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Advisers: Hannant’s promotion could mark new era at Apfa

Apfa director general Chris Hannant

Advisers say Chris Hannant’s appointment as Apfa director general brings a more grounded style of leadership to the trade body, but some warn he will struggle to unite a fragmented adviser community.

Last week, Apfa announced Hannant will take up the role of director general with immediate effect. He joined the trade body in January 2012 and has overseen the rebrand from Aifa and led Apfa’s work on supporting advisers through retail distribution review implementation and the transition to the Financial Conduct Authority.

Apfa has been without a director general since January 2012, following the exit of Stephen Gay, who quit the role to join the Association of British Insurers as director of life, savings and protection.

Yellowtail Financial Planning managing director and Apfa member Dennis Hall says: “Chris does not have the same personality traits as his predecessors, but I think he has his feet more on the ground. He is much more of a thinker and I suspect that is what we need. It is less about empire building and more about getting the job done.”

Investment Quorum chief executive Lee Robertson says: “With IFA Centre, the Personal Finance Society, the Institute of Financial Planning and Apfa, the adviser market is quite fragmented. Hannant has a challenge on his hands in trying to speak for all advisers.

“If you take Chris Cummings he was much more ‘out there’ as a director general, while Paul Smee was incredibly skilled politically, and I think that ability to champion advisers in the political space is what is needed.”

Hannant says: “I look forward to building on the solid platform we have established and driving Apfa forward in my new capacity as director general.”


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There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Richard Bishop 13th June 2013 at 9:20 am

    I don’t want to be united or have these idiots speaking for me.

    Lets not forget they spent £200,000 in one year on Mr Gays wages.

    Cancel your membership.

  2. I wish Chris all the best. He is a very nice and genuine guy who really has inherited a poison chalice.

    Yes there are many other bodies out there, but don’t forget that some are Professional Bodies and others Trade Bodies and there is a difference.
    No organisation can be effective without funds, but at the same time I think it is true that members don’t want to see their funds squandered and want to see that they are getting value for money.

    In my own opinion these are the issues that Chris has to tackle before even getting down to the ‘day job’

    1. Clearly demonstrate that he is not in thrall to the big wallets
    2. While trying to represent all he must try to juggle the conflict of also doing his best for the independent cause.
    3. On the finance side he needs to ensure that the charging structure for members is clear, transparent and equitable and that the Association is making the very best use of scarce resources.
    4. He must show that he really is making headway and not just ‘playing to the gallery’. In this he has already made some progress. But this is the issue that will win or lose him members.

    I hope he takes this in good part and doesn’t find too much on which to demur.

    I wish him well.

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