What happens to Rising Stars?

With nominations under way, Nigel Bowen talks to 2016’s AFA Rising Stars about the award’s impact

Greg Bloom, finance expert at 1st Street Financial, finalist

Thanks to the Rising Star Awards I’ve networked with some very bright people and now have a line of communication to some of the most influential people in the industry. Building a good reputation is an ongoing process but a Rising Star award is certainly an accolade that boosts your personal brand. It’s something you can use as part of your marketing and client presentations to build trust with prospective clients. I hope it’s not the only award I receive in my career but I’m very happy to have been recognised as someone who is kicking goals.

Cathryn Gross, principal at The Wealth Network, finalist

Being involved in the awards gave me lots of exposure to other amazing advisers and allowed me to learn about the myriad ways they are building their businesses. It also raised my profile in the industry, so much so that the AFA encouraged me to apply for a position on the Australian Securities & Investments Commission’s financial advice consultative committee. I’m now on that committee. That means I’m helping shape the future of the profession while having the opportunity to learn from some of the country’s most experienced financial advisers.

Peter Hodgson, financial planner at ANZ, finalist

I was amazed at the extent that being part of the awards plugged me into a nation-wide network of talented people. As a Rising Star nominee you’re interacting with those in the upper echelons of the industry and seeing what great work they do and how much they enjoy their work. It has really opened my eyes to the trends determining where the profession is headed and provided me with a much broader perspective. It’s also opened a lot of doors and solidified my desire to be a part of the next generation of financial planners.

Maritza Kriel, director at MK Wealth Solutions, finalist

Being nominated gave me more self-confidence about the way I run my business and the advice I provide to clients. The opportunity to discuss business strategies and processes with both other contestants and the judges opened up a world of new ideas to me..

Brent Story, financial planner at Cornerstone Advice, finalist

The fact I’m a Rising Star nominee is highlighted in my email signature and mentioned in all the other marketing material our business produces. My Rising Star certificate and award are prominently displayed in the office. Being a Rising Star nominee undoubtedly adds an extra layer of credibility, especially when you’re a smaller firm out there trying to attract new business.

Erin Truscott, financial adviser at GCA Financial, 2016 Rising Star winner

The biggest thing I took out of being nominated and winning the Rising Star Award, along with getting to connect and share with the other nominees and judges, was that my peers in the profession see me as being on the right track. The exposure I’ve got from being a Rising Star has had some incredible benefits, including opening up new opportunities with both existing and potential new clients. During and after the awards process there are lots of media interviews. That is a great experience. It also results in stories being published that both clients and potential clients see. There have been many times clients have told me, “I did an online search and your name popped up with some great articles about the Rising Star awards”. This made them feel confident and “happy to have me on their team”. That publicity adds to your credibility as a young adviser. The award has given me the confidence to always strive to be the best adviser for my clients and keep achieving great things.