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Last Article Uploaded: Friday, December 3rd, 9:22PM



[Obituary] Fred Dodds

The financial planning community has lost a true legend.

Monday, November 9th 2020, 9:00AM 11 Comments

by Philip Macalister

Fred Dodds passed away today.

Not many people knew Fred was battling cancer. But that is what Fred was like.

One of the many loveable things about Fred was his humour. Decades ago he was involved in industry debates and I still remember them because of Fred. More recently when he accepted his Financial Advice New Zealand Outstanding Contribution to the Industry award he gave a wonderful, off the cuff, hilarious speech. [You can watch the video below.]

As a Dad I loved to see how he publicly showed true affection for his daughter, Toni. I know he was very proud that Toni worked in the same industry as him and, like Fred, she is determined to help lift professional standards.

Fred was passionate about financial planning and understood the many issues. Often he would hit me up with some questions seeking my thoughts. One of the more recent was returning on a bus from some conference dinner in Christchurch. He asked me about the IFA and PAA getting together. Little did I know at the time things were progressing on what was to be Financial Advice New Zealand.

It was a good discussion we had. Looking back Fred had the bit between his teeth on this one and he, along with others, succeeded.

Fred joined the industry in 1977 working for the likes of Prudential and Tower.

[Obit continues below]

As an adviser manager Fred recruited, trained and supervised many successful advisers over the years – he was highly respected within the profession.

Besides his roles within companies, Fred made massive contributions to the various adviser organisations over the years; including the Life Underwriters Association, International Association for Financial Planning, Insurance and Investment Advisers Association, Financial Planning Association and Institute of Financial Advisers. His commitment to these organisations demonstrates his passion to give back to the industry.

This was also summed up in his nomination for the outstanding contribution to the industry award:

"It is his passion that sets him apart from the crowd."

"His passion for the profession, his ability to encourage others to achieve and become part of the story is outstanding, whether it be personal phone calls to discuss what is going on, to addressing meetings to obtain advisers' thoughts and issues. It is this inclusiveness that sets him apart."

"His passion shone through as the realisation that a new combined body was required for institutes and associations."

"He cajoled, annoyed and helped corral the three associations form what has become Financial Advice New Zealand."


In his leadership role, as the chief executive of the Institute of Financial Advisers, he was instrumental in forming the sector engagement group, presenting a united voice of stakeholders to regulators and officials.

Fred took on this role at a time when the industry was in a state of turmoil given the GFC and subsequent regulation creating uncertainty for advisers. This translated into membership declines across all associations and institutes as members questioned the effectiveness and validity of their associations. Fred’s willingness to step up and engage with members and act as their advocate with authorities was beneficial in retaining members, he was constantly available to members and local committees to assist wherever needed, purely for the good of the profession.

It is this passion that set Fred apart, so much so that as chief executive he performed the role at a significantly reduced salary.

A number of years ago we interviewed Fred about his time in the industry. You can read it here: GETTING TO KNOW FRED DODDS

Fred's funeral will be held on Friday 13th Nov – 11am
Waikanae Funeral Home, 17 Parata St, Waikanae 5250

In lieu of flowers you can make donations to the Wellington Free Ambulance


Tags: Obituaries

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Comments from our readers

On 9 November 2020 at 9:48 am Bruce Cortesi said:
Very sad to see an icon of our profession lost to cancer. Fred had a huge impact on the people he let into his life - he is the one who when everyone else was trying hard, he was trying harder. He had such huge generosity and sincerity for people. He shared a passion for the young people in this profession and was always quick to lend a helping hand or words of wisdom - even on a Friday evening over a glass of Pinot. Fred was always about not giving up in the 25 years I have known him - he was about passion and pride for our profession. When something was challenging - as it was to form Financial Advice NZ he challenged himself to do more than even he thought possible - because he believed in the vision. He believed in it for many of us so badly, knowing it was going to be hard to achieve - at times impossibly hard. Then when the job was done, he knew it was earned. I am extremely proud to have known Fred, his wit, his humour and his sincerity that is not found in many and will be sadly missed. I will never forget those special moments Fred, I know so many people will have amazing memories and stories but their will be a common theme intertwined in them all - the warmth of your sincerity.
On 9 November 2020 at 1:46 pm Pragmatic said:
A very sad day for Fred's industry friends and Fred's family. My sincere condolences.

I recall meeting Fred in a hotel fountain at an IAFP Fiji conference in the early 1990s (2am from memory), and have enjoyed our contact ever since - usually involving a cleansing ale or two. Fred's life is certainly something to be celebrated. Rest in Peace.
On 9 November 2020 at 3:42 pm Barry Read said:
A mighty Totara has fallen.

I was lucky enough to meet Fred at the 99 not out FPIA conference in Auckland. He MCed the event, (His picture should comes up if you google search raconteur). After talking to him and others at the conference, I decided to get involved with the industry body. I was lucky enough to work with Fred at TOWER and we were friends ever since. Fred had a passion for the industry and he pursued that passion by helping others succeed and driving professionalism whenever he could. I found his endless energy and knowledge inspiring.

So sad to see him go, RIP fella, our love and thoughts are with Toni and the family.
On 9 November 2020 at 5:13 pm Tony Vidler said:
Very sad to see one of the greats of our industry leave us, and my condolences to his family especially, but also to the wider Fred-Family across the industry (which is extensive).

Like so many, I have enjoyed countless hours of intelligent discussion and debate, and even many more hours of unintelligible laughter mixed with a tipple here or there, with Fred over more years than I can remember. Every minute of his company was an absolute pleasure...and I shall miss that enormously.

Looking beyond his larger than life personality though, he has left an immensely positive contribution to this business. From recruiting, training, mentoring and shaping many advisers and managers, through to his selfless work behind the scenes trying to raise standards and support services for the advisory community at large.

Vale Fred. The Irreplaceable.
On 10 November 2020 at 7:57 am Backstage said:
Totally share Tony's thoughts. I have worked with Fred on a number of projects and occasions and was always impressed at his help, care and love for our industry. He made a very large contribution to the industry and many in it. He was never scared to stand up or take on any challenge. His manner and approach many could learn from. I am really going to miss you mate and I will remember your last text, we had some great fun together.. go with God my friend.
On 10 November 2020 at 9:41 am mockingbird said:
Rest in peace Frederick ... you were a legend of all sorts for so many many years. A true believer in the advice and financial services industry, a tireless campaigner for support, funds and advocacy for all advisers. xo
On 10 November 2020 at 11:32 am DanielAvid said:
Rest in peace Fred

You were a titan of the sector and an inspiration.
On 11 November 2020 at 1:59 pm joyprosperity said:
So sorry to read about the death of Fred. I did not realise he had cancer.
Rest in peace Fred. God bless.
Joy Durrant
On 11 November 2020 at 2:47 pm Hawk said:
My thoughts are with Toni and and family on this very sad occasion. Working closely with Fred over several years to create Financial Advice NZ gave me a real insight to the passion, energy and selflessness of the man. Never one to shy away from a challenge (or to assist anyone in need) Fred showed enormous commitment to his profession and I am grateful that he passed my way on his journey. I will miss you, mate.
Rod Severn
On 12 November 2020 at 7:58 pm Brian Klee said:
That photo of Fred says it all, with of course the above comments and memories of him. I visited him a couple of weeks ago and his mind was sharp as ever as we recalled his favourite speakers and industry changes over the last 35 years. 18 months ago we had both pondered about writing a historical account of our experiences...he was always good at delegating! RIP my friend.
On 13 November 2020 at 5:05 am Mark Sheehan said:
I am one of those advisors that Fred helped get into the industry and supported over the years. I cannot say enough for the guy. A life truly well lived and it feels like he was taken too young as he had so much more to give. Farewell my friend, you will leave a huge hole in the industry

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