Adviser of the Year and
Practice of the Year

AFA Awards 2019 - Championing Excellence in Advice

Zurich and the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) are pleased to announce that Simone Du Chesne from EQ Wealth is the 2019 AFA Adviser of the Year.

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

2019 AFA Adviser of Year winner announced


Zurich and the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) are pleased to announce that Simone Du Chesne from EQ Wealth is the 2019 AFA Adviser of the Year.

The Award, which has been supported by Zurich since inception in 2003, was presented at the AFA Conference in Adelaide. It is awarded to exceptional advisers who display the qualities of leadership, innovation, customer-centricity and commitment to professional excellence.

Kristine Brooks, Chief Distribution Officer, Zurich Life & Investments, said, "Simone Du Chesne is leading by example, helping to fulfil one of the Award's key ambitions - to create a more trusted, robust and diverse profession that continues to raise the bar."


2019 AFA Adviser of the Year - Simone Du Chesne, EQ Wealth

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.

Meet the winner

The accolade of ‘Adviser of the Year’ is awarded to outstanding advisers and practices, recognising qualities of leadership, innovation, customer focus and professional excellence – true leaders in advice. AFA Award winners and finalists lead the way to create a more trusted, robust and diverse profession that continues to raise the bar of the profession.
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.

  • 2019 Adviser of the Year

    Simone Du Chesne
    EQ Wealth, NSW

    Winning the Award means the opportunity to be part of the process of changing the face of financial advice in Australia. I want to bring a more positive impact to what we do in the eyes of the general public.

    Simone Du Chesne is the principal of two Sydney practices, EQ Wealth and Quantum Wealth and has spent ten of the past 12 years as a financial adviser. Prior to this, Simone worked for two years as head of product for fashion Jewellery retain chain DIVA and 15 years as Global Design Director, Sheridan Australia.

    Simone holds a Master’s of Financial Planning from Kaplan. She enjoys solving clients financial problems and providing solutions which give peace of mind. Simone says her previous roles in product and marketing have developed an ability to always see things from the customers’ perspective.

      Learn more about Simone Du Chesne

The judges

Marc Bineham
Marc Bineham
National President, Association of Financial Advisers
Kristine Brooks
Kristine Brooks
Chief Distribution Officer, Zurich Life & Investments
Deborah Kent
Deborah Kent
Director, Integra Financial Services
Philip Kewin
Philip Kewin
Chief Executive Officer, Association of Financial Advisers
Dr Rebecca Sheils
Rebecca Sheils
Director, Beddoes Institute
Peter Sobels
Peter Sobels
Publisher, Riskinfo
Nathan Taggart
Nathan Taggart
Head of Sales, Zurich Life & Investments

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 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 finalists will be selected for each Award and will be invited to attend a full day judging showcase held in Sydney in August (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

The judging panel is looking for a good indication of who you are and what you do. Allow the judging panel to understand you as a person and practice, articulate your beliefs and purpose and what has shaped your advice philosophy. You are encouraged to be yourself and demonstrate your professionalism and commitment to the industry and how you genuinely make a difference to the lives of your clients. You have a maximum of 500 words to answer each question and you are encouraged to attach up to ten supporting documents to support your application. These may include video, client testimonials and references to bring your application to life. You must attach a copy of your current Financial Services Guide (FSG).

  • Adviser of the Year judging criteria

    The 2019 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 2019 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 2019 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 2019 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 2019

29 April Applications open
7 June Applications close
11-20 June Telephone interviews of selected candidates
24 June Semi-Finalists in each Award category selected
from 24 June Site visits, client survey and compliance audits
29 July Finalists in each Award category selected
August Finalist Showcase in Sydney
29 August Winners announced at the AFA 2019 National Adviser Conference (Adelaide)

Frequently asked questions

Am I eligible to apply for the 2019 AFA Adviser of the Year or 2019 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 2019 AFA Practice of the Year Award.

Previous winners of the AFA Practice of the Year Award may apply for the 2019 AFA Adviser of the Year Award.

Am I eligible to apply for the 2019 AFA Adviser of the Year Award or 2019 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 2019 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 7 June 2019.

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

Hall of Fame