David Norton 'Building Excellence' Awardsdavid norton award

The prestigious David Norton 'Building Excellence' Award launched in 2008.  It attracts applications from UK firms which are seeking to develop and ultimately reach the standard required to become an Accredited Financial Planning  FirmTM 

About the award

The award was launched by IFP to remember the significant contribution to the Financial Planning profession made by David Norton CFPTM, a former Chairman and President of the IFP who was passionate about mentoring others.

The award seeks to identify the Financial Planning firm which could benefit from expert mentoring and business support to help them make that final step up to the levels needed to become an Accredited Financial Planning FirmTM.

The winner will receive a range of great prizes, including the 'Building Excellence' trophy and a place at the CISI Financial Planning Gala Awards evening.


Award opens for registrations: 3 May 2016
Closing date for applications  5pm 15 August 2016
Applicants informed whether or not they have been shortlisted. Request for further information issued by the CISI Late August
Deadline for follow up information to be supplied to the CISI Late August
Shortlisted firms notified whether or not they have been selected as finalists Late August 2016
Face to face interviews: September 2016
Judges' decision announced CISI Gala Awards Dinner, Tuesday 4 October 2016

Who should apply?

  • To enter, firms will be providing a financial planning service to clients but will have identified a number of areas for business development within the firm.
  • Entry to the Award is open to all UK based financial planning firms that have identified a number of areas for development of the business.
  • The staff within the firm need not be members of the CISI.

The winning firm must be able to clearly demonstrate that it is committed to "true" financial planning, that it has a clear remuneration system, and an exciting and well thought-out business plan. The winner will be a developing business, which has unique features, shows commitment to comprehensive financial planning, and yet is still in need of help and mentoring in certain key areas of business development. Particular areas where this might apply could be recruitment, client segmentation, defining the service, marketing etc. 

Accredited Financial Planning FirmsTM are not eligible to enter, however they are invited to apply for the Recognising Excellence award to identify the Accredited Firm of the Year, which opens to entries in May 2016

How to enter

The application questionnaire has been specifically designed to probe and test what your firm actually does as well as how you do it.  Give it a try - it’s free after all! 

Your initial application should be made online.  

Enter here

The responses will then be reviewed by a panel of judges to establish a shortlist of candidates who will progress to the final round. Each firm shortlisted will be required to submit further detail on their firm to the judges who will then select the final three firms to attend a formal interview in early September. 

During that interview, key personnel will be questioned on their organisation, business practices, development needs and why they believe that their firm should win the award. 

All finalists will be invited to attend the CISI Financial Planning Gala Awards at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on 4 October 2016.

Why should your firm apply? 

Winning firms have consistently reported the considerable benefits they have reaped from their success, having refined and developed their business effectiveness, brand and profile as a result. 

However, whether they win or not, most of the firms who have entered over the years have reported that undertaking the challenging application process itself has been very beneficial. It makes firms conduct a thorough analysis of the way they do business and the value that they provide for clients. One firm described it as doing a management consultancy project on yourself -  a great way to identify ways to develop. 

Read what 2013 winners KMD Private Wealth Management thought of the process in their blog. They have subsequently become an Accredited Financial Planning FirmTM.


In addition to receiving the 'Building Excellence' trophy, framed certificate and the kudos of winning, the successful firm will benefit from the following prizes:

  • A place at one of Brett Davidson's one-day workshops held at FP Advance. Courses are run every quarter, between November 2016 – October 2017.
  • An invitation to the CISI Financial Planning Gala Awards Dinner 2016 at Celtic Manor Resort
  • An Invitation to the CISI Financial Planning Annual Conference 2017
  • Use of the David Norton logo

Previous Winners of the David Norton  Award

  • 2015: First Wealth
  • 2014: Old Mill Financial Planning
  • 2013: KMD Private Wealth Management. In this interview, Kevin Deamer CFPTM shares his views on  the award
  • 2012: Cooper Parry Wealth. In this interview, Stephen Jones shares his thoughts on winning the award
  • 2011: Fiscal Engineers
  • 2010: BoulterBowen Wealthcare
  • 2009: Capital Asset Management
  • 2008: PageRussell

"It is humbling for us to be recognised in this way by the leaders in our profession."

First Wealth - Winner of the David Norton Award 2015

Judging Process

The process for entries and for the judging of the Award is as follows:

Stage 1: Judges review all submissions
Stage 2: Judges select shortlisted firms
Stage 3: Judges request further infromation from firms
Stage 4: Finalists determined and invited to interviews
Stage 5: Winner anounced

There are three judges

The winner will be the Financial Planning firm which the judges believe offers the most outstanding potential for the future. Their decision is final.

Barry Horner, CFPTM Chartered MCSI

CEO, Paradigm Norton Financial Planning

Anthony Ward

Author of Examination and Training Materials, CISI

Alan Dick, CFPTM Chartered MCSI

Director, Forty Two Financial Planning


If you have any queries regarding the David Norton Award, please email flagshipevents@cisi.org