We would like to extend our sincere congratulations to Dr Jackie Palframan, who graduated at the April 2022 graduation ceremony with a PhD in Business Management.


Dr Palframan is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Business Management and is the programme leader of the Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning and BCom Financial Planning programmes at Nelson Mandela University. She is also a licenced Financial Planner and holds the professional designation of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®. She has been practising in the financial planning industry for over 30 years and has, over the years, held many leadership positions - such as seats on the board of the Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa, the Nelson Mandela University Retirement Fund, as well as a top local independent private school. She is also a co-author of an important locally-published financial planning industry textbook.
Prior to joining the university, Dr Palframan worked for a well-known corporate entity in a senior role, advising companies on the management of their retirement funds. During this time, her curiosity and love of learning lead her to consult with and assist the Nelson Mandela University, then known as the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), in setting up the BCom Financial Planning qualification, which is the first undergraduate qualification dedicated to financial planning in Southern Africa. Thereafter, in 2006 she was offered a position to lead the University’s financial planning programme and her career as an academic began. Her research journey was guided by a passion for uplifting skills in the industry and steered her MCom in Business Management in the direction of her research title, “The educational needs of the financial planning industry”, graduating at NMMU in 2014 under the supervision of Prof Johan Bosch.


Juggling the responsibilities of her work, academic research and importantly, her family life, Dr Palframan waited for her children to matriculate before focussing on her own doctoral studies. This time the motivation was to develop the human side of financial planning, given the advances in artificial intelligence and automation taking place in the financial planning industry. Under the expert guidance of Professors Elmarie Venter and Shelley Farrington, her PhD study was titled, “The human capital of financial planners and value creation in South African financial planning businesses”. Dr Palframan investigated the relationships between the social capital, entrepreneurial capital and psychological capital held by financial planners, and value creation (both financial and non-financial) in financial planning businesses. Using a structural equation modelling analysis, it was found that the factors social capital (measured as relational capital, network capital and cognitive capital), entrepreneurial capital and psychological capital had a positive and significant influence on value creation in financial planning businesses. Based on these findings, several practical recommendations were offered to financial planning businesses on how to increase value creation in their businesses. Expressing her gratitude to the support of the financial planners in the industry who assisted her with providing input to the study,  Dr Palframan is currently writing journal articles to share her findings with the industry and other academic researchers in a growing field of research.


Dr Palframan’s journey to completing the pinnacle academic achievement - a PhD, could not have been accomplished without the dedication and unwavering pursuit of excellence of her supervisor, Prof Elmarie Venter and co-supervisor, Prof Shelley Farrington, two of the best researchers in the country.  At home, her husband, Mike, and children, Luke and Kate were pillars of support, providing Dr Palframan with the determination to complete her PhD whilst maintaining a balanced family life, all during a global pandemic.


Advising aspiring PhD students, Dr Palframan notes that: “Embarking on a PhD requires a good dose of courage to step out of your comfort zone in pursuit of new knowledge, while walking along a path which will stretch you and grow you in ways unimagined. To complete the journey will take resilience, humility, endeavour and a good sense of self. Once achieved, the wisdom gained is your gift. Of course, all of this requires a good relationship with excellent supervisors.”


Contact information
Dr Jackie Palframan
Senior Lecturer in Business Management
Tel: 041 504 2577