Last week’s decision by the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries to break away from Aifa may have made sense from Ami’s perspective but means another senior and valuable staff member is leaving the adviser trade body.
The departure of director Rob Sinclair, to head the newly independent Ami, is another blow to an organisation which has already lost directors Andrew Strange and Stephen Gay as well as policy analyst Jacqueline Thornton, in the last six months.
New council member Dr Keith Blacker, chairman of IFA firm Protection & Investments, says Aifa will build on its strengths to continue to be the leading voice of the IFA profession.
The trade body will have to set out a convincing case to members, and non-members it is looking to attract, as to why this will be the case. A good start would be doing more to appeal to its grass oots of small IFA firms looking for a louder voice on big policy issues.
It makes sense not to rush a decision on how to replace Gay but, even with the council members taking a more hands on role, the trade body requires a figurehead to lead it.
The adviser profession needs and deserves a strong, well resourced trade organisation to fight its cause, and that of its clients, at a UK, European and international level against the often competing interests of banks and insurers.
It is up to the Aifa council to show us its new stripped-down organisation is up to the fight.