Janet Hugo, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and director of Sterling Private Clients, has won the prestigious Financial Planner of the Year Award, presented annually by the Financial Planning Institute (FPI).

Hugo was named Financial Planner of the Year at the 2018 FPI awards ceremony gala dinner in Sandton this week. About 250 financial planning professionals came together for the event, sponsored by Alexander Forbes.

Hugo, who is based in Hermanus, has been in the financial services profession for more than 12 years. She is a regular guest speaker on radio and TV and frequently contributes to articles for the press. 

She has been involved with FPI since 2009 and was elected to chair the FPI’s investment competency committee between 2010 and 2017, after which she served as a non-executive director of the FPI board for a short period. 

Hugo, who emerged ahead of the two other finalists in the competition, Hardi Swart and Louis van der Merwe, thanked the judges, as well as the previous winners, for giving her the courage to go on. “Thank you to the people who have inspired me. Many of you have charted a difficult path,” she said.

FPI chairperson Ntai Phoofolo acknowledged that it had been a difficult year for the FPI but said thevoiced his optimism that the worst was behind it.

“It has definitely been a difficult period for us, but I feel much more comfortable, so many weeks later, to believe we are getting past the storm, and I am sure we will come out stronger. It’s back to the basics for us, governance included, with our members at the forefront of our strategy,” he said.

Although the announcement of the FPI Financial Planner of the Year was the highlight of the evening, other CFP professionals were also honoured. Ronald King won the FPI Harry Brews Award, Carmen Venter the “It Starts With Me Award”, Kirsty Scully the FPI Media Award, and Thembisa Mngadi the Diversity and Inclusion Award. The recipient of this year’s Professional Competency Examination Award was Daniel Rautenbach.

The inaugural Alexander Forbes Investments Asterisk* Awards for investment managers and their funds were also presented.