Women in Capital Markets honours three professionals at annual awards luncheon

The Vancouver-based Institute of Advanced Financial Planning (IAFP) has named two Dalhousie University Rowe School of Business students as the winners of its annual student competition.

Team members Bryce Cross and Molly MacDonald were chosen unanimously in a contest that invited post-secondary students to explore issues facing the financial services industry, according to the IAFP’s news release.

For Cross, his victory marks the second time in the three-year history of the competition that he has been on the winning team.

As the winning team, Cross and MacDonald will fly to Winnipeg to attend the IAFP symposium, which is being held from Sept. 13-16, at which they will make a 45-minute presentation based on their work.

This year, each team, which consisted of two to three students who have an interest in pursuing a career in financial planning, was asked to submit a two-page précis and a short video on the question: “Will robo-advisors meet planning needs over a client’s full life cycle?”

In addition, teams were also provided with an in-depth case study featuring a cast of individuals whom financial planners might encounter in the business. Participants were then asked to make references to the issues the case study raised.

The Dalhousie team was the only one that addressed the facts of the case study, which won the judges over, says Tracey Kutny, chief administrator with the IAFP.

“They did a lot of referencing to the case study,” Kutny says. “They’re also planning a very interactive presentation.”

Their pitch included the idea of gathering feedback from the audience at the IAFP’s symposium on the impact robo-advisors may — or already — have on their business.

All speakers at the symposium are typically asked to draw on the case study to inform their presentation.

“The case is complex enough that they should find pieces to use,” Kutny says. “When you’re dealing with people who are presenters, they generally don’t have a problem with that. But to take a group of students, and for them to figure out a way to incorporate their topic into the case study, it was nice to see Dalhousie was able to do that.”

Cross and MacDonald competed against students from Seneca College in Toronto and the University of Winnipeg, which also submitted team entries.

The IAFP’s student competition is one of a series of initiatives, including a mentorship program, designed to increase its ranks and to foster students’ interest in financial planning.

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