Top three for the FPI Financial Planner of the Year award announced    

01 August 2018: Johannesburg South Africa – The Financial Planning Institute (FPI), a South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) recognised professional body, has recently announced the names of the top three professional financial planners who progressed to the third and final round of the 2018 FPI Financial Planner of the Year competition. In this final round, taking place today, the three entrants will be required to answer questions, posed by a panel of judges, related to industry trends, topics, technical information and legislative changes.

The top three CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professionals, in alphabetical order by surname, are:

Janet Hugo, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional and director of Sterling Private Clients, has been in the financial services industry for more than 10 years. In 2006, she started and ran the Sunday Times Wealth Forum where she regularly presented on general topics of financial planning and investment management. She is a regular guest speaker on radio, TV and frequently contributes to articles for the press. Janet has been invited to present at several industry conferences both locally and overseas. Public education remains a strong theme for Janet who organised over 600 people to attend the FPI MYMONEY123™ programme. She has been actively involved with FPI since 2009 and was elected to chair the FPI Investment Competency Committee between 2010 and 2017, after which she served as a non-executive director of the FPI Board for a short while. 

Hardi Swart, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional, obtained his B Com degree and Postgraduate at the University of Stellenbosch and completed an international diploma in business consulting through collaboration with Syracuse University New-York. He is the founding member of the Young Advisor Forum and has served on numerous committees for FPI. Hardi is passionate about family-financial planning and financial education and has been a guest speaker on numerous platforms. He is regularly quoted in the media and writes about financial planning and investments in a range of publications. He is a devoted husband to his wife Anemike and proud father of three daughters.

Louis van der Merwe, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional, is the co-founder and director of WealthUp (Pty) Ltd, an FPI Approved Professional Practice™. He completed his B.Comm degree at the University of Stellenbosch as well as the Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning (Stellenbosch University) (cum laude). Further to this, he finished his Advanced Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning at the University of Free State, specialising in investment management, and has spent the last 10 years providing advice to individuals and companies. Louis has a passion for technology and entrepreneurship and enjoys spending time trail running in and around Cape Town.  

Now who will take this years’ award and be named the 2018 Financial Planner of the Year and appointed as the FPI and CFP® professional brand ambassador? All FPI award winners, including this prestigious award, will be announced at the 2018 FPI Awards Ceremony Gala Dinner, sponsored by Alexander Forbes, on Wednesday, 22 August 2018. 

Book your seat to this year's Gala Dinner hosted by Ursula Stapelfeldt Chikane, best known for presenting the glamorous SABC3 magazine programme Top Billing and MTN Gladiators, with entertainment by The Muses, proudly South African all-girl instrumentalists. 

For more information about the Gala Dinner, visit or email or contact the FPI events team on 011 470 6000.