The AFA and Zurich have named David Reed of The Retirement Advice Centre as the 2015 AFA Adviser of the Year, and Kearney Group as the 2015 AFA Practice of the Year.
Presenting the awards at the AFA National Adviser Conference in Cairns last night, AFA chief executive Brad Fox said the winners represent "the best of the best" in the financial advice profession.
"The AFA Adviser of the Year and Practice of the Year awards are the highes honours that can be bestowed on financial advisers in Australia," he said.
"Nominees are put through a comprehensive judging process including an in-depth client feedback survey, site visit, examination of advice documents and interviews with staff. In the final stage, advisers must make a comprehensive, face-to-face presentation to the judging panel."
Mr Reed impressed the judges through the strong evidence-based approach he applies to his advice, which is focused on preparing and assisting clients in achieving their ideal retirement, the AFA said.
"Mr Reed has invested considerably in researching behavioural outcomes for retirees, and this brings a mix of art and science into his advice recommendations and the ongoing, highly valued relationships he maintains with his clients," an AFA statement said.
Meanwhile, Melbourne-based Kearney Group, which employs 45 people, delivers an "amazing advice experience" to its clients, the AFA said, noting the business also demonstrates efficient and innovative middle- and back-office solutions.
"The business is driven by the desire to lead industry change through developing innovative technology that is both novel and radically useful and strives to build first-class relationships with clients that empower client decision-making," the statement said.
Philip Kewin, Zurich general manager of retail life and investments, said: "Now, more than ever, we need to showcase these exceptional advisers and practices to the broader community.
"At a time when our industry is on the cusp of great change, the calibre of our winners and finalists – and the way they serve their clients and work collaboratively to shape the evolution of their profession – leaves us incredibly optimistic that the future of advice is in very good hands indeed."
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