour of “first lady of financial planning”

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The Financial Planning Association (FPA) has announced an award that honours the memory of Gwen Fletcher, who is widely regarded as a pioneer in financial planning.

The “extraordinary” and “gorgeous” woman died two months ago at age 94.

The Gwen Fletcher Memorial Award will be given to the highest achieving student in the FPA’s Certified Financial Planner Certification Program each semester.

It supports a key legacy of Fletcher’s lifelong endeavours to champion the vital role of education and its central importance in nurturing a financial planning profession.

Mark Rantall, the CEO of FPA, said the award is very appropriate.

“Gwen’s relentless effort to build a highly qualified financial planning profession along with awareness of the role of financial planning has helped shape the industry into a growing profession,” he said. “Given she was responsible for bringing the Certified Financial Planner designation to Australia back in 1990, it is appropriate that we acknowledge our top students in her name.”

As well bringing the certification to Australia, Fletcher had a hand in many of the keystone developments of financial planning here.

Beginning her career in accountancy, she 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.

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.

The first Gwen Fletcher Memorial Award will be announced on 20 June, and the second will be awarded on 14 November. Each is valued at $1,000, funded by the FPA.


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