Advisers need to pay for an effective trade body

In response to last week’s column by Nic Cicutti on Stephen Gay’s departure from Aifa.

Nic, it is pretty straightforward. IFAs need to decide if they want an effective trade body. If they do, they will have to put their hand in their pocket and pay for it.

Currently, 50 per cent of Aifa’s income comes from life offices, which is quite ironic when many IFAs want to demonstrate their “independence”.

The other half, which is way short of what it needs to be sustainable, is mainly from network fees who have negotiated fees from their own trade body that are a fraction of the going rate, for example, about £65 versus £365.

I had discussions with Steve Gay about how funding could be made more sustainable. I was quite prepared to give more financial support in the short term in return for fees being reformed and IFAs taking more responsibility for its financial affairs. I suspect Steve was not able to persuade the board to put their own vested interests aside.

David Barral
Chief executive officer, Aviva UK Life