Asteron Life and the AFA champion adviser education with industry award

The AFA Excellence in Education award returns in 2019, as Asteron Life continues to show its commitment to advisers’ professional development.

True to Asteron Life’s commitment to fostering adviser education, the life insurer is pleased to once again partner with the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) to champion excellence in advice based on a passion to learn. This year marks Asteron Life’s twelfth year supporting this award, which recognises the transformative power of education for advisers.

This award proudly acknowledges professionals who are committed to continually acquiring knowledge, but who also consistently showcase application of this knowledge for the betterment of their business, client experience and the community and industry as a whole.

Felicity Cooper, Investment Manager and Financial Adviser, and 2018 Excellence in Education Award recipient, is a strong advocate for the importance of adviser education in an ever-changing industry.

“As advisers, we owe it to our clients to be as educated as we possibly can be, because the landscape is always changing,” she says. “You have to continuously learn and develop in order to be the best adviser that you can be.”

While the award equates to recognition within the industry, being honoured with the award also leads to both personal and professional development opportunities. Michael Ward, Financial Adviser and 2017 Excellence in Education Award recipient, gained newfound confidence as a result of the award that he believes catapulted his career to greater success.

“Education wasn’t just about education for me, it was a point where I said I was good enough, smart enough and able to develop enough to have a successful career as a professional adviser,” he explains.

As a result of the award, Felicity was able to forge industry relationships that will benefit her throughout her career, while being able to build a profile for her company.

“The relationships that I’ve built around the award have helped me so much in the way that I do business,” Felicity says. “Going on the road with the AFA and the other presenters – even meeting the judges and other great advisers – has had a big impact and I’m still in contact with other finalists. It’s become a real peer support network for me, and we all share ideas and experiences."

“Spending time on tour with the AFA team and the other speakers for three weeks was almost like an intensive breakout workshop,” agrees Michael. “Not only did I learn about other processes, I was able to learn how other professionals face challenges and how they overcome them.”

For Felicity, the award has an even greater purpose: it shines a light not just on adviser education, but on educating clients. “Education is an important part of our job to be recognised,” she explains. “It is something that I am obviously very passionate about, both in terms of my own education as well as celebrating the work that we’re doing out in the community for financial literacy.”

For those looking to take their career to the next level and celebrate their pursuit for higher professional standards through education, entry nominations to the 2019 AFA Excellence in Education award are now open. In Michael’s opinion, the award has proved to be a richly rewarding experience.

“Entering the award gives you the opportunity to reflect upon yourself, your practice and what you stand for, while giving you feedback from a panel of industry professionals,” he explains.

“Give it a go, give it everything and embrace the opportunity to see where you stand. If you value education, and value what education means to you and your business, then it is also a great opportunity to meet others who share your passion.”

“As we go forward, education is going to become a bigger and bigger part of what we do, whether we like it or not,” adds Felicity. “Choose to embrace it and keep learning, so that you can be a better adviser and so that your clients get better outcomes. Just get involved, because unless you put your name in, you’re definitely not going to be a finalist.”