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FICAP marks tenth anniversary with record fundraising at Who wants to be a RockStar

Financial Standard


The Financial Industry Community Aid Program (FICAP) celebrated its tenth year milestone on 10 March by raising more than $200,000 at its annual ‘Who Wants to be a RockStar?’ fundraising night.

More than 700 professionals from the financial services industry took over an entire floor at the Ivy in Sydney to lend their support for FICAP and the night’s charity beneficiaries: Mirabel, The Shepherd Centre and Weave Youth & Community Services.

The amount raised took the total tally since FICAP began to more than $1.2 million and, more importantly, that all of these funds went to charities that get little or no government support.

Speaking at the event, the group’s patron Geoff Lloyd, chief executive at Perpetual, and chair Chris Larsen, chief executive at Ironbark Asset Management, both thanked the donors and sponsors for their support through the years: the attendance kept growing to the point that the committee had to keep changing venues to accommodate the larger crowd.

The secret lies in the fundraising recipe: FICAP hosts a singing contest aptly titled ‘Who Wants to be a RockStar!’ where entrants get to take off their financial services hat for one night and channel their inner rock artist.

But make no mistake, this is not a karaoke night. The calibre of the contestants was so impressive you’d think they’re professionals.

This year’s coveted RockStar title went to Karli Mann from Zurich with her standout rendition of Cher’s ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’. She took home two gongs, the other as Colonial First State Best Female Artist.

Not to be outdone, Sara Higgins from PIMCO won the ANZ People’s Choice Award for her energetic reprisal of a classic, Guns and Roses’ ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’.

There was no shortage of talent onstage: Tim Sanderson from Count won the Challenger Best Male Artist award for his take of Melissa Etheridge’s ‘Bring Me Some Water’ while Kitty McNiven from BlackRock won Perpetual Best Newcomer Award for her performance of Joan Jett’s ‘I Love Rock and Roll’.

Rounding up the awardees were Jodie Hanson from ANZ as Best Returning Artist and James Lee from BT took the Ironbark Band’s Choice for making sure U2 was in the house with the Billboard top hit ‘Desire’.

But the night wouldn’t have been complete without the full roster of contestants, all of whom picked just the right song to keep the room buzzing, among them:

  • Dinah Sutton, Fidelity: Footloose by Kenny Loggins
  • Camille Johnson, Partners Group: Holiday by Madonna
  • Christelle Hechter, NAB Invest: I need a Hero by Bonnie Tyler
  • Lydia Tagliapietra, Macquarie: I Wanna dance with somebody by Whitney Houston
  • Oliver Xing, Colonial First State: Don’t Stop Believing by Journey
  • David Natividad, Tria Partners: The Way you Make me Feel by Michael Jackson
  • Raymond Tay, Challenger: Let’s Dance by David Bowie
  • Sandra Marshall, KPMG: Call Me by Blondie

This year’s RockStar attracted the highest number of sponsors and participants. But Marnie McLaren, former chair, said it wasn’t always the case. 10 years ago she said it was incredibly hard to get people to attend and convince rival financial services companies to share the same stage. But over time it became less of an issue and now the RockStar event unites every player in the industry – platform providers, fund managers, asset consultants, insurers, advisers – under one roof. All in the name of charity and a bit of Rock n’ Roll.