A Northamptonshire-based financial planner has now achieved the highest global certification available to financial planners in the UK.
Conor O’Sullivan, of O’Sullivan Financial Planning, obtained the Certified Financial PlannerTM certification from the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI).
To be successful, individuals must meet rigorous standards of competence, ethics, and professional practice, and have passed a challenging exam and case study.
According to Which, only 22% of candidates pass the exam and only 8% are like Conor and pass the case study for the first time. Qualifying is so difficult that less than 1,000 of the tens of thousands of UK financial advisers have qualified as licensed professional financial planners.
Conor said: “It was the most detailed and difficult qualification I have ever achieved, and I have immense respect for the small group of people in the UK who have achieved it.
“Being a Certified Financial Planner means I am at the top of my profession in terms of knowledge and experience.
“When people first become financial advisers, the qualifications are very product-oriented, ensuring that you match the right products to the needs of the clients.
“Lifestyle financial planning is very different. The product is almost irrelevant because you are much more focused on the customer and their ambitions and goals for the future. They may have half a dozen conflicting dreams, and you need to use your expertise to figure out how to use their resources to help them achieve their goals.
“The best analogy I can give is the difference between going to a builder or an architect. A builder will give you exactly what you ask for. An architect will take the time to listen to you, understand what you are trying to accomplish, and work with you to design an optimal solution before laying the first brick.
Through CISI’s only accredited training partner for the case study, Conor also undergoes training to run the Certified Financial Planner training courses to impart his knowledge and experience to future candidates.
All of this comes at a time when his business is growing significantly.
Conor explained, “A lot of the work I do now is with business owners. Much of their wealth tends to be tied to their organizations and I help them get their business to generate wealth for them and their families, and get rich independently. Therefore, my services are in high demand.
“Our business has grown a lot over the past year and we are busier than ever, so we will be looking to further develop our team in 2022.”
For more information on O’Sullivan Financial Planning, visit www.osullivanfp.co.uk.