Q: The Fiduciary Institute of Southern Africa is to hold its annual conference on 20 September at the Sandton Convention Centre. Tell us a bit about it.
A: This is the eighth conference FISA will have held. It is building a strong name for being the place where academics and practitioners can discuss trends and share ideas. We always manage to find interesting speakers and discussion is invariably lively. The theme this year is “Privacy, protection and disclosure in an online world” which speaks in particular to the rise of data protection laws which could potentially contradict the simultaneous rise of worldwide regulation to enhance disclosure. We live in interesting times!
Q: What are the speaker topics?
A: We are still in the process of finalising speakers but to give an idea we will have:
- Speakers on the topics of cyberfraud and cybersecurity respectively
- Mr James Farber of the University of Free State on electronic wills
- Extraordinary professor at NW University, attorney and FISA member, Japie Coetzee, on protection of the rights of trust beneficiaires and the right to privacy
- A representative of the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) on the drive to combat money laundering through trusts
- A presentation on conflicts of interest
You can visit our conference page for updates.
Q: Do members get CPD points for attending?
A: Yes, FISA members get 7 points while the FPI usually accredits the conference.
Q: What are other key developments within FISA?
A: Aside from keeping our members abreast of legislative changes and making industry submissions where needed, one of the key developments has been the adoption of the designation of Fiduciary Practitioner of South Africa® (FPSA®). Some 220 members of FISA already have this professional status.
Q: Is this similar to the CFP® designation for financial planners?
A: Exactly. The aim is to raise fiduciary standards in the country and before too long the FPSA® designation will be the standard measure of fiduciary competence – and the bar is set quite high.
Q: How does one qualify for FPSA® status?
A: As from this year, anyone who wishes to apply to FISA for the FPSA® designation needs first to enter and successfully complete the Advanced Diploma in Estate and Trust Administration offered by the School for Financial Planning Law (SFPL) at the University of the Free State since 2015. Applications are now open for the 2019 academic year – you can visit the SFPL website for more detail.
Q: How is FISA promoting awareness of this new standard?
A: FISA members are or should be aware of it through the institute’s member communication channels. We are putting the message out to potential FISA members – legal and tax professionals practising in fiduciary for example – through a targeted advertising campaign. It won’t take too long before the public starts insisting on the standard and so it is in the best interests of practitioners to obtain the designation as soon as possible.