The Life Insurance Association has today been given the backing its board needs to overhaul the trade body as a professional association.
This morning’s EGM at the Hilton Metropole, London saw "a considerable majority" of the LIA’s members support plans to restructure the executive board and begin the search for a chairman – a newly created role, according to a statement from the LIA.
Once appointed, the chairman will hold office for three years, alongside the LIA president in a member facing role but also take on additional duties as a facilitator in the strategic direction of the Board, holding an ambassadorial and lobbying position to increase the LIA’s profile and influence.
Non-executive directors could also be appointed in the future if it is felt individuals will benefit the specific needs of the LIA.
Moves to build the LIA’s Board are the second phase in a five-year strategic plan, says the LIA, which also include appointment of a senior executive team of directors - the director general, head of finance and head of public affairs – and a shift in the LIA’s focus towards concentrating on the qualification needs and conduct standards of all financial and mortgage advisers.
In order to meet the new remit, the LIA intends to set new member entry requirements and develop good practice guidelines, as well as implement compulsory continuing professional development, and facilitate a new complaints procedure and disciplinary structure.
The LIA says it will continue to tackle all the key issues relevant to the intermediary’s business, such as financial services regulation, consumer risk exposure and product development proposals – such as light touch regulation products – as well as depolarisation and the reputations of professional advisers.
Further consultation will be held with the members at key decision-making stages, says John Ellis, spokesman for the LIA, such as thresholds, conditions of entry and CPD.
Such changes are, however, likely to be a significant development for the LIA, as its 20,000 members are all individually registered – there is no corporate membership of the LIA – and can spans beyond the obvious membership of financial advisers to include financial services managers, supervisors and trainers as members.
Current programme for reform is scheduled to last until 2007, says the LIA, as stages in the LIA five year plan are:
|2003||Strategic review – now completed|
|Q1 2004||Agreement of constitutional changes (developed during 2003/4)|
|Q2 04||Reconstitution of LIA Board – Appointment of Chairman|
|Q3 04||Additional skills recruited to the Board|
|Q4 04||New Board in place|
|Q1 05||Review of and proposal for change of name|
|Q2 05||New entry requirements and membership grades proposed|
|Q3 05||New CPD requirements proposed|
|Q4 05||Public outreach programme proposed|
|Q1 06||Best practice standards proposed|
|Q2 06||Name change decision announced|
|Q3 06||Disciplinary and complaints process proposed|
|Q4 06||Entry and CPD requirements effective|
|Q1 07||Best practice, disciplinary and complaints procedures implemented|
|Q2 07||Public outreach programme commences|
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