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School of Management Sciences


Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) has produced the country’s top financial planning student.

Martin Marx, a financial planner in Port Elizabeth, obtained the highest mark in the national Financial Planning board examinations beating approximately 600 others to be named South Africa’s top student.

The NMMU BCom Hons (Business Management) student completed his postgraduate diploma in financial planning cum laude in 2011 before sitting for the grueling four-and-a-half-hour annual Certified Financial Planner examinations late last year.

“I am normally the guy who cracks a joke at the back of the class, so I had to phone the Financial Planning Institute to make sure they were not kidding,” said Martin when he learnt of his exceptional achievement.

The former DF Malherbe matriculant obtained 83%, while more than a third of the students failed the examination.

Martin’s achievement is the second by an NMMU student since the Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning was introduced in 2009. In 2009, NMMU Greg Bradfield also scored the top mark in the national external examinations.

A thrilled Martin who was working full time while doing his Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning, admitted that he had “burnt the midnight oil” in preparing for tests, assignments and then the external examination.

“It was tough but we formed a study group and put in endless hours working out old question papers and designing model answers to questions we anticipated might pop up,” he said, adding that board examination had been the “absolute Everest” to get through.

Martin had high praise for his NMMU lecturers, especially Jackie Palframann and Errol Meyer, who went out of their way to ensure that students were properly prepared for the rigors of financial planning.

At present he is working for Persisto Bluestar Financial Services, which is directly linked to Sanlam, dealing with holistic financial planning from A to Z, assisting clients who are starting out right through to those who earn in excess of R15m annually.

 Left: Top student, Martin Marx