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Aifa and IFAP set up joint firm

Aifa and IFA Promotion are setting up a joint company to create a combined

strategy for promoting independent advice, ending months of speculation of

the two organisations merging.

In a letter obtained by Money Marketing, IFAP tells its sponsors that

plans for a merger fell apart because Aifa wants to be independent from

product providers.

Instead, a new jointly owned company, with the working title Newco, will

be set up to decide an overall strategy on how best to promote IFAs.

Newco&#39s board will contain five IFAP directors and five from Aifa, with an

independent chairman yet to be announced. IFAP chief executive David Elms

and Aifa director general Paul Smee will both be on the board.

IFAP&#39s board will be made up of product providers. Its resources will be

used to implement Newco&#39s decisions.

Aifa, however, will remain independent and Newco will have no input into

its strategy.

But IFAs remain sceptical that Newco will achieve results in promoting

independent advice.

IFAP chairman Douglas Claisse announced his retirement in the letter. A

successor has yet to be appointed.

Aifa director general Paul Smee says: “This is a sensible, pragmatic and

speedy way forward to ensure a good strategy for promotion between Aifa and

IFAP. It avoids great structural upheaval and allows us to get on with the

issues at hand like the polarisation review.”

Elms says: “This is an elegant solution as Aifa is left free to maintain

its independent stance and IFAP&#39s role remains unch-anged. Newco will

co-ordinate and strengthen the integrity of Aifa&#39s and IFAP&#39s stance.”

Richard Jacobs Pension & Trustee Services director Richard Jacobs says:

“This is not going to achieve anything. Both organisations are enshrined in

old-fashioned values and have vested interests.

“We need one organisation to control promotion but they are pussyfooting

around with a watered-down version.”

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