Richard Allum elected as a member of the IFP Board
Until now, I didn't think anything could top being crowned champion of the East Reading Indoor Karting League in 1991.
But I was mistaken.
I learned today that sufficient numbers of IFP members chose to cast their votes in my favour that I've been elected as a member of the IFP Board.
It is has been a privilege, not only to discover that colleagues across the spectrum of the IFP's membership have placed their trust in me, but that they have also - for the first time - chosen to cast their votes for a member of the paraplanning community.
I think that probably says a great deal more about the character of the IFP's members than it does my credentials as a candidate. The IFP has consistently sought to encourage participation from all corners of the financial planning community, and from all sorts of perspectives, in its pursuit of raising professional standards throughout our industry.
I want to congratulate all the candidates who contested this year's elections. I know that putting your name forward is not a decision that you take lightly and - whether elected or not - each candidate has demonstrated the kind of commitment which illustrates why the IFP has become such a thriving professional community.
Despite being a paraplanner, I did not stand for election with the intention of simply 'representing paraplanners'. Instead, I said that I wanted paraplanning to aspire to standards of professional conduct and competence that are at least as demanding as those for financial advisers themselves.
I said I wanted paraplanning to play its part in inspiring consumer trust and confidence in financial advice, by pursuing commonly understood professional standards upon which financial advisers can rely.
Thanks to the votes that I received, I have now been given that chance to fulfil those promises so - if you were among the IFP members who cast your ballot for me - thank you very much indeed.