Transformation in Financial sector more important than ever

11 December 2017: Johannesburg – The slow progress in empowerment and transformation in the financial sector, coupled with South Africa being stuck in a low savings trap is hindering the South African economy from achieving elevated and sustained growth that translates into social inclusion and development.

The majority of the economically active population have both cultural constraints and knowledge challenges to achieving financial capability. Many black South Africans don’t have access to financial services, and education regarding savings remains low.  They continue to suffer from poverty and unemployment, as well as a lack of economic progress on the transformation front. This sometimes leads to unscrupulous financial enterprises exploiting people through complex financial products and high fees.

The Financial Planning Institute, seeing the magnitude of the problem launched a distinctive competition – The Financial Planning Challenge (FPC), designed exclusively for students studying any financial planning or finance-inclined undergraduate degree programme registered in South Africa. The Financial Planning Challenge (FPC) supports the success of the next generation of financial planners by engaging students and academic advisors in the financial planning community, raising awareness of career opportunities, encouraging involvement, learning and networking.

Tsholofelo Dihutso, Communications and PR Manager said ”It was wonderful to see just how passionate students are about financial planning and how they make it their first career choice.”
“The competition’s criteria has been developed in part to illustrate potential avenues for satisfying the Financial Planning Competency Framework and Standards. Teams participated by preparing and presenting a complete financial plan, as well as compete in a quiz-style “Off the Cuff” Challenge, concluded Tsholofelo.”

Emerging the victors of this first FPC was highly talented team MAN Financial Solutions consisting of Ara Barikyan, Mona Manzambi and Nelson Phiri from the University of Johannesburg, competing in the finals against the likes of Milpark Business School and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

We got comments from the very excited students from the University of Johannesburg; Mona Manzambi said “The financial planning profession is a great career opportunity, that is not only rewarding financially, but also people centered allowing one to make positive impact in people's lives. “

“It is a career with potential for growth and fresh ground for especially young black females and we should take advantage of it, if you are one who wants to make impact in the lives of people, added Mona”

Asked what attributes made them the winning team, Ara Barikyan said “Practice, hard work and having a holistic approach. Practice and Hard work go together. Days before the competition we practiced our presentation at least ten times, and having a holistic approach meant that we took even the small things into account and made sure that it was provisioned for in our Financial Plan.”
Nelson Phiri said “The Financial Planning Challenge competition definitely helped me.  Not only did it promote my awareness but I realized I actually belong in this field. So it actually gave me a boost to follow that career path.”

The FPC will foster an opportunity to further build relationships between academia and the professional community and provide a forum at which the value of CFP® certification can be showcased and encouraged. 


Media contacts:

The Financial Planning Institute (FPI)
Tsholofelo Dihutso CPRP
Communications and PR Manager 
T:(011) 470-6000

Cinnamon Communication
Marilyn Watson
T: 082 897 7752
E: marilyn@cinnamoncommunication  

About the Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa
The Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa (FPI), a South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) recognised professional body for financial planners, which serves the public by ensuring that people who carry the CFP® designation are qualified, experienced and professional. FPI has recently been approved by the South Africa Revenue Services (SARS) as a Recognised Controlling Body (RCB).

The Institute is also recognised internationally and is a founding, and a current affiliate member, of the international Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd (FPSB) based in the USA, along with 25 other affiliate member countries who offer CFP® certification, the highest recognised professional designation worldwide for a financial planning professional. 

In 2012, FPI was highly commended by FPSB and awarded Tier 1 Affiliate Status for receiving 96% in the global assessment. This is the highest achievement any affiliate has ever received. For more, visit or follow @FPISANews.