October 23, 2012
AMP has announced an academic partnership with the University of New South Wales (UNSW) as part of its commitment to increasing the professionalism of financial planners, while also crowning the winners of this year’s AMP University Challenge.
In an ‘industry-first’, AMP Horizons has announced a partnership with UNSW which it says will make it easier for its graduates to become degree-qualified.
Called University Pathways for Horizons Alumni, the initiative will give eligible Horizons Professional Year Program graduates the opportunity to gain academic credit towards a Graduate Diploma or Masters qualification in financial planning through UNSW’s Australian School of Business.
AMP Horizons Director, Tim Steele, said the arrangement would offer graduates a competitive advantage by providing them the option of undertaking further study.
“The initiative creates a timely and cost-effective way for Horizons alumni to study towards becoming a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professional,” Mr Steele said.
The CFP designation is offered by the Financial Planning Association (FPA), which will require new members to be degree-qualified from 1 July 2013. AMP has previously indicated it favours the FPA educational structure and code of conduct model, with AMP Financial Services Managing Director, Craig Meller, saying he would not be unhappy if the CFP accreditation became the norm for financial planners (see: AMP Favours FPA Code of Conduct).
Meanwhile, a team of students from La Trobe University in Victoria has won the 2012 AMP University Challenge.
The national financial planning competition, now in its second year, is open to all Australian university students.
A record number of entries were received in 2012, with over 100 students competing for the $5,000 prize. Entrants must submit a scoped advice discussion paper in response to a hypothetical client case study, designed to give them a greater awareness of what it is like to be a financial planner.
“Our aspiration is that more university students will consider financial planning as an exciting and rewarding career path, having found out through experience the difference it can make in people’s lives,” Mr Steele said.
Nathan Nicolaou, one half of the winning team which also included Andrew Cavaggion, said the Challenge had taught him a lot about where financial planning was heading.
“You get a real sense that the challenges taking place are leading to a shift from financial planners being seen as service providers to becoming a fully recognised and embraced profession. It’s an exciting time to be involved,” Mr Nicolaou said.