Planners from Russia and Australia Win Distinguished Global Financial Planning Awards

Natalia Smirnova, MS Finance, Owner and CEO at Personal Advisor ltd. was recently announced as the first place winner of the 2015 Global Financial Planning Awards for the Europe region. Natalia will receive an all-expense paid trip to the Financial Planning Association’s (FPA) annual conference to be held in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Moscow, Russia, August 13, 2015 –(– “Financial planning in Russia is neither licensed nor regulated, we don’t have a CFP® mark as an industry standard our clients could rely on,” said Natalia. “In fact, anyone could call himself a financial planner with no consequences for his business and start providing clients with poor service. I have always found it extremely difficult to work in the financial planning industry and have no local experts to learn from. The only solution was to study foreign expertise, communicate with foreign planners, join international association (FPA) and try to apply all of this into my company’s practice.”

“I considered the Global Financial Planning Award an international financial planning exam, which would provide feedback showing whether I’m on the right track. Now I know I am, and the PlanPlus Global Financial Planning Award helps my company to distinguish and show my clients that our level of service meets the highest international standards.”

“We are truly excited to see the depth and breadth of our competition grow each year” said Global Awards Chair, John Page. “Our winners have produced extraordinary financial plans rich in value to their clients. We are honoured by the quality of their work and their dedication to their clients. Our winners exemplify what financial planning is all about.”

Chris Smith, CFP® from VISIS Private Wealth in Brisbane, Australia was named as first runner-up for the Europe region which includes Oceana.

“I immensely enjoyed the submission process for the PlanPlus Global Awards” said Chris. “Breaking down my advice into the categories gave me a chance to reflect on the various components in a different manner and in doing so gave me some ideas on another level of improvement we can take our advice to, in particular the way we communicate and present our findings. I believe that the way we do things at VISIS Private Wealth are market leading in expertise and knowledge, and to compare our firm against the best in the world was a good opportunity to measure that. We can occasionally become insulated in our firm and these awards are an appropriate occasion to take the time to look around and not only validate what we are doing but to look to other professionals for a better way of doing things.”

“Overall I was very glad I was considered for this award, proud of the accomplishment and in particular very happy to know our clients are in fact getting advice and service that rivals any other adviser in the world.”

“There were several, good quality submissions for the Global Financial Planning Awards from Europe in 2015,” said European judge, Lubomir Christoff. “Ms. Natalia Smirnova (Russia) stood particularly out with her comprehensive, well researched advice to the mulifaceted challenges of her client. Her runner up, Mr. Chris Smith’s submission was also of very high quality. In both cases contenders were able to demonstrate considerable and tangible benefits to their clients, thus providing evidence that ‘Good advice does not cost money, it saves money’… and trouble. Congratulations both for well deserved awards!”

“I hope that both winners benefited from the feedback they received from judges,” said Christoff. “I’d like to encourage financial planners across Europe to participate in the forthcoming 2016 Global Financial Planning Awards, and thus contribute to their own professional progress and the strengthening of the profession across the continent. The Awards, now the third year, has already established itself as the premier Global competition in professional and ethical financial advice.”

For more information on the PlanPlus Global Financial Planning Awards visit
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