PAA Adviser of the Year Award 2009 winner Stephanie Wiki

Wednesday 11 March 2009, 5:01PM

By Professional Advisors Association



The Professional Advisors Association Awards 2009 held in Rotorua last Thursday celebrated the cream of the financial advisory industry. Christchurch based The Insurance Clinic’s Stephanie Wiki walked away with the Asteron “Risk Adviser of the Year Award as well as the main prize, the Sovereign PAA Adviser of the Year Award for 2009.

An Ashburton College alumnus and Christchurch native, the humble Wiki topped 17 finalists culled from a list of 85 nominations to walk away with a ten thousand dollar travel voucher and an Apple iPhone. Wiki was elated “I am still on cloud nine and don’t think it has really sunk in yet. To be Risk Adviser of the Year was tremendous, but to be awarded the big prize is an out of this world experience.”

Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Advisors Association, Dr Dave McMillan advised that the judges were highly impressed with the quality of Wiki’s business. .”Our members are bound by a code of ethics and a complaints procedure that holds the adviser accountable for the financial advice they give. The awards are designed to say that of all the people who adhere to our code of ethics and standards, here’s the cream of the crop. Stephanie’s business is right up there with the very best and we are delighted with such a deserving winner.”

Wiki’s 14 year track record as an adviser is exemplary. Rising from the ranks of AA Financial Services in the mid nineties, she hung up her shingle in Christchurch’s Ferrymead in May 2005 and hasn’t looked back since. Her clients speak glowingly of her. Compliments range from a loyal client’s comment that “..she demonstrated a confidence in her knowledge of what products were on offer and which suited our needs best at the time” to ING Life’s Managing Director Naomi Ballantyne’s remark that “Without hesitation I would endorse Stephanie’s practices as being of the highest integrity”

Well respected for her fierce advocacy on behalf of her clients, Wiki is highly respectful of their confidence. “As advisers, it is our role to protect our clients. In order for us to do our work well, we have to know so much about their health and financial circumstances. It is our job to assist in securing our clients’ future. We often know a lot more about them than their accountants or their lawyers do and I never take this privilege lightly.”

When asked about her thoughts on the current economic situation in relation to her industry, she is puzzled. “We are understandably fielding quite a number of redundancy cover requests at the moment. I find it interesting that we seem to put more store to loosing a job through redundancy than we do to illness or injury. Redundancy leaves us able bodied and capable of choosing reemployment, something which is often precluded by illness or injury. Yet we pay more attention to redundancy cover than we do to income protection cover which takes illness or injury into consideration” Consequently, long term strategies form the basis of her advice to her clients and she is pleased to note that to date, she has not had to renegotiate reductions in their contracts. “I plan for all eventualities on behalf of my clients.”

Wiki’s award entry was almost a non starter. “When I first received my nomination, I was all for it. Then the paperwork arrived and I ducked for cover. If it hadn’t been for the tenacity of good friends, I would not have submitted anything. Fulfilling the very detailed awards submission process was in retrospect a God send. It made me look honestly at my business as a whole, and highlighted where we were on the right track and where we needed to improve. It’s an honesty check that I recommend to everyone in our industry and advise all association members to front up if you are nominated for the next round.”

Accolades definitely go to the Wiki support crew “The role of an Adviser is a demanding one. We are on call 24/7 and those who live with us require the patience of saints and understanding beyond comprehension. Without the support of my husband Warren and my children Tori (aged 17) and Kaleb (aged 9) I would not be able to do what I do happily. Their role in our business is critical.”


Prepared on behalf of The Professional Advisors Association by The Conference Company, Auckland. For further information, images or interviews: please contact Connie Clarkson on 09 623 8083 or email

Winners of the Professional Advisors Association Awards 2009
ANZ Rookie Mortgage Adviser of the Year
Winner - Michael Rusher, New Build Home Finance

Sovereign Mortgage Adviser of the Year
Winner - Kerry Kelly Mortgage Express
Runner up - Andy Philipson

Fidelity Life Rookie Business Insurance Adviser of the Year
Winner - Anthony Gill, Albany Insurance Services Ltd
Runner up - Peter Weijer

AIG Life Business Insurance Adviser of the Year
Winner - Alistair Holt, Alistair Holt Ltd

Tower Rookie Risk Adviser of the Year
Winner - Anson Davies, Cardinal Financial Services

Asteron Risk Adviser of the Year
Winner - Stephanie Wiki The Insurance Clinic
Joint Runners up Johanna Pansier and Tina Jarvis

Sovereign Adviser Business of the Year
Winner - Crest Financial Brokers Ltd, Mark Solomon Managing Director
Runner up - Stewart Financial Solutions Limited. Don Stewart Managing Director

Sovereign PAA Adviser of the Year
Winner - Stephanie Wiki, The Insurance Clinic
Runner up – Alistair Holt. Alistair Holt Ltd

Industry Awards
PAA Regional Chair of the Year 2009 - Richard Thomas, The Highland Group
PAA Business Development Manager of the Year - Simon Prentice, Sovereign Assurance
PAA Underwriter of the - Paula Clearwater, AIG Life
PAA Industry Contributor of the Year - Philip Macalister, Tarawera Publishing Ltd
Adviserlink Commitment to Education and Professional Development Award - Emily Tsai

About PAA

The purpose of the PAA is to provide a unique combination of highly valued services to members resulting in the organisation being recognised as the leading industry representative body for financial service advisors.

The PAA was established in 1953 as the Prudential Field Officers’ Association to act as an effective advisor lobbying group with Prudential Assurance. Following a series of mergers and acquisitions of life insurance companies in the 1990s the PAA re-branded as the ‘Professional Advisors’ Association’. During this time the PAA increased the scope of its membership to include advisor’s who had associations with other life insurance companies. In addition, as members broadened the range of products they distributed, the organisation has come to represent advisers who distribute investments, mortgages and fire and general products.

Membership numbers have increased dramatically over the last three years. Today the PAA currently has 835 full benefit members.