Stephen Gay is to leave AIFA after just 14 months to join the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
Here we round up some the reaction to his exit, from Twitter and elsewhere...
Read our original news story about Gay's exit here.
Harry Katz, Norwest Consultants and AIFA board member
"Stephen's departure is a bit sad but it is part of the programme we are putting in place. We are doing a review and looking at everything in our whole system. We are going to have a collegiate approach in future so we must be sure the people running the colleges - independent and non-independent - are representative. We have to have a leader who reconciles the two without treading on his own toes. To have one director general overall might be difficult.
"Up until now, AIFA has had more criticism than praise so we are trying to change perception. We do a lot more good than we get credit for. There are other bodies in the wings with their hearts in the right place but they are embryonic. We are funded by providers because IFAs are not going to put their hands in their pockets."
Colin Rothery, IFA at Throgmorton
"I'm shocked, but maybe not surprised. I think it's an impossible job. We're not AIFA members because we think it's all a bit woolly to be honest. This industry needs a proper voice, a proper mouthpiece. Stephen Gay didn't really have enough time to make the changes he probably wanted to make. The RDR has really polarised opinion and driven people toward their own agenda, as opposed to that of the wider industry. This has made it hard for the trade body."
Alan Lakey, Highclere Financial Services
"It's a horrible job to have. Even if you are getting paid the rumoured £200,000, it's a thankless task. Part of the problem with AIFA is that its remit of being a broad church is also its weakness. All the factions have different preferences and ambitions. How you balance that is a very difficult business. AIFA supported grandfathering like the ABI, so the fact Stephen is going there isn't really a surprise. Everyone who has run AIFA has never been an adviser, which is a very major weakness."
Ian Lowes, managing director, Lowes Financial Management
"I am very interested to see who will replace him and how quickly AIFA is going to appoint his successor. At such a crucial time, 11 months before RDR, AIFA needs to pick the right individual who will push the sector forward so it evolves into the profession it should be."
Matt Timmins, managing director, SimplyBiz
"Director General of AIFA is one of the toughest positions in our industry given the wide ranging views and opinions from the sector. You are never going to please all the people all the time.
"That said I believe that AIFA have been fence sitters for too long now and in order to take this organisation forward they need someone who will truly represent the views of its members.
"Stephen faced an uphill challenge from day one due to lack of support from the IFA community and lack of funding. I only hope that the new person who comes in can quickly galvanise the adviser community, listen to their membership and fight hard for the profession."
Derek Bradley, CEO, PanaceaIFA
"Gay quits, no surprise. Wrong job for the wrong guy at the wrong time for the wrong reason. Having spoken and met with Stephen over the short period of time he was at AIFA, he is a decent man but I think he has found it difficult to operate with little or no resource.
"He did not understand or feel the pain of being an IFA and was not used to being dismissed as being inconsequential by the FSA and much of his membership. He was ‘not one of us' and that was never going to be easy. Who will take over? An IFA for once perhaps?"
Otto Thoresen, director general, ABI
"This is an absolutely crucial time for the industry and we have a unique opportunity to change the UK's low saving habit through the introduction of automatic enrolment.
"If we get this right we could change the way people save and protect their futures for good and I know Stephen is absolutely focused on helping the industry rise to this challenge."
@david_ferguson: Stephen Gay departs AIFA for ABI. Maybe no surprise, he's a lifeco guy and lifeco and IFA agendas are so desperately different these days...
@grahambentley: @david_ferguson sorry David, not a particularly helpful observation. *lifeco guy* need not be pejorative. @skandia future depends on IFAs...
@david_ferguson: @GrahamBentley Fair enough but he didn't exactly endear himself to IFAs...
@martinbamford: Best wishes to Steve Gay in his new role. I didn't envy his challenge at AIFA. Will be interesting to see where the organisation goes next.
@Weaselpig: Assuming that IFAs and ex-IFAs are still blackballed I vote for Richard Hobbs
@Weaselpig: Things that baffle me no. 241, Why AIFA refuses to allow an IFA or ex-IFA to be Director General. Like Arsenal making Barry Hearn manager
More to follow...
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