A Northamptonshire-based financial planner has now achieved the highest global certification available to financial planners in the UK.

Conor O’Sullivan, of O’Sullivan Financial Planning, has achieved the Certified Financial Planner TM certification from The Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI).

To be successful, individuals must meet rigorous competence, ethics and professional practice standards and have completed a challenging examination and case study.

According to Which, only 22 per cent of candidates pass the exam and only eight per cent are like Conor and pass the case study first time. The qualification is so challenging that fewer than 1,000 of the UK’s tens of thousands of financial advisers have qualified as Certified Financial Planner professionals.

Conor said: “It was the most detailed and challenging qualification I’ve ever completed, and I have a huge amount of respect for the small group of people in the UK who have achieved it.

“To be a Certified Financial Planner practitioner means I’m in the upper echelon of my profession in terms of my knowledge and experience.

“When people first become financial advisers, the qualifications are very heavily product focussed, ensuring you’re matching the right products with client needs.

“Lifestyle financial planning is very different. The product is almost irrelevant because you’re much more focused on the client and their ambitions and goals for the future. They may have half a dozen conflicting dreams and you need to use your expertise to work out how to use their resources to help them achieve their goals.

“The best analogy I can give is the difference between going to see a builder or an architect.  A builder will give you exactly what you ask for. An architect will take time to listen to you, understand what you’re trying to achieve and work with you to design an optimum solution prior to laying the first brick.”

Through the CISI’s only accredited training partner for the case study, Conor is also now training to run the Certified Financial Planner training courses to pass on his knowledge and experience to future candidates.

All this comes at a time when his business is growing dramatically.

Conor explained: “Much of the work I do now is with business owners. A lot of their wealth tends to be tied up in their organisations and I help them to ensure that their business generates wealth for them and their families, and they become independently wealthy. As a result, my services are in high demand.

“Our business has grown a lot during the past year and we’re busier now than we have ever been, so we’ll be looking to grow our team further during 2022.”

For further information about O’Sullivan Financial Planning visit www.osullivanfp.co.uk

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