Adviser of the Year and
Practice of the Year

Recognising excellence

Zurich and the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) are pleased to announce that Hugh Robertson from Centaur Financial Services is the 2018 AFA Adviser of the Year, and TWD Australia is the 2018 AFA Practice of the Year.


The accolades of ‘Adviser of the Year’ and ‘Practice of the Year’ are awarded to extraordinary and visionary advisers and practices, recognising qualities of leadership, innovation, customer-centricity and commitment to professional excellence. They are undoubtedly Australia’s premier financial advice awards.

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2018 AFA Adviser of Year and Practice of Year winners announced


Zurich and the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) are pleased to announce that Hugh Robertson from Centaur Financial Services is the 2018 AFA Adviser of the Year, and TWD Australia is the 2018 AFA Practice of the Year.

Now in its sixteenth year, the AFA Adviser of the Year Award is a joint initiative between the AFA and Zurich, and it is widely recognised as Australia’s most prestigious award for financial advisers. In its fifth year, the AFA Practice of the Year, which is also a joint AFA and Zurich initiative, is the foremost award for financial advice practices.

Tim Bailey, CEO, Zurich Life & Investments said that “this year's finalists are at the very pinnacle of financial advice.

Whilst the advice profession undergoes a transformation, this exceptional group advisers and practices are a shining example for their peers. There is a heightened responsibility for this year's finalists, to demonstrate that quality financial advice is available to all and can play a crucial role in shaping and protecting the lives of Australian families.

With reputation and trust a driving factor for the whole industry, these advisers and practices have been able to lift this perception across the profession through their unwavering ethics, unique ideologies and actions. Their leadership and courage can forge a path forward in these challenging times.”


2018 AFA Adviser of the Year - Hugh Robertson, Centaur Financial Services

Tim Bailey, CEO Zurich Life & Investments,  Hugh Robertson, Centaur Financial Services  and Phil Kewin, CEO AFA


2018 AFA Practice of the Year - TWD Australia, WA

Tim Bailey, CEO Zurich Life & Investments,  Stephen Kostarelas, Cara Graham, Troy Macmillan, TWD Australia  and Phil Kewin, CEO AFA

About the awards

The AFA Adviser of the Year and Practice of the Year Awards have come to stand for many things – vision – leadership – excellence. They have come to symbolise a pioneering spirit and the highest professional standards. Many advisers are continuously looking to improve both their business efficiency and their client engagement proposition and both awards play a pivotal role in shining a spotlight on, and sharing, best practice insights.

Zurich has always believed in the value of advice, and in the professionals who provide it. Our longstanding support of these awards is our commitment to celebrating and promoting best practice in financial advice and is one of the significant ways we help support advisers.

Find out more about Zurich’s commitment to helping Australian advisers and protecting clients.

Adviser of the Year and Practice of the Year Awards Adviser of the Year and Practice of the Year Awards

Past winners

The accolade of ‘Adviser of the Year’ and ‘Practice of the Year' is awarded to extraordinary and visionary advisers and practices, recognising qualities of leadership, innovation, customer focus and professional excellence.
Current and past award winners are extremely positive about the rigour of the process and the opportunities it provides to understand each aspect of their business.

  • 2017 Adviser of the Year

    Charlie Fraser
    Shadforth Financial, QLD

    I’ve had a lot of experience dealing with people who have been in some really vulnerable situations in life. The work that I do has given me an opportunity to put a framework around those people so that they really get taken care of. For my business the core element of financial advice, over and above the management of money and strategic work, is the face to face conversations with people about things that matter in their lives. It’s about being something to someone and if you can find your people then naturally the value of that advice is going to be better.

      Learn more about Charlie Fraser.

  • 2017 Practice of the Year

    MEDIQ Financial Services, VIC

    We’re motivated to be the best we can be by providing the best level of service to our clients. There is a natural want for humans to engage and trust and our role as advice professionals is to build that trust. The use of technology is breaking down barriers and financial advice is becoming accessible to more people. We can see that the value of advice will become even more valuable over time.

      Learn more about the MEDIQ Financial Services.

The judging process

A judging panel will assess all applications for both Awards and select a shortlist to proceed to further stages. These include telephone, written and face to face interviews. The top six Finalists in each Award category are required to submit their total active client list to an independent research and benchmarking company for the purpose of a confidential client survey. Applications for the AFA Practice of the Year Award will be required to complete a Practice benchmarking survey.

Ultimately three finalists will be selected for each Award and will be invited to attend a full day judging showcase held in Sydney in September (travel and accommodation expenses will covered).

Fast track your application

If you are a winner or finalist in your Licencee or industry body awards over the past five years, we are pleased to offer a fast track application path in recognition of your achievement and your application will automatically proceed to the telephone interview stage of the AFA Adviser and Practice of the Year Awards. All you have to do is submit an application and indicate which industry award you would like to be recognised for.

  What judges look for in an Adviser and Practice of the Year

  • Adviser of the Year judging criteria

    The 2018 Adviser of the Year is assessed against the AFA's four key learing pillars:
    - Business performance
    - Adviser performance
    - Quality advice strategies
    - Professionalism and leadership

    AFA membership
    Applicants who progress to finalist stage of the 2018 AFA Adviser of the Year Award are expected to be current AFA members. You can join online at www.afa.asn.au or by contacting the AFA on 1800 656 009.

  • Practice of the Year judging criteria

    The 2018 Practice of the Year Award is assessed against the cornerstones that support all advice practices:
    - Planning and governance
    - Operational excellence
    - Client management
    - People and performance
    - Marketing

    AFA membership
    It is expected that Practice Principals who progress to the finalist stage of the AFA 2018 Practice of the Year Award are Associate Members of the AFA and the majority of their financial advisers are current AFA members. You can join online at www.afa.asn.au or by contacting the AFA on 1800 656 009.

Key Dates 2018

21 May Applications open
6 July Applications close
23 July Telephone interviews of selected candidates completed
24 July Six Semi-Finalists in each Award category selected
from 30 July Site visits, client survey and compliance audits
24 August Top three Finalists in each Award category selected
12 September Finalist Showcase in Sydney
12 October Winners announced at the AFA 2018 National Adviser Conference (Gold Coast)

Frequently asked questions

Am I eligible to apply for the 2018 AFA Adviser of the Year or 2018 AFA Practice of the year award if I have been a winner in the past?

Previous winners of the AFA Adviser of the Year Award may apply for the 2018 AFA Practice of the Year Award.

Previous winners of the AFA Practice of the Year Award may apply for the 2018 AFA Adviser of the Year Award.

Am I eligible to apply for the 2018 AFA Adviser of the Year Award or 2018 AFA Practice of the Year Award if I have been a finalist in the past?

Previous finalists may apply for either award, however the maximum number of consecutive applications from finalists is two in two years for the same award.

Can I apply for both the Adviser of the Year and the Practice of the Year Award?

You can only enter one AFA award and your application will be assessed against the criteria for the award you have selected.

I am a previous winner or finalist in an AFA Award, am I eligible to apply?

Previous winners and finalists in the AFA Female Excellence in Advice, AFA Rising Star and AFA Excellence in Education Awards are eligible to apply for either the 2018 AFA Adviser of the Year or AFA Practice of the Year Awards.

Will extra attachments supporting my application be considered?

You are encouraged to attach up to ten supporting documents including video, client testimonials, and references to bring your application to life. Please attach a copy of your Financial Services Guide (FSG) as a mandatory attachment.

How do I apply?

Click here to access afa.awardsplatform. From here you can create a login, profile and build your online application including supporting documents. The closing date for applications is 6pm on Friday 6 July 2018.

Who can I contact if I have any questions in regards to the awards:

If you have any questions about the awards please email afa.award@zurich.com.au