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.”