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Advisers say PFS needs unified voice

Personal Finance Society advisers say incoming chief executive Keith Richards’ main aim should be to try to achieve a unified lobbying voice across a diverse membership.

The PFS announced last week it had appointed Tenet distribution and development director Keith Richards as its new chief executive.

Richards will replace Fay Goddard who announced in November she is retiring after almost five years heading up the professional body.

Yellowtail Financial Planning managing director Dennis Hall says: “I think the trade body has got to bring people together in order to have more of an effective voice when lobbying the regulator and ensuring advisers get a fair deal.”

Jacksons Wealth Management managing director Pete Matthew says: “There are a lot of different perspectives within the PFS and being able to bring them together to make sure you are all pulling in the right direction is a challenge.”

Richards announced last week he had quit Tenet to “pursue new challenges” in the financial services sector. He has been with the network since 2004.

PFS president Garry Hale says: “Keith brings a wealth of experience and influence, together with a commitment to raising levels of professionalism in the advice sector. Our members will benefit immensely from Keith’s involvement.”

Richards says: “I would like to recognise the fantastic job that Fay has done during her time as PFS chief executive and I aim to build on the foundations already put in place.

“The continuing pressure of regulatory change and risk has additionally driven divided reaction which often fuels an unqualified negative perception of the industry. A more joined up sector would be a massive step forward in helping to secure and justify the professional recognition we all seek for our industry and which the majority so richly deserve.

“I will certainly be doing my best to work with others across the industry to achieve this objective.”


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There are 5 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Dr Peter Williams 21st February 2013 at 10:30 am

    As a PFS member (and former PFS Board member) I am worried about the expectation that the PFS can be “all things to all men (- and women)”. The PFS is NOT a trade body, it is a professional body and as part of the CII group its primary drive is to push forward the professionalism of the sector for the benefit of the consumer.
    A trade body acts in the best interests of business and not the consumer. We already have several fine trade bodies such as the ABI for insurers and APFA for advisers and I see no reason why the profession should now want to drift into trade issues. Obviously there will be many occasions when the profession and trade can work together towards common goals but the PFS role is different.

  2. Fay Goddard followed a policy of “the only way is chartered” creating an immediate division. The snobbery which now surrounds status will ensure that unity is impossible.

  3. Peter Williams is if course right. The PFS is not a trade body. To gently encourage the adviser community to ever higher standards will not be easy. At the same time, advisers face huge challenges from other directions that are likely to take up much of their time – regulatory pressure from the sheer volume of physical paper created when giving advice along with the requirement to have robust systems and controls that will stand up to regulatory scrutiny.

  4. The PFS/CII is a shockingly poor organisation that has no right in my eyes to consider itself a professional anything! As a former member I want nothing more to do with it as for representing us as a unified voice “Perish the thought!”

  5. I hear what Peter Williams is saying but the impression I’ve always been given from PFS regional conferences I’ve attended is that they do lobby on behalf of the industry.

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