Given a family background in financial advice and a well-recognised commitment to the industry, it is hardly surprising that well-known Sydney planner, Claire Mackay, has been named Money Management's 2015 Financial Planner of the Year.
The judging panel recognised that while Mackay may have grown up in a family already working in the financial services industry, she actually encapsulates the generational change and increasing levels of professionalism that have been pursued by the sector over the past decade and more.
Mackay can not only boast having been commissioned as an officer in the Australian Army but to also be the only practitioner financial planner in Australia to hold qualifications in accounting, financial planning, tax and law.
The judging panel not only recognised her achievements as a financial planner but her commitment to the profession and her leadership on key issues.
As principal and head of strategy at Quantum Financial, Mackay has built a strong client base and high levels of respect not only amongst her peers but the broader financial services community not only for her advocacy of the profession, but by leading by example with respect to remuneration and the provision of advice.
Notwithstanding her very public profile, Mackay is quick to refer to Quantum Financial as a family affair and to recognise the contributions of both her father, Bill and her brother Tim, both of whom are industry stalwarts.
Mackay emerged as the winner of the Financial Planner of the Year award from a strong field, which included another industry innovator and this year's runner-up, William Johns, the founder and managing director of Health and Finance Integrated.
The judges paid tribute to Johns' contribution to the industry and it was noted that he had been a previous FPOTY runner-up in 2012.
The other finalists were Eureka Whittaker McNaught chief executive, Greg Cook, and Rowland Financial Advisory principal, Michael Rowland.