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Apfa urged not to sideline advisers in WMA merger

Apfa tries to allay concerns advisers will play second fiddle to asset managers in merger

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Apfa has been urged not to sideline advisers’ interests as it lines up a merger with the Wealth Management Association.

This week, the two trade bodies announced they were proposing to merge to create a new body, the Investment Management and Financial Advice Association.

Members will vote on the merger at a meeting on 23 May. If approved, the new body would take effect on 1 June, led by WMA chief executive Liz Field as Apfa director general Chris Hannant stands down after a “transition period”.

Apfa council member and West Riding Personal Financial Solutions adviser Neil Liversidge told Money Marketing the deal would bring “more expertise around the table, more concentration of resources and better use of resources”.

“We are all basically on the same page anyway,” he said. “We are an adviser firm and also a wealth management firm, so if you flipped a coin people could be in Apfa or WMA.”

Parallels have been raised with the merger of the Institute of Financial Planning and Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment in 2015, however, which left many advisers concerned that their interests would be less represented.

Apfa member and Yellowtail Financial Planning chief executive Dennis Hall has already voted to approve the Apfa merger in his proxy ballot.

However, he still has reservations about the overlap between the two organisations.

“The memberships don’t feel like a strong, made in heaven marriage. If we thought there wasn’t  an 100 per cent fit between the IFP and CISI, they look great compared to this.”

“I wasn’t sure how long Apfa could go on. There seemed an inability to attract and retain members….I approved it because I didn’t see what else Apfa could do, and I’m not sure either who else they could join up with.

“The team may be working as hard and effectively as ever, but just how much could they get compared to guys at the Personal Finance Society who seem to get the ear of the FCA far more readily just because of their size?”

Another adviser, who asked not to be named, said: “As far as I can tell [Apfa] have been spectacularly ineffective for years. As for the WMA I’d barley heard of them. One can only hope that it doesn’t follow the previous model of and adviser body merging with a wealth managers body when the IFP merged with the CISI and disappeared.”

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Comments

There are 13 comments at the moment, we would lover to hear your opinion too.

  1. Neil F Liversidge 10th May 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Does anyone seriously think I’d be on board for this if it risked advisers being sidelined, ditto everyone else I know on APFA’s board? As for the unnamed adviser who accuses us of being “spectacularly ineffective for years”, I’m sure he’s been spectacularly effective at keeping his hands in his pockets and his wallet firmly buckled, paying nothing for representation whilst having a free ride on the backs of those of us who do.

  2. Julian Stevens 10th May 2017 at 12:28 pm

    If anybody’s going to get side-lined, it’s APFA.

  3. Neil F Liversidge 10th May 2017 at 2:54 pm

    You’re a stuck record, Julian. It’s the oldest ploy in the world to slag off the only people that are doing something for their constituency, thereby to excuse, in your own mind at least, the fact that you’re a freeloader doing nothing for the cause. Those were the tactics the old failed Stalinist CPGB used against the Labour Party. Go away and troll on Facebook, or whatever else it is that amuses you.

    • Julian Stevens 11th May 2017 at 9:38 am

      Ah yes, the familiar refrain ~ If only the tight-fisted adviser community would give us more money, we’d do so much better. But, despite my having asked you on several occasions, you refuse to tell us how, regarding such a question as an impudent impertinence not worthy of a response because my subscription is at the discounted rate applicable to members of a network which, in your eyes, means we’re not proper members, just cut-price hangers on. If you refuse to tell us what more we might get by becoming full subscribers and convince us how APFA might actually deliver on its claimed objectives, how can you be surprised at APFA’s shortage of them?

  4. Can you provide an answer then?

    What have you achieved for financial advisers?

  5. Neil F Liversidge 11th May 2017 at 9:18 am

    Pete, if you paid subs you’d find out. I answer to paying members, not tightwad trolls.

  6. Neil F Liversidge 11th May 2017 at 9:30 am

    Pete, Julian et al, just so we are clear, APFA issues regular updates to MEMBERS on all its activities which benefit ALL advisers including, unfortunately, those like you who contribute nothing. I contribute my money by way of subs, my time by way of activities, and I pay all my own expenses. Given these facts, I feel no obligation whatsoever to provide personal updates to people like you. If anyone thinks this is disrespectful – correct! I have zero respect for those who whine and moan and snipe at APFA and who contribute nothing themselves. Frankly, I despise such people, because let’s face it guys, you still wouldn’t contribute a penny if APFA was the most successful trade body on the planet. Then your excuse would be “It’s doing fine without my money – so I’ll hang onto my cash.” You’re they type of people for whom taking is everything and giving does not exist. So carry on with your whining, your moaning, your sniping and your trolling, and while you’re doing that I and people like me will be doing worthwhile work that actually achieves something. If you want to know specifically what, read the APFA press releases, ‘cos I ain’t wasting my time updating you. Over and out.

    • Julian Stevens 11th May 2017 at 11:58 am

      Achieves what exactly? That’s the big question to which we never get an answer. In 2012, APFA had a turnover of £1.2 million. Last year, that figure had dropped to just £566,802. With their income halving in just five years, a merger was perhaps inevitable.

  7. Neil F Liversidge 11th May 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Julian, sorry to disappoint you but we’re running APFA at a surplus. We’ve restored it to financial health and we are living within our means. This is a merger made from a position of strength on both the WMA’s part AND APFA’s. Maybe you could list everything you’ve done to advance advisers’ interests and tell us how much of your own money you’ve invested to that end? The reality, of course, is that you expect returns, and feel entitled to benefit from the efforts of others, without making any kind of investment yourself.

  8. Julian Stevens 12th May 2017 at 11:15 am

    Here’s a laugh for Friday https://www.ftadviser.com/2015/12/30/ifa-industry/companies-and-people/apfa-claims-their-manifesto-prompted-famr-QfgxdipsXam6He8yA6aTVK/article.html.

    BTW, Neil, has APFA now given up all hope of persuading the FCA to restore the longstop? I’d appreciate your thoughts.

    And what are its proposed strategies for:-

    1. redesigning the FCA’s useless GABRIEL system?

    2. Empowerment of the TSC to impose its will on the FCA, with meaningful sanctions ~ against specific individuals ~ for non-compliance?

    3. Curtailment of the FCA’s endless programme of regulating by hindsight?

    4. Enforcement of the Statutory Code of Practice For Regulators (the original 2007 version, not the subsequently completely bowdlerised one)?

    It’s all very well you saying over and over that to be entitled to demand more effective action and results from APFA, all us via-a-network low-subscription members should contribute more but, if APFA’s already running at a surplus, why does it need more money?

    And if this merger with the WMA is from a position of strength, why is Chris Hannant on course for the exit door? If he’s such a leading and influential light, why isn’t he staying on?

  9. Julian Stevens 13th May 2017 at 4:41 pm

    And another thing. Does APFA intend to challenge the FCA’s proposed £60m spend on refitting its new offices in Stratford, specifically how much of it will be borne by the financial adviser community? How can financial advice possibly be made more affordable if we have to shoulder even part of this kind of unbridled extravagance?

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