Excitement is mounting as the financial services brands ‘in the running’ for the 2017 FIA Awards hit the home stretch. After a lengthy awards survey process, the finalists in each of 10 awards categories were notified of their achievement on Tuesday, 16 May. To heighten the excitement, this year the names of the awards winners will be kept under lock and key until they are announced on 8 June 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg.
The 2017 FIA Awards finalists emerged after an extensive survey of the FIA’s membership, conducted by South Africa’s largest independent research firm, Ask Afrika. “Our challenge to Ask Afrika was to reconceptualise and reinvigorate the awards process without straying too far from a selection process that has been fine-tuned over 19 years,” says Lizelle van der Merwe, CEO of the Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa (FIA).
Special care was taken to match the ‘old’ and ‘new’ methodologies to ensure that the results accurately reflect FIA member brokers’ experience of product suppliers in so far product quality, service quality, relationship quality and overall satisfaction. “Data collection took place between 14 March and 4 May 2017 with more than 8000 contracts rated by FIA members in the process,” says Sarina de Beer, Managing Director at Ask Afrika.
The 2017 survey process was further improved with the introduction of a more robust diagnostic questionnaire to gain further insight into key issues facing FIA members and the wider intermediated distribution environment. The FIA will share some of the insights gained during the survey process in the weeks immediately following the Awards.
The awards are fiercely contested and the finalists are recognised as companies that go ‘the extra mile’ for the intermediary, who in turn recommends appropriate financial product to consumers. Now in its 19th year, the annual event also provides an opportunity to reflect on the value of good financial advice in achieving the industry’s overarching goals of consumer protection, financial inclusion and transformation.
“Although product suppliers walk away with the accolades on the night the awards are also a celebration of the value that financial advisers, insurance brokers and other financial advice professionals bring to the industry,” said Van der Merwe. She noted that the choice of survey partner, in Ask Afrika, was intended to bring the association closer to the consumer, who is recognised as the most important component in any financial transaction.
“We extend our congratulations to those financial services brands that have made it to the final stages of the 2017 FIA Awards,” concluded van der Merwe. “Thank you for your continued support of the FIA, its members and the intermediated distribution model – may the best brand win”.