Advisers are optimistic that Stephen Gay’s product provider background will not hinder his role as Aifa director general.
Gay, currently Aviva director of distribution development, was announced as Chris Cummings’ successor last week. He will also become director general of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries and the Association of Finance Brokers.
Honister Capital strategy product and commercial development director Alan Easter says: “I do not think that Gay’s background with an insurer will have any bias. In all the work I have done with him, I cannot think of a time when he took a position for the insurer against the IFA or for
that matter the IFA against the insurer. He is a navigator of issues and only takes a position when he truly believes it is the right thing to do.”
Philip J Milton Financial Services managing director Philip Milton says: “I would hope he does not come with a bias towards bancassurers. There is that risk but there is also a possibility that his insight into that side of the equation could prove to be valuable when speaking on behalf of IFAs.”
But Adviser Alliance director Alan Lakey says: “The problem is that unless you are or have been an IFA, you do not fully understand the problems that impact on a business, nor the relationship between the client and the adviser.”
GDC Associates partner Derek Gair says: “I do not think that he is the right man for the job. I am prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt but I am not hopeful.”
Gay says: “There is a fantastic opportunity here to build on Aifa’s successes and to take the organisation forward through this transformational period for the industry. I am delighted that I have been selected to lead Aifa, AMI and AFB.
“All three organisations are now firmly at the heart of political, regulatory, and policy discussions. I look forward to representing members’ interests at such a critical time.”
Stephen Gay’s CV
2006-2010: Aviva UK Life, director of distribution development
2003-2006: Independent business consultant, including work with Sesame and Axa
2002-2003: Troika management consultant
1999-2002: Cap Gemini Ernst & Young principal consultant
1991-1998: Prudential UK. Various roles, ranging from area manager to head of network distribution
1986-1991: Standard Life broker consultant
1982-1986: Providence Capitol life underwriter
Other industry activities
- IFA Promotion board member
- Origo board member
- Association of British
- Insurers member of distribution and regulatory committee
- Leaders Summit Group chairman 2009