The 2012 Association of Financial Advisers Rising Star, Matt Hale, has less than three years’ experience as a financial planner but has “already demonstrated a strong commitment for providing advice to singles, young families and business owners”, according to the 2011 award winner, Mark Rattigan.

Announcing Hale’s victory at the AFA’s national conference on the Gold Coast yesterday, Rattigan said that Hale is “currently studying his Fellow Chartered Financial Practitioner [FCFP] qualification, and is a director of the Warwick Foundation, which helps Australians aged 18 to 40 during their battle with cancer. Last year he also led a volunteering expedition through to Kenya”.

Hale (right), an adviser with Financial Design for Life in Victoria, said “over the past three years I’ve had the opportunity to go one step further each time” in the rising-star judging process.

“I’ve also been able to see the effect it had on Chris Brown [the 2007 Rising Star], who I’ve worked with for the last five years.

“I met Chris about five years ago and he gave me the opportunity to work in an amazing business in FDFL,” Hale said.

“We’ve conquered a bit, but we’ve still got a fair way to go. But without him, I definitely wouldn’t be here.”

In a statement, the chief executive of the AFA, Richard Klipin, said Hale “embodies the heart, sprit and soul of the future of the profession”.

“Matt is university-educated, has a very strong advice process, is focused on his clients, is a leader within the AFA and raises funds for his chosen charity,” Klipin said. “Congratulations to Matt and all the finalists.”

How do stars rise?

Paul Barrett, managing director of global advice and distribution at ANZ, said the Rising Star award recognises advisers with less than three years’ experience in the industry, who provide “quality, holistic advice to their clients”.

“The nominees must excel in the areas of practice management, and importantly they must demonstrate a commitment to personal development and… education,” Barrett said.

“The rising stars must also make a community contribution – to their local community – as well as a contribution to our profession.”

Barrett said he was “optimistic about the future”, and “excited about the new generation of professionals carrying the financial planning business forward”.

“I recently heard a great definition of the word professional: ‘Someone who imposes upon themselves a standard higher than that which is imposed upon them by laws and regulations’.”