Sentry CEO announces contemporary Sentry Excellence Awards

September 18, 2018

When when we first launched the Sentry Excellence Awards in 2005, the financial services marketplace looked very different. A lot has happened since then!

Taking into account our transition from dealer group to a holistic business and professional services firm and the current environment post FOFA and the Royal Commission, going forward all previous Sentry Excellence Awards categories will be replaced with two annual awards, one corporate and one personal, beginning for calendar year 2018, as follows:

Practice of the Year Award

As the industry moves from a sales model to an advice model, our focus has moved to viewing an advice practice as a business and recognising that the dominant model of the future will be growth-oriented, professionally managed advice businesses.

We will be recognising one advice practice each year by elevating the prestige of the ‘Practice of the Year Award’ based on a nomination process and enhanced judgement criteria that includes factors measured against a diverse range of criteria, which is standard in most similar prestigious financial service industry awards, such as those conducted by the AFA and the FPA.

This will entail bench-marking a business against both best practice and marketplace peers, in addition to considering education, experience and contribution to industry and community, and areas such as those relating to the five pillars supporting the foundations of all advice practices –


  • Governance and accountability
  • Business plan
  • Succession plan
  • Financial and management reporting


  • Target market/ideal client clearly defined
  • Client Value Proposition (CVP) clearly defined
  • Marketing – planning, activity and management
  • Referral partner strategy
  • Sales management, including measurement of adviser productivity
  • Source of new clients and revenue


  • Research
  • Client engagement
  • Client management systems
  • Financial planning systems
  • Office policies and processes
  • Client communications
  • Workflow management
  • Compliance audits
  • Complaints history
  • FoFA compatibility
  • Risk management plan
  • Data security

 Client management

  • Segmentation strategy and implementation
  • Service offers
  • Pricing strategy
  • Client surveys
  • Client retention


  • Performance management program for staff involving review meetings, professional development plans, KPIs.
  • HR strategic planning for organisational structure, positions descriptions, recruitment policy, induction program.
  • Staff retention rate
  • Ratio of advisers to support staff
  • Remuneration management
  • Staff development and training plans

All Sentry practices will have the opportunity to nominate for the Practice of the Year award. Nominations will be open from 1 November through 31 December 2018.

The award will be overseen by an independent judging panel who will coordinate the assessment and judging process, in conjunction with Sentry executives.  A judging panel member will thereafter visit each finalist and prepare a report for the independent judging panel to consider.

The winning practice for 2018 will be announced at the first Sentry Elevate PD Conference in 2019 and will receive a corporate travel voucher to the value of $10,000, an engraved crystal plaque and media announcement.

Bryan Hills Memorial Award

Bryan, a founding executive director of Sentry Group, passed away on 3 July 2018.

He was an integral part of Sentry’s team and made a significant contribution that we all respect and will forever honour him in our unwavering commitment to continue to build a successful and respected business.

Bryan is remembered for his loyalty, his uncompromising principle of always doing the right thing, his compassion, his honesty, his integrity, his humour, his courtesy and above all, his respect he showed in dealing with all the people he worked with and knew in life.

These positive personality traits will be remembered and recognised each year through the establishment of a memorial award named in his honour. It is to be the highest personal honour we can bestow on an individual Sentry adviser in recognition and appreciation of their exceptional personal and professional courtesy and respect shown during the year.

The award will be conducted through a nomination process and the winner determined by a consensus of all Sentry staff, in considering all of the above criteria.

The winner for 2018 will be announced at the first Sentry Elevate PD Conference next year and will receive a personal travel voucher to the value of $5000, an engraved crystal plaque and media announcement.

In addition, a donation of $5,000 in the name of the Bryan Hills Memorial Award will be made to a charity registered with the ACNC that holds ATO DGR endorsement, as nominated by the winner.

Traditions of Excellence and Quality

I am sure you will agree that both these Awards will continue Sentry’s long tradition of recognising both business excellence and positive personal qualities, as always important to be admired and cherished in our relationships as business partners in today’s fast paced world.

More information about the awards and how to apply will be provided in the coming months.

Murray Hills
Chairman and Managing Director.
Sentry Group