The Association of Independent Financial Advisers (AIFA) has quashed suggestions it might merge with...
The Association of Independent Financial Advisers (AIFA) has quashed suggestions it might merge with IFA professional bodies in the future because of pressure to consolidate activities.
Speculation of a possible merger between the AIFA and financial adviser-based professional bodies - the IFP, LIA and SOFA - was the result of a seminar at the three-day PIMS conference on the Oriana cruise ship earlier this week.
Comments made by Paul Smee, director general of the AIFA, during the "Wind of Change" seminar confirmed his belief that the professional bodies might have to consider merging in the future.
However, Tracey Mullins, head of public affairs at the AIFA, since points out that Smee was responding to a question about professional bodies, whereas the AIFA is in fact a trade body.
"People confuse the difference between trade bodies who act as lobbyists for the IFA industry and professional bodies which represent individual interests and professional standards. Merger of professional bodies may happen, but it is an issue of who is merging with whom. Whether the two [ trade and professional bodies] can merge is debatable," says Mullins.
Nick Cann, chief executive of the Institute of Financial Planning, also adds the professional bodies could look at merging in two or three years time, but says there is no timetable or agenda for merger discussion at this stage.
"Potentially, there could be a merger between bodies in two or three years. But it will probably come by default, in trying to understand how we complement each other rather than competing. There is no merger on the table, but we are enjoying open dialogue on issues such as depolarisation," says Cann.
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