Ascor® wins again in International Adviser Best Practice Adviser Awards
Ascor® Independent Wealth Managers has firmly entrenched itself as South Africa’s most-awarded independent wealth management and financial planning practice, after receiving two category awards in the 2020 International Adviser Best Practice Adviser Awards.
The Awards are administered by International Adviser (IA) and focuses on practices in Europe, the Middle East, South Africa, and South-East Asia. Ascor® has been crowned as Best Adviser Firm twice in the competition’s five-year history, while it has also received the most category awards of any South African practice throughout the competition’s history.
In 2020, International Adviser awarded Ascor® with the category prizes for the Best Support Team and for Excellence in Professional Development. These prizes will join other category awards on the mantlepiece, including last year’s Excellence in Investment Planning, Excellence in Diversity and the 2018 and 2016 overall awards.
In making the award, International Adviser acknowledged that the past year has been more than challenging, with many private practices unable to survive the lockdown and economic downturn. IA also noted that the pandemic has exposed severe shortcomings in the business models and succession planning of many practices, who were left flat-footed when they were forced indoors during the hard lockdown.
In contrast, Independent Adviser praised Ascor®’s long-term vision and depth of talent. It is for this reason that IA awarded Ascor® with the Excellence in Professional Development prize, while commending Ascor®’s development and retention of top-quality staff.
The Excellence in Professional Development prize evaluates whether the advisory team has the right qualifications and that the practice has sufficient succession planning to make sure that clients’ portfolios are in safe hands, regardless of what happens to their Wealth Adviser.
Ascor® is also a long-time partner of the University of Pretoria’s Department of Financial Management, where it sponsors a prize for the best honour’s degree student in the B.Com Investment Management course at the university. It draws its pool of graduate trainees from this and other universities and it continues to develop them for roles as wealth planners or paraplanning support staff. This helps to ensure that Ascor® has a deep pool of skilled and knowledgeable staff to draw from in any situation.
Independent Adviser also recognised Ascor® as having the best internal support team. This category award is a recent addition to the Best Practice Adviser Awards, and it looks at the company’s systems, paraplanning team, HR and training policies as well as its ability to maintain the highest level of service, despite unplanned disruptions like the 2020 hard lockdown.
Ascor® is extremely proud of its support team and its internal structures and systems. All documentation is hosted securely and is always accessible to Planners, ensuring it can continue uninterrupted, regardless of the lockdown or any other possible business disruption.
Ascor® Independent Wealth Managers remains one of South Africa’s premier fully independent wealth management practices. It has the distinction of being one of the very first practices to receive FPI Professional Practice Certification, while all of its Wealth Managers are fully-accredited FPI CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS®. It is also home to South Africa’s FPI Financial Planner of the Year for 2015/16.
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