FPA Awards 2017: Mental toughness

08 February 2018

Photo of Michael Hayward

Jayson Forrest

Jayson Forrest is the managing editor of Money & Life Magazine.

As the FPA CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® Professional of the Year Award recipient for 2017, Michael Hayward CFP® knows that trust and respect is earnt through excellent client service.

Name: Michael Hayward CFP®

Age: 36

Educational qualifications: BEc, CFP®, AdvDipFS

Position: Private Client Adviser

Practice: Capital Partners Private Wealth Advisers

Licensee: Capital Partners Private Wealth Advisers

Years as a planner: 5 years (13 years in a hybrid planning/support role)

Date of CFP® designation: 2012

He may only be 36, but the 2017 FPA CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® Professional of the Year Award winner, Michael Hayward CFP® has already chalked up an impressive track-record of client excellence, having laid down the foundations as a paraplanner before moving onto the complexity of “goals planning”.

And it would seem Michael’s approach to developing the skills as a financial planner has served him well, with the judges acknowledging his dedication to delivering excellent client service, his innovative ideas around presenting clients with a one page SOA supplement, and his mentorship of staff.

Team effort

But Michael is a little uncomfortable wearing this praise. Instead, the West Perth-based planner points to his colleagues at Capital Partners Private Wealth Advisers for their stewardship and guidance in developing him into the professional he is today.

“Winning the 2017 FPA Professional Practice of the Year Award is a real achievement for our team. I think it recognises that our people and culture are absolutely aligned to helping our clients live more enriched lives,” he says.

“And personally, it was very exciting to be awarded the FPA CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® Professional of the Year Award. Being recognised in this way reinforces my belief that I’m absolutely helping to make a positive difference in the lives of clients. Of course, it’s a team effort. So, while I won the award, it’s very much shared with our fantastic team.”

It was the founder of Capital Wealth, David Andrew, who recognised Michael’s ability and encouraged the father of two to enter the awards. And while Michael found the application process easy to follow, it still took some time to complete.

“It was good to engage with some of my clients around testimonials and the client case study in the application process,” Michael says. “The application process really makes you think about the work you do with clients and the outcomes achieved.”

The rest, they say, is history.

Best of the best

The 2017 FPA CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® Professional of the Year Award is presented to a CFP® practitioner who embodies the highest professional standards and has delivered best practice which has led to superior client outcomes.

Commenting on the award, FPA chief executive officer, Dante De Gori CFP® said: “Michael knows that trust and respect is earnt through excellent client service. His reputation has been built on the service he has provided over the past 13 years within his practice. His client testimonials were outstanding and a testament to his work.”

By taking out the coveted 2017 FPA CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® Professional of the Year Award, Michael says it’s acknowledgement that he is doing the right thing for clients and that he is at the forefront of financial planning best practice.

As the winner of the top gong for CFP® practitioners, Michael sees great value in being a CFP® professional.

“The CFP® designation is recognition that you are one of the best in the profession,” he says. “It’s about aligning your own personal standards to the profession’s highest education and professional standards. It really does mean something to be a CFP® professional.”

And what of the designation’s importance for the profession?

“Clients are looking for planners with experience, credibility, strong ethics and who have a commitment to ongoing learning,” Michael says. “And that’s what the CFP designation is all about. It provides clients with the reassurance and confidence they are working with a professional who is at the top of their game, and who will always put their best interests ahead of their own.”

Top tips

Michael strongly encourages any planner who is serious about a career in financial planning to become a CFP® professional, and offers his three best tips for any aspiring professional.

“First and foremost, the client must always come first in any decision-making strategy. When you put the client first, it’s hard to go wrong from there.

“My second tip is always continue to learn and stay relevant with what’s happening in the profession, including what’s happening with strategies and what’s happening with regulation.”

And Michael’s third tip?

“Find a mentor,” he says. “That’s somebody who has years of experience who you can learn from. For me, that’s the founder of Capital Partners, David Andrew. He has helped coach me to become the person I am now, and that’s something I’m truly grateful for.”

He adds that it’s also important to have the right work/life balance. His two little boys and wife help keep him grounded. Michael also teaches Taekwon-Do to children – a martial art he has been practicing for the past 20 years.

“I have a strong belief that I can really help to influence the development of these kids to become better people and in the longer-term, build a stronger community,” he says. “And it’s a great way for me to discipline my own mind and body, which helps me cope with the challenges and stresses of the day.”

The FPA congratulates the runners-up of the FPA CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® Professional of the Year Award:

Paul Benson CFP® – Guidance Financial Services

Robert Zammit CFP® – RSM Financial Services Australia

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