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Lindsay, Ont.-based PlanPlus Inc. has announced the launch of its third annual Canadian Financial Planning Awards competition.

The winners of the competition will be recognized at the Canadian Institute of Financial Planners (CIFPs) 16th annual conference in Halifax. Winners will then move on to compete in the PlanPlus Global Financial Planning Awards Americas region competition.

The competition is open to any Canadian advisor who holds a recognized professional designation. Candidates must also be in good standing with a financial planning association or other professional body, and run their practices using a fiduciary standard.

To apply, planners must submit a client’s written financial plan, which is redacted to protect client confidentiality. An international panel of expert judges will review submitted plans to determine which one created the greatest value for the client. In doing so, they evaluate over twenty aspects of each plan.

“Supporting organizations play a large role in the process as we are dependent on them to get the word out to their members,” says John Page, chairman and head adjudicator of both the Canada and Global Financial Planning Awards competitions, in a statement.

“This year’s competition is supported by our founding sponsor The Canadian Institute of Financial Planners, as well as the Institute Québecois de Planification Financière and the Institute of Advanced Financial Planners. We have also received the support of the Financial Planning Standards Council and our top corporate support the Investment Planning Counsel.”

Adds 2017 award winner Paul Tyers, managing director of Toronto-based Wealth Stewards Inc., in a statement: “Our entry into the PlanPlus Global Financial Planning Awards competition helped us at Wealth Stewards to relook at the clarity of our financial plan users. This benefit accrued to our current client as well as new clients. Having experienced success in the competition, the benefit has been felt tangibly through more referrals from CPAs and our clients.

Jason Pereira, partner and senior financial consultant with WoodGate Financial Inc. and Mark LeClaire, director of estate and financial planning services at Sun Life Financial (Canada) Inc., both based in Toronto, also won the PlanPlus award in 2017.