Advisor Speak 1st June 2015
If you are serious about financial planning, you gotta be here
Uday Dhoot, Council of Financial Planners, Bangalore


If you are serious about financial planning, you ought to be heading towards Bangalore between June 10th and 13th, to attend the Asian FP Convention on 10th, 11th and 12th, followed by the annual conference of CoFP on June 13th. If you aren't a member of FPA and are not likely to become one in a hurry, Uday invites you in any case, to attend the annual event of CoFP on June 13th, which promises a rich agenda of great insights from practitioners from India and the world. Read on as Uday takes us through why you ought to block your diary on June 13th and head towards Bangalore for a fruitful day of sharing and imbibing advisory insights from the best practitioners.

WF: How is COFP shaping up? What are the key activities of COFP? What's the membership now and what are growth plans for COFP?

Uday: COFP is shaping up really well, before we formally registered the society as Council of Financial Planners (COFP) we have meeting monthly for almost 7 years+ now. It started with a small group of 5-10 planners and now the membership strength is over 100+ (mostly all in Bangalore) with participants from Mysore & Dharwad as well.

Our two fold primary objective from day one has been to provide continuous education and learning to all members and spread financial literacy amongst general public. We have been continuously doing these monthly meetings where we have had outsiders and also members present. In the last one year we have had 3-4 CEO chats, we had a discussion with Regional Director of SEBI. Our monthly meetings are not necessarily just one way talks, but they are fairly creative with role plays, quizzes, and memes to ensure that we are just not learning, but also having fun!

We also did a session this year with SBI Pensioners as part of our financial literacy outreach, were roughly around 200+ people were present, we discussed matters around pension, estate planning and retirement planning.

Apart from this we have a regular E-zine that we publish, we have also started video recording some of our events to create useful content for everyone.

The monthly discussions is the life of our Council, and a lot of this bonhomie, learning gets presented during our annual convention.

WF: Tell us about the Asian FP convention that you are going to be hosting at Bangalore.

Uday: It's a 4 day event, the first 3 days are the part of the FPA Asia Convention. We are partnering and hosting the same for FPA. The very first day is the Planner Visit (suitably modified for Indian traffic conditions). Here planners from different parts of India, will be presenting their story, their learnings, offerings and also learning from others who do the same. This is a great opportunity to learn from your peers and implement successful ideas in your own practice.

The second and third day is an International Community Gathering (ICG) of peers from around the world, with members from various countries including US, Canada, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and of course India.

ICG provides a platform to engage in rich conversations and learn from fellow planners across the globe. The power of these round table conversations is that the attendees suggest the topics and then gather with others who share a similar interest

The finale is our annual convention. The details and agenda for all the above are available on our website:

WF: You are also combining your annual event to coincide with the Asian convention. What are the contours of your annual event?

Uday: From our very first annual convention we treaded on a different path to bring a fresh and different perspective to the topics and learnings for the participants. The convention is open to everyone. We felt that people get enough of product and market related info, through the existing platforms that are doing a great job so tried bringing perspectives on planning from other areas.

Our annual convention this year is having a theme of 3Ps People-Process-Potential, the subjects being discussed and dealt are in keeping with the underlying theme. We are also making use of our international guests to provide the participants a good dose of global flavour so that we learn from things that they have already seen in terms of technology, regulations and growth of the profession. The topics are ranging from creating your personal brand, learning ethics from our scriptures, creating a great customer experience, etc. We also have "Power Talks" from innovators in finance like Janalakshmi Financial Services and matters of technology from our guests from abroad. The overall idea is to give enough food for thought to our participants on how they should grow their practice and also provide a great opportunity to network with the peer from all over the country.

WF: Is attendance to your annual event only restricted to existing members or are you opening it up to other advisors as well?

Uday: All the events are open to anyone is the financial advisory / wealth management / financial planning field. For the ICG event, you need to also become a member of the FPA. So anyone can attend any of the events, especially we feel the annual convention on June 13th is a great opportunity for all participants in India to learn from their peers in India and across the globe.

WF: What do you expect as they key outcomes of this conference?

Uday: Our outcomes are listed in our theme. How we can collectively realise our true potential, understand and learn from peers from all over India and across the globe and finally how we can create a great practice for ourselves, therefore by giving this profession the respect it deserves. So it is about telling all of us (including myself) the opportunity that lies ahead of us and how we can move towards it in the right spirit and confidence.

WF: What will be the registration costs for the conference and are there any tie-ups with hotels for outstation advisors who wish to participate in the conference?

Uday: Yes, we have a tie up with a few hotels in including JW Mariott. The registration costs are as below:

Planner Visit: Rs. 3000

International Community Gathering: Rs. 15000 (FPA Member), Rs. 19000 (Non FPA Member)

COPF Annual Convention: Rs. 2000 (COFP Member) and Rs. 3500 (Non-COFP Member).

All these details are also updated on our website and our team members would be more than willing to help our friends from outstation with all the support that is required.

WF: Is the current format going to be an annual affair or is this scale only a one-off that you are planning for this year?

Uday: The annual convention is our second event and is something that we promise to continue as we move forward. We are certain it will grow into a more better and special event as years progress. Apart from this as COFP we continue doing a lot of monthly learning activities for our members in Bangalore, we would like to possibly introduce smaller quarterly learning sessions. I think it is very important that we come together as a group and learn from each other, if friends in other parts of the country would like to start something similar we would be more than willing to contribute with our learnings and hands wherever possible.

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