Prestigious hat-trick for business graduate

James Kenny says taking advantage of mentoring opportunities is important to advancing a career in financial planning.

Griffith business graduate James Kenny has topped a spectacular year by claiming a triple crown of awards from the financial planning industry.

A financial planner with Tupicoffs in Brisbane, James was named Money Management 2013 Financial Planner of the Year last week.

The award comes hot on the heels of national success in the 2013 Financial Planning Association of Australia Best Practice Awards (Certified Financial Planner category) and an international triumph in the 2013 PlanPlus Global Financial Planning Awards where he took out top prize for the Asia region.

JKwebJames completed a Bachelor of Commerce, Financial Planning and Investments (majoring in accounting) at Griffith University in 2006, and has worked as a financial planner since 2007.

Money Management highlighted the 35-year-old’s dedication to ensuring the future of the profession in announcing James as their choice for 2013. The PanPlus award recognises the top financial planners in the world based on their demonstration of outstanding financial advice with the best interests of the client clearly highlighted.

Ormeau-based James is the first financial planner in Australia to win three prestigious awards in the same year and puts this success down, in no small way, to his time at Griffith Business School.

He completed his degree part-time across six years, while also working in the industry. Firsthand knowledge and experience of the industry are crucial, James believes, to success and progress in financial planning.

He highlighted the high standards of Griffith’s financial planning program which includes key opportunities to gain through internships.

It was also the first financial planning program in the country earlier this year to secure accreditation under rigorous new industry guidelines launched by the Financial Planning Education Council.

“When I did my degree, it had an academic focus. It didn’t cover the important inter-personal skills that Griffith students are gaining now through internships that have them job-ready on graduation,” he said.

James has contributed in this area through his continued involvement at Griffith as a mentor, a workshop presenter and keynote speaker at the Professional Degree in Financial Planning.

“Graduates are now coming out of university with experience of the industry. Through internships they are getting a feel for what client service managers and financial planners actually do and are making contacts.

“As such they are much more employable. Tupicoffs have hired a number of Griffith graduates in para-planning roles.”

James advises current and future students of financial planning to seek out the right mentor and engage actively with networking opportunities like the FPA young planner event.

“It’s important to take advantage of opportunities to be mentored, so you can think ahead and steer your career beyond graduation.”

James has also previously been awarded the QLD winner in 2011 and 2012 for the Financial Planning Association Best Practice Awards (Certified Financial Planner category) and was recognised as one of the Top 50 advisers in Australia in 2012 by Wealth Professional magazine.