Deakin University student wins 2018 AMP University Challenge

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2018 AMP University Challenge finalists, from left to right: William Nakos (RMIT), Ashley Fernandes (Western Sydney University), Shane Harris (RMIT), Sarah Toan (Western Sydney University), Kimberley Guild (La Trobe), competition winner Michael Reardon (Deakin University).

Now in its eighth year, the AMP University Challenge is a national financial planning competition for tertiary students that aims to identify promising new talent and promote high standards of education and professionalism among the next generation of advisers.

The Deakin student scored the most points in the technical quiz and performed strongly in the simulated client meeting to take the title, although the final result was close.

AMP Acting Group Executive Advice, David Akers congratulated Mr Reardon, noting the high standard of competition on display.

“I am always impressed by the knowledge and maturity of the students who make it to the University Challenge finals,” Mr Akers said.

The finalists took part in a series of challenges, which also included a pitch to the judges on their idea for a financial literacy program for young people.

The finals were also a chance to mix with senior advice professionals and leading finance academics and explore their career opportunities at the headquarters of Australia’s largest network of financial advisers.

AMP Head of Education and Capability Development Rod Edge said that the increasing rigour of adviser education, driven by the incoming FASEA education standards and training programs like AMP’s Adviser Pathways, was giving students a clearer path towards an advice career.

“Raising standards in advice will be welcomed by the general public but I think it’s also making advice a more attractive and higher status career for the talented young people coming out of our universities,” Mr Edge said.

Shane Harris from RMIT came in second place, while repeat finalist Kimberley Guild from La Trobe was third after finishing fifth in 2017.

The team from Western Sydney University, Ashley Fernandes and Sarah Toan, placed 4th and William Nakos from RMIT was fifth.

The students did well just to reach the finals, defeating more than 650 others after submitting the best examples of a financial plan for a hypothetical client.

The AMP University Challenge is integrated into the curriculum and assessment for students studying financial planning majors at Deakin University, Griffith University, TAFE NSW, La Trobe University, and Western Sydney University.

It also attracts a large number of entrants studying finance and business at other tertiary institutions.

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