Incoming FPA chief executive Dante De Gori plans to continue pushing towards the association's goal of increasing professionalism in the industry, taking it to the "next stage" when he assumes his new role next year.
Speaking to media at the FPA Professionals Congress in Brisbane yesterday, Mr De Gori said it was a "great privilege and honour" to be given the opportunity to lead the FPA.
"Our targets of what we want to achieve, in terms of professionalism, in terms of engaging with more Australians and in terms of accessing financial advice, are still the same goals and objectives," he said.
"What I look to do is take us to the next stage in that particular journey."
Mr De Gori will succeed Mark Rantall, who is set to leave his post at the end of February 2016 after serving as the FPA's chief executive for five years. Mr Rantall has agreed to remain on the association's board as a non-executive director.
He also plans to take on similar roles at other boards.
"I'm thrilled to be staying on the board and to maintain my association with the FPA," Mr Rantall said.
"I've been a member for the last 22 years. I am now at a new stage of my life, which will be to seek non-executive directorship roles in other organisations as well."
The FPA said this is the first time an internal candidate has been appointed to the top job.
During the opening speech of the conference, FPA chair Neil Kendall praised Mr Rantall for "advancing the cause of professionalism" in the financial advice industry during a period of significant change.
"In five years Mark Rantall has led a team that effectively transformed the FPA into the leading professional body it is today – trailblazing the journey to higher educational and advice standards; tirelessly campaigning to ensure both members and consumers benefit from proposed industry and government reforms; and growing both the Certified Financial Planner brand and number of CFP professionals in Australia," he said.
"The board recognised Mark's achievements today with the award of life membership of the FPA."
Mr Kendall added that the board also recognised the value of having a CEO who is a CFP professional and who "really understands the work financial planners do", as well as the macro policy and industry environment in which they operate.
"Dante has worked as the FPA general manager of policy and conduct since 2010. He has a deep understanding of the FPA, our policies, government and industry relationships and our members. Dante shares the board's mission to build the profession of financial planning," he said.
"We are well advanced on this journey and have received strong government support. The next step is the delivery and implementation of legislative changes, the continued growth in professionalism and continuing to build trust with consumers.
"Dante, with his experience, knowledge and passion for the profession, is ideally qualified to lead the organisation as we stand with Australians for a better financial future," Mr Kendall said.
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