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Aifa to rebrand as Association of Professional Financial Advisers

Chris Hannant 480

Aifa has announced plans to change its name from the Association of Independent Financial Advisers to the Association of Professional Financial Advisers.

It follows the trade body’s decision last July to open up its membership to restricted advisers.

The proposed name change will be put to a member vote at the trade body’s annual general meeting on 13 November.

Aifa chairman John Gummer says: “Many advisers will continue to use the independent label that is well recognised and valued by consumers. However, we also expect many firms to opt for a restricted proposition. It is right we continue to represent the interests of all these professional advisers.”

Aifa policy director Chris Hannant (pictured) says: “This change of name reflects our continuing commitment to the principle that professional advisers should act for the benefit of their clients. This is the principle we will continue to champion with government, regulators and consumers.”


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There are 19 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Derek Bradley ceo Panacea 21st September 2012 at 10:31 am

    A positive and pragmatic move. It does what it say’s on the can.

    To borrow on Steve Jobs wise words: “A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have”.

    Let’s hope that will be the outcome for APFA in their adviser representations going forward.

  2. A Lada is still a Lada if you put a Rolls Royce badge on it and charge accordingly.

    Aifa never did anything worthwhile when it was Aifa. I won’t be renewing my membership.

  3. Is AIFA not aware that “professional, restricted adviser” is an oxymoron?

    Joking aside, to be professional, an adviser needs to be objective, as well as qualified. If an adviser is the agent of the provider, rather than the client, then QED, they cannot be professional in the accepted definition of the word.

    In my opinion, AIFA has sold out, and has lost all credibility.

  4. @ Paul

    Please read the comment from Derek and then read the NEW definition of independent and restricted in the NEW rules.

    If I’m independent under the old rules and continue doing exactly the same post RDR but am now restricted because of the rule change, what’s changed? Am I professional on the 30th December and not on the 31st?

    “Intelligent unthinking response” is also an oxymoron!

  5. Incompetent Regulators Award Team 21st September 2012 at 11:07 am

    AIFA never did anything for IFAs and will do nothing for any advisers in future.


    “A man will do what he has done and will be what he has been”


    History is the proof. Too many hanger ons paid for doing nothing. And those who volunteer living on a dream which will never happen.

  6. unrestricted truly independent IFAs should join Gill Cardy’s IFA Centre

  7. If there are those who are not keen on this move just remember that it will be put to the vote at the AGM – so turn up (if you are a member) and vote – otherwise it will pass on the nod and you will have no real justification to complain afterwards.

  8. Im sorry but I get so annoyed when i read these articles. “continue to represent the interests of all these professional advisers.” Sorry im either stupid or I have missed somthing. Aifa had a great chance to prove itself as a champion of the IFA by fighting RDR with ever once of strengh it had, not only did it fail, it rolled over miserably, thats why we had the appalling statement from the new head honcho stating he was going to “shoot first and ask questions later” Its because he knows he can ,with little or no comeback!! IFA association was a fantastic trade body, Garry Heath was a leader with True Grit. We need you back Garry, more than ever.

  9. Why should we join IFA center Anonomous?
    Gill asked me to send her quotes I had obtained for pre and post RDR products which shows the client to be 1000s of pounds worse of after 5 years of paying into a post RDR product as opposed to a current product paying commission. After many many weeks of not hearing from her and unanswered emails and calls I finaly got mail saying she was now busy doing other things.
    Even Aifa can do beter than that.
    Garry Heath Is the man to lead us, he just needs a bit of convincing.

  10. @Grey Area

    My comment is not aimed at independent advisers who chose to provide a narrow range of whole of market advice post RDR; and thus fall into the ‘restricted’ category.

    If you read my comment again, you will hopefully grasp my point. If not, you may be none the wiser, but hopefully you will be better informed.

    To clarify, this change will open the membership to restricted advisers who are not whole of market, but promoting the products and services of specific companies.

    For the reasons stated above, they are not acting as a sole agent of the client, are unable to provide impartial, objective advice and therefore do not meet the accepted criteria for a professional.

    However, I do hope that, in terms of their ethics and sales approach, they will behave ‘professionally’.

    One has to question AIFA’s motives in taking this step and I suspect that opinion will be divided between independent advisers and those seeking a patina of respectibility.

  11. Didnt John Gummer feed his daughter beefburgers on TV during the Mad Cow disease Scare?

  12. @Anon 11.47

    Yes, you are right! In those days, he was known as John Selwyn-Gummer, or “John Seldom-Glummer”, as his ministerial career went down the pan.

    I have no problem with politicians per se, and political nouse is a pre-requisite for this type of role. However, I’ve never felt that JG has ever really ‘got’ IFAs or grasped the opportunity to establish financial planning as a true profession.

  13. @Richard Wright 11.33. Richard I note your comment ref the post RDR plan verses current basis. Could you enlighten me a bit more as to the product type the adviser charge etc either on her or send me an email to as I am very interested to hear this. Many thanks

  14. Independence is not everyone’s cup of tea, I can see some of the arguments for a restricted approach, though that is not for me. There are numerous scare tactics around to convince people to ditch Independence, little positive encouragement in the Independent space – and that is the key – Independence is for people who are Independent of vested interests,

    No longer can the providers chip in for an AIFA to promote them, they must do it themselves. SJP and every other restricted operation will be spending millions over the next year to promote why restricted is Independent-ish, and you shouldn’t really worry about the ish. Aifa have to go this way i guess to retain their scale and size and salaries, but there must be a new focused and effictive representation for Independent people. And there is.

    IFAcentre through Gill Cardy have already got the ear of All party select committee on Arch Cru with scant resources compared to the established trade bodies. Those who are staying Independent need to support IFAcentre, to ensure someone is there to effectively present the positives of Independence. It’s only a couple of hundred quid a year so do it – NOW.

    If the lines are allowed to be blurred then those who retain the clients best interests and their Independence will regret a small outlay every Sunday reading the papers and seeing the results of expensive lobbying from the restricted gang.

    I’ve no issues with anyone going retsricted for a host of good reasons, but those who are going to retain the Gold standard and retain their Independence need to ensure their representation is funded and join IFAcentre today.

  15. Gill Cardy will eventually go the way of AIFA. Byeeeeeee

  16. @Alan Mellor, Alternatively you could take your “only a couple of hundred quid a year and flush it down the loo for all the good it will do” Actually dont, put it to good use and stick it a charity box!!
    As I said earlier ,we need a trade body with teeth,one who will fight, one with True Grit. Are you listening Garry?

  17. @ Paul

    Apologies for any misunderstanding, I agree with what you are saying.

    What I’m trying to emphasise is that the FSA have changed the definition of independent and everyone is blindly accepting that it’s better. Is it?

    What if I’m independent today and provide the exact same service to my clients post RDR (whole of market and not tied) but become restricted because of a technicality, am I suddenly a lesser being not worthy of representation? What exactly changed other than an arbitrary rule?

    People are so emotionally attached to the reverred and sacrosanct ‘independent’ label that any sense of reason or proportionality has departed if you mention anything else.

    Four legs good, two legs bad…

  18. @Grey Area

    Thanks – glad that we are in agreement.

    I share your stance in respect of, otherwise, independent advisers being labelled as restricted, simply because they chose not to advise on every single facet of financial planning.

    Instead of grouping them with tied/multi-agents, whom have a very different duty of care, why couldn’t the FSA have introduced a specific title such as ‘independent (specialist)’?

    Instead, they have made it as clear as mud! So, is this incompetence, or a deliberate attempt to frustrate informed choice?

  19. Just for clarification in response to Richard Wright’s observations : firstly a delay in responding was indeed because I was “too busy doing other things” – as Richard knows, and is being just a tad provocative … I was writing an extensive and robust response to the Arch cru consultation paper – which resulted in invitations to meet the APPG and now an adviser to TSC.
    Secondly, when I did sit down to look ath teh question I was told “what I dont want this to be is an attack on the Pru want it to be an attack on RDR”. I look at issues, I represent and I support. It is not acceptable to be invited to consider any subject with the proviso that I’m only allowed to comment as long as we can turn it into an attack on RDR.
    If you want me to look at stuff then, firstly make it a fair analysis of the problem, and secondly, do not tell me what answer is acceptable before I start.

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