IFA of the Year 2013

Last week I attended a financial services award ceremony at a very posh address in London, which would include, amongst other things, award for IFA of the year. These awards have been going on for many years and are generally put on by the financial press to recognise achievement. Perhaps you have some thoughts on award ceremonies? I certainly have mine and was interested to see what really goes on. In all my time as an adviser (now 22 years) it was the first time I had attended such a “ceremony” (which is short-hand for drinks, comedy act, hand out some gongs, food, more gongs, drink, dance…). I have no problem with some fun and the evening itself, I had a good time, thanks to the company of others, but left early as I had a busy schedule the next day.

I was surprised to learn about some of the winners, much of which were advertising awards (well, it is a press event, where advertising pays the bills)… I hadn’t even seen many of the short-listed or “winning” adverts. That then prompted the question about the awards in general. I learned before the event that you have to enter yourself to win and not many do. So precisely what credibility such awards hold is somewhat questionable. So I wondered, does having a logo that says you are “IFA of the Year” 2013 make a difference to existing clients or potential ones? I genuinely don’t know the answer, hence I’m asking you for your thoughts.  I am always a little perplexed by these things as I tend to think that unless someone wins one every year, then presumably their standards have fallen behind the next winner. I’m certainly fairly reluctant to put myself forward, because, well.. it seems a little narcissistic. So, is this a PR stunt of worth to you? would it make a difference?… is your GP “GP of the Year”? or your Accountant? Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not suggesting that these things have no value, I’m simply questioning what value. After all, surely most good financial planning is only likely to be shown to be of great success (or otherwise) over the long-term… perhaps even after death.

Dominic Thomas: Solomons IFA