Jayson Forrest is the managing editor of Money & Life Magazine.
Congress chair Michelle Tate-Lovery CFP® talks about this year’s theming and format for Congress 2019.
1. Why was the theme – New Horizons – chosen for this year’s Congress?
Last year was confronting for the profession, with so much uncertainty and change – making sense of FASEA education standards and dealing with the big issue of gradually rebuilding trust in financial services post Royal Commission. So, this year, we want to recharge planners, by helping them reignite their passion for financial advice, to help recalibrate their businesses, to think differently, and to be hopeful for the future of advice.
In choosing this year’s Congress theme – New Horizons – we were mindful that the definition of ‘horizon’ not only refers to the line at which the earth’s surface and the sky appear to meet, but that the range of vision is different for each observer and every individual.
Whilst we may all experience slightly different challenges along the way, New Horizons is an appropriate theme for Congress, as it describes the journey we are all on of adapting and evolving to change as a profession, with shared values and standards.
New Horizons is about adjusting to the pace of change. It’s about looking forward to the future and embracing changes – whether that be technological, educational, regulatory and professional. New Horizons is about facing the future and adapting to these changes collectively as a profession.
2. How will this year’s theme resonate with practitioners?
Thankfully, as a profession, by November this year, we will be over the uncertainty we faced last year. So, this year’s Congress is an opportunity for practitioners to reimagine their businesses, as we look to the future.
Congress will allow planners to think beyond their daily challenges, by showing them what their businesses could look like in the years ahead. And an important part of this is to empower and support practitioners with embracing change as we move forward together.
Adapting to change can seem overwhelming, particularly when you are working in a small business, which can often be isolating. When you’re disconnected from insights and other points of view, there is always the danger that we can miss new ideas and trends that can positively impact our future. But when we move together as a community, nothing is impossible.
Congress will expose practitioners to new ways of conducting our business, and help you discover how to be more relevant, efficient and competitive in this ever-evolving professional landscape.
3. What excites you about this year’s Congress format?
So much… The Congress team is living and breathing Congress to deliver an amazing experience for you.
The workshops will be particularly practical, addressing the hard-hitting questions all planners are asking at this juncture. For example, there is currently a lot of interest around the new FASEA exam, so we are hoping to have planners who have completed the exam talk about their experience with us.
How to price, add value to our clients, have deeper conversations with clients, provide compliant and efficient advice under Best Interest Duty and FASEA, and build a successful team culture will all be workshopped at Congress. We will be able to better equip practitioners with the knowledge and insights they need to adapt their businesses for the better.
Another exciting aspect of this year’s format will be the international element we intend to infuse in Congress. We have locked in a number of global business leaders as some of our keynote presenters, who will reveal how they have adapted to change – both personally and professionally – and how they have excelled as a result of it.
As these business leaders come from different industries, it will be interesting to hear how they have transformed their businesses to thrive.
And for the first time, we’re going to hear from leading financial planners from around the world. These practitioners will share their experiences of dealing with legislative, technological and client change, and explain how they
have successfully embraced and evolved their businesses as a result of these changes.
These are exciting, vibrant and client-focused businesses, so there will be plenty of new ideas to discover from our international colleagues.
4. Why should FPA members attend this year’s Congress?
There are so many reasons!
Once again, we have sourced an outstanding mix of specialist speakers, national and international speakers, inspirational speakers and practitioners.
The Congress program will balance compliance with client engagement, along with technological advancements in advice and best practice, ensuring delegates are well equipped to manage and adapt to all the change and transition happening within the profession – both now and as we head to New Horizons.
Through feedback from this year’s FPA National Roadshow, our members are looking for a community of like-minded professionals and there’s nowhere better to find that community than at Congress.
Practitioners want to know they are not alone as they face and work through changes to their business. By attending Congress, we can come together as a profession and share this exhilarating journey with each other. Congress will help reignite the passion in what we do – helping our clients to live their dreams.
The Congress program is designed as a balance between trying to deal with our short-term challenges and at the same time, thinking beyond, creating a vision for the future of advice.
Delegates attending this year’s Congress can expect to receive up to 15 CPD hours, inclusive of three FASEA CPD hours for Ethics and Professionalism.
By confronting today’s challenges, we can embrace change together, as we head into a more certain future.
5. What will be the three key takeouts from this year’s Congress?
Whether you are new to the profession or a seasoned veteran, the FPA Professionals Congress program has been designed to deliver something for everyone.
The three key outcomes you will take away from this year’s Congress are:
Community: You’re not alone. You’re part of a community of like-minded professionals who are all on a shared journey together, supporting each other.
Vision: We will encourage you to think about what is possible for ‘your’ future and for the future of financial advice. This includes how we can emerge stronger, improve our advice offering and remodel our businesses to not only be sustainable but to thrive, delivering significantly improved results for our clients.
Leadership: As we head to New Horizons, it’s important that we bring along the next generation of planners on this journey with us. However, in order to follow, there must be a vision of the future and that comes from your leadership. There is much to do in our transformation. Congress will inspire you to be more strategic, to take action and to realign your team for the journey ahead.
At this year’s Congress, we want to reignite the passion and purpose of individuals for this profession. It’s not only important to stay the course, as we move to higher professional standards and adapt to change by future-proofing our businesses, but also to reinforce the difference we make to our clients’ lives, each and every day.
So, come to Congress and broaden your ‘horizons’. Equip yourself and business for change, embrace new ideas and expand your thinking.
See you in Melbourne!
Michelle Tate-Lovery CFP® is Chair of the Congress Committee. The Congress Committee looks forward to welcoming you to the 2019 FPA Professionals Congress in Melbourne (27-29 November). For more information on Congress or to register your attendance, click here.