A team from Griffith University held off strong competition to take home first prize in the 2017 AMP University Challenge.

Monica Ann Rayos and Artur Kurnikov, the Griffith Elite Group, won $5000 after proving their skills in a technical quiz, presentation and client consultation.

In its seventh year, the Challenge is a national financial planning competition for tertiary students that aims to identify new talent and promote professionalism.

A record 700 students entered the Challenge this year and there were only a handful of points between the finalists.

“The judges were away for so long that we thought we might have to send out a search party,” said Professor Mark Brimble, illustrating just how tough the decision was.

The Griffith team were commended for their strong presentation, picking up on technology, and their personal approach to the client meeting.

“It still feels surreal, I’m still trying to take it in,” said Monica AnnRayos.

Ms Rayos, now in her final year at Griffith University, is already working as a paraplanner in Brisbane.

“I originally came to Griffith University to do accounting. It wasn’t until one of my lecturers spoke about having two majors that I considered financial planning.

“Now, here I am and I’m so glad I picked it.”

AMP Director of Channel Strategy & Services, David Akers, said the high standards of technical knowledge and practice on display during the Challenge reflected well on the up and coming generation of advisers and finance professionals.

“AMP wants to nurture a new generation of financial advisers in keeping with the drive for higherstandards and greater levels of education in the industry,” Mr Akers said.

“The performance of the finalists in the AMP University Challenge and the overall standard ofentries this year shows that the future is in good hands.”