The winners of this year's Personal Finance Society (PFS) chartered awards were revealed at a gala dinner last night at the ICC in Birmingham.
The event honours those individuals and firms who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in the financial planning profession over the past year.
Chartered financial planner of the year (individual)
Robin Melley from Matrix Capital Limited
Chartered financial planners of the year (firm)
Verus Financial Planning, based in Dundee
PFS chief exectuive Keith Richards said: "The Society's awards recognise excellence in examinations as well as our highest accolade of chartered financial planner of the year. Both are awarded purely on merit and are independently assessed.
"With the Personal Finance Society membership standing at over 34,000 and chartered financial planning firms exceeding 500, the winners have excelled in an incredibly competitive environment, and I would also like to take this opportunity to applaud the finalists and indeed anyone who took a qualification this year."
This year the PFS board presented the John Ellis Award posthumously to Len Warwick, an individual who has made a significant contribution to the development of professionalism within the financial services sector.
PFS president David Ingram said: "The Personal Finance Society Board were unanimous in their decision to present the 2013 award to Len Warwick who made a huge and positive impact on regulation and professional standards during his most distinguished and influential career.
"Len was the epitome of ‘professionalism' and worked tirelessly to raise standards across the financial services sector.
"We were all deeply saddened by the news earlier this year that Len had passed away following a short illness. It is an honour to have presented Rosalind Warwick and Tom Warwick with this award on Len's behalf."
Paraplanner of the year
Warren Bentham from 75point3 Limited
Awards were also presented to the highest achievers in their qualifications.
The recipients needed to be PFS members and to have achieved distinctions in the exam subjects they had taken on their way to achieving the diploma or advanced diploma in financial planning.
This year's winners were:
Highest achiever in the diploma in financial planning
Alex Rich from Brewin Dolphin
Highest achiever in the advanced diploma in financial planning
Tom Evans from Thompson and Richardson
The volunteer of the year category recognises those members who have given up their time, energy and expertise during the past year and who have made a significant positive impact within their region, local community and beyond.
This year's winner was:
Volunteer of the year 2013
Brian Harris from HLS Financial Planning
Richards said: "Being a member of a profession means more than just passing examinations; it's about working in the public interest to help benefit not just the industry but also the wider society.
"Brian has worked tirelessly over the years within the PFS Essex regional committee, helping to forge stronger links with the local institutes. His professionalism is greatly admired by all who know him and it is a pleasure to congratulate Brian for his work."
The majority of financial advisers (85%) believe the number of self-invested personal pension (SIPP) providers will continue to fall in the coming year, according to Dentons Pension Management research.
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