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Financial Planner Bags Top Award

Rodger Spiller has been named Financial Planner of the Year in an inaugural award set up by online financial daily Good Returns and judged by the Retirement Commissioner Colin Blair,

Reserve Bank deputy governor Rod Carr and financial journalist Mary Holm. Good Returns established the awards, which are fully endorsed by the Office of the Retirement Commissioner, as a positive step to promote financial planning and good savings practice to the public.

The awards are sponsored by Armstrong Jones, AXA New Zealand, Royal and SunAlliance, Tower Managed Funds.

The winner was announced at a function at Auckland's Sheraton Hotel. Each of the five finalists submitted a detailed written entry and were interviewed by judges earlier in the day. Colin Blair said Rodger Spiller put forward a comprehensive plan which was supported by a very satisfied client.

He said Mr Spiller demonstrated a high level of knowledge about investment issues, and helped spread his knowledge through teaching and seminars.

The judges were unanimous in their decision and said Mr Spiller was the clear winner. Good Returns editor Philip Macalister said it was pleasing to note that four of the five finalists held the internationally-recognised Certified Financial Planner designation. "Financial planners and investment advisers are too often portrayed as less than competent and professional," he said.

"This is not the case, as there are hundreds of advisers operating in New Zealand who offer professional service and advice and who help their clients achieve financial security."

Mr Macalister said he was motivated to promote the good work of advisers because no-one else was doing it. "I hope that these awards will raise the public profile of financial planning and also encourage excellence within the industry."

Entrants were judged on their skills and professionalism, rather than on the amount of business written. Judges also looked for knowledge of current issues, input to the profession and extracurricular contributions made to the community.

The other finalists were: Simon Hassan of Auckland's Stewart, Hassan and Associates; Peter Hensley of The Money People in New Plymouth; Tony Mount of Independent Financial Consultants, Nelson and John Neas of TOWER Financial Advisory Services, Wellington.

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