Applying lessons learnt outside the classroom

Brisbane-based Rachelle Prato from Commonwealth Financial Planning (CFP) has been named Paraplanner of the Year at the 30th annual Money Management/Lonsec Fund Manager of the Year Awards for her outstanding volunteer work and strong social conscience.

Judges said Prato had a particular acumen when it came to drawing up logical and comprehensive documentation and was praised for her collaborative skills and workplace cooperation.

The judges were impressed with her diligence in working with planners and her initiative to ensure the advice document was in plain English so clients understood it.

Prato started with Rodney Gibson Financial Services in 2008 as a receptionist, before becoming a paraplanner in 2012. She began her tenure at the Commonwealth Bank in 2014.

Nominated by CFP general manager, Maria Lykouras, she was praised for her work beyond the call of duty with charitable endeavours, social initiatives, mentorship of junior staff as well as an all-round cogent and diligent work ethic.

“[Rachelle] receives consistently positive feedback from the financial planners she works with. They have come to rely on her,” Lykouras said.

“Rachelle brings focus to the community [and] to her professional life to foster a collaborative culture within her team.

Prato is the current Culture Champion with CFP and was a recipient of the CFP Monthly Paraplanning Award for Excellence. She said the incorporation of her skills learnt outside the workplace helped her provide accurate and insightful advice.

“[It’s about] getting to understand the end client through the communications that we have with the advisers and through their file and any conversations we have, then really tailoring the advice to what is required,” she said.

Prato was also praised for her philanthropy and social conscience outside the workplace as part of a self-expression and leadership program in 2016, where she raised $2,500 in sponsorship and donations for an Australian Bastille Day terror attack victim.

Fellow CFP paraplanner and nominee, Son Lang Vu was commended for her customer-centric approach to work as an ambitious and well-rounded team member. Strategy First Financial Planning nominee Tahir Adeel was praised for his positive attributes in his role as paraplanner and his professional and dedicated approach to work.

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