Towards Setting New Standards

     Print Edition: July 2012

The Indian financial services industry has witnessed significant transition over the years. From the initial focus on products and technology, the attention is shifting towards consumers and processes which create value for consumers.

A major transformation is also happening in consumers' attitudes, who are demanding a holistic and comprehensive approach to their personal finance across asset classes.

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At present, consumers go to a bank to save their money or to get credit etc. They buy stocks and bonds from brokers. They purchase insurance from an insurance agent and mutual funds from a mutual fund distributor. Under this environment, the convergence of regulations and holistic approach across all product lines to ensure financial consumers' well-being is certainly desirable.

At a macro level, the importance of financial intermediation is also being understood by all, in not just improving the financial health of individuals but also as a critical determinant for the performance of an economy. The need-based, comprehensive and ethical financial intermediation can contribute significantly towards the growth of a nation in terms of creating financial well-being at all levels within the society.

Today we do see leaders in the financial services domain who have established quality standards and benchmarks which can serve as a roadmap for achieving leadership in the respective domains.

Money Today financial planning special With the same view, to recognise and honour the institutions and brilliant men and women, who with their innovative efforts, intelligence and vision, have changed the landscape across various financial services, Financial Planning Corporation (India) Pvt. Ltd. [FPCIL] and Money Today have jointly instituted the Money Today FPCIL Awards.

The awards mark a beginning for setting new benchmark in the financial services domain, keeping financial consumer at the centre. The awards shall be under various categories including Asset Management (Mutual Funds), Banks, Brokerage, Financial Planning, Individual as well as Institutional, Life Insurance and General Insurance.

The awards are powered by Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Certification ' A Global mark of Excellence in Financial Planning, and supported by BDO Consulting Private Ltd as knowledge partner.

FPCIL, the establishment promoted by Financial planning Standards Board India [FPSB India], along with leading Financial Conglomerates including BNP Paribas SA, State Bank of India, Tata AIG Life Insurance Co. Ltd. amongst others, and Money Today, a personal finance magazine share the same vision and mission, i.e., create financial awareness and education amongst consumers on issues of finance, to inculcate financial discipline in managing their affairs in a holistic manner by all the stakeholders with a broad strategy to achieve their life goals.

While the details of each of the awards, e.g., sub-category and methodology shall follow, the same are based on qualitative parameters as well as business metrics. The intrinsic character remains consumer centricity and the standard of care.

It is our belief that such initiatives would provide broad guidance to consumers about the performance and desired ethical practices of institutions and intermediaries. It would also serve to encourage and motivate the awardees as well as all participants to evolve their practice to the next level. It is expected that the awards would be a path-breaking initiative in acknowledging quality differentiation in personal finance advisory domain.

Ranjeet S Mudholkar

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