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Charter for connections

Fay Goddard The PFS’s View

I bumped into an old colleague recently who asked how I was enjoying my new role. I had to politely inform him that I am now well into my second year as chief executive officer of the Personal Finance Society, so not so new. He asked me what I am most proud of having achieved in that time and, on reflection, I said it had to be the growth in membership in an incredibly difficult year and the increase in the number of members achieving chartered status.

I do not put this down to me personally – it is due to the commitment of the adviser community who have demonstrated a clear desire to enhance their professional standing. My role is to help and facilitate their progress.

With more than 25,000 members, from students to fellows, it is important that the benefits and training provided by the PFS meets the needs of the different types of businesses and varying levels of ability of our members.
It was with this in mind that we introduced events targeted specifically at our chartered financial planners this year, as well as maintaining a programme to support those en route to diploma and advanced diploma.

Many of our members have forged strong links with accountants and lawyers and these professions have shown a keen interest in engaging further with our chartered members. This in turn has resulted in the creation of our chartered connections clubs, the first of which were held in Bristol and Taunton in September. These clubs are designed to help members build relations with local firms of lawyers and accountants, to consolidate financial planning knowledge on topics of mutual interest and facilitate networking with fellow chartered financial planners in their region.

“It is important that the benefits and training provided by the PFS meets the needs of the different types of businesses and varying levels of ability of our members.”

The clubs involve the PFS working with a firm of lawyers or accountants at regular intervals during the year. The firm will lead a discussion on a topic of relevance both to financial planners and themselves, usually with a short presentation followed by a discussion structured around a number of salient points.

The clubs were a tremendous success and in November we move to Yorkshire, where our chartered members will meet with the local Resolution Pod to discuss collaborative family law.

We will also appoint Chartered Champions as local PFS advocates for chartered status in their regions. They will represent the PFS and help organise and host the Connections Clubs and other chartered events. They will be proactive in raising awareness of the chartered brand to the public through local press, radio and community events. More important, they will encourage others to reach the pinnacle of the profession.

The chartered events will roll out in 2010, but the PFS is a broad church and there are plans for an extensive training and personal development programme to suit all members.

Yes, I am proud – of my members’ achievements and our profession.

Fay Goddard is chief executive officer of the Personal Finance Society

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