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Chris Cummings quits Aifa

Aifa director general Chris Cummings has quit the trade body to become the first chief executive of TheCityUK.

Cummings has been director general at Aifa since 2005 and has fought for the fair treatment of IFAs since then, successfully lobbying the FSA on a number of issues including reform of the FSCS and bringing down FSA fees for smaller advisers. 

Prior to Aifa, Cummings held senior positions in business development, strategy and marketing at the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, Sun Life of Canada and PricewaterhouseCoopers.   

Aifa chairman John Gummer will chair an appointments committee, made up of members, to find a successor. He says: “On behalf of all the membership I would like to thank Chris for the contribution he has made to the whole intermediary profession. His skills in negotiation, representation and leadership have been a great asset to us all.

“Chris and his directors have led the intermediary profession through some of its greatest challenges. With increasing regulatory scrutiny, both domestically and from Europe, the role of a representative organisation has become ever more difficult but also ever more important. It is vital that the IFA and broker professions have a strong, united organisation that is ready and willing to stand up for intermediaries. That is and will continue to be our role.”

Cummings says: ““I would like to express my thanks to the Councils, staff and members for all the support they have given me over the past five years.

“Since the launch of Ami, mortgage brokers now have a strong and respected voice in both Westminster and Brussels. Aifa is now a better respected organisation and we have a higher membership than ever before.

“I am immensely proud of the work that Aifa, Ami and AFB do for members. From the ground breaking FFWD online business academy to the influential Manifesto for Advice, we have tried to ensure that intermediary firms are leading the way in levels of professionalism. We have also fought hard to ensure members receive a fair deal from regulators and policy makers.Our success shows what can be achieved when the intermediary profession speaks with one voice.”

TheCityUK is a new, independent membership body for promoting the UK-based financial and professional services industry. It has taken on the the functions of former body, the International Financial Services London.

Cummings will work closely with chairman Stuart Popham and its advisory council of financial services leaders, which is chaired by Sir Win Bischoff.

Cummings will take up the post in August and until that time John Ingamells will be acting chief executive.  

The board has also appointed Sir Stephen Wright as special adviser, with a particular remit to focus on international aspects of the work streams underway at TheCityUK.

Popham says: “We are delighted to be appointing Chris as TheCityUK’s first chief executive. His financial services and marketing experience will be invaluable in promoting the industry internationally and across the UK.”

Cummings adds: “I am very excited to be joining TheCityUK. There is no doubt that TheCityUK has launched in an environment of unprecedented challenge for the financial services industry and I am looking forward to working with our members to reaffirm the partnership between society, government and the financial services industry.   

“The UK has the world’s leading financial services industry, with over one million people employed in financial services the length and breadth of the country. The industry is a national asset which will play a vital role in a sustainable recovery and job creation.”

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Comments

There are 25 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Incompetent Regulators Awards Team 16th June 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Good riddens you did nothing for IFAs except pretend to the FSA you had our interest as your priority only to be used as a an IFA punchbag. You didn’t fool anyone. God knows what mess you will make where you go as you knew nothing about products and distributions of them via the IFA market.

    signed by IFA for over 30 years

  2. Chris did a brilliant job for IFAs and is owed a huge debt of gratitude. He will be a hard act to follow.

  3. Illiterate Advisers Awards Team 16th June 2010 at 12:52 pm

    I RAT

    Another IFA who has been around 30 years longer than he/she ought to have been.

  4. Peter Beaumont 16th June 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Why is it that when someone leaves an inappropriate and frankly unfair and ill informed comment that they never leave there name?
    Anyone who kows Chris knows how hard he works and how passionate he is about the IFA community. People should recognise their successes. As the saying goes “not every post is winning post” but no one has tried harder than Chris and his talented team to improve the lot of the IFA community.He is a loss to Aifa.

  5. IRAT

    Can’t claim to know the man but he was all right wasn’t he?

    What did he do – run off with your wife?

  6. Hi Mr Incompetent – thought you’d be the first to respond!. There’s obviously a vacancy at the top of AIFA now, and you clearly could do a better job. Are you going to apply, or are you simply going to continue moaning and whining on these boards?

  7. Julian Stevens 16th June 2010 at 1:19 pm

    As far as I can tell, Chris did his best within the limits of diplomacy to argue the IFA cause. It’s all very well to say that he didn’t achieve more, but a more aggressive approach might well have resulted in FSA simply slamming down the shutters and refusing to entertain any further negotiations. Look what happened to Evan Owen ~ an ardent capaigner for IFA rights, to be sure, but now, it seems, just a fringe commentator.

    My only disappointment is that Chris Cummings seems to be jumping ship at exactly the time of greatest need for those whose interests he has represented. Obviously, his own interests are a higher priority ~ as seems to be the case with so many of the people at the FSA from whom he’s been trying to win concessions. Was he really committed to the IFA cause, or was AIFA just a stepping stone to better and very probably even better paid things?

  8. Thanks, Chris and good luck.

    Pity you couldn’t stay on just as we were seeing some results.

    Hope you are replaced by someone equally as capable of flying our flag.

  9. Pissed Off IFA 16th June 2010 at 1:31 pm

    I am afraid I agree with IRAT. Chris pretended he was the IFAs friend and from the comments made by correspondents, they certainly have been taken in. However, what did he achieve? He has obtained an even better job with more money. Does he know what it is like to be under the cosh? When it came it the bit, AIFA failed to help individual IFAs. Chris certainly enjoyed the wining and dining bit which seems to have been the focus for AIFA and the several annual dinners held each year.

  10. Chris Cummings is a man of very high ability and integrity and has done an excellent job for the market in very difficult and trying circumstances.
    I feel sure that he will be sorely missed by both AIFA & AMI and its members. Those who criticise should remember that organisations like AIFA/AMI have no power but try to influence those that do. So much work is done behind the scenes that cannot be made public, otherwise it would be impossible to influence if trust of confidentiality was breached.
    I wish Chris the very best for his new mission. I cannot think of anyone better to take this new position. Not only does he have ‘the markets’ interests embedded in his heart, but a thoroughly nice guy as well.

  11. Chris Cummings was a highly articulate advocate on behalf of IFA’s, and one we will miss greatly.

    In so many ways he was the voice of reason which I believe the FSA were beginning to listen to.

    He did everything within the limited avenues available to him as a lobbyist that we as an industry could reasonably expect of him.

    Good Luck and Thankyou

  12. Yes Julian, just a fringe commentator thanks to the likes of IRAT who is all biiter and twisted

    Yes Richard someone may well have run away with his wife, well not actually run away but you know what I mean.

    Chris did what he could within the remit of AIFA, like the FSA the people are constrained by ‘rules’, by what they can and cannot do, they have a limited set of ‘tools’.

    Unfortunately many IFAs jumped the AIFA ship so money must be tight, Goddard intimated as much, no idea what most of them did afterwards, probably planning for as painless an exit from the industry as they can achieve under the extremely awkward circumstances.

    And Paul, Chris deserves a better job with more pay, you just can’t please IFAs, ask Garry, or me.

    Anyway, I will continue to do sme commentating, I know it irritates some of you but it is my opinion and I am entitled to it.

    I will also continue to talk to the regulators, they aren’t all bad, in fact I haven’t met a bad one in 25 years, they just need someone to point them in the right direction occasionally, the offices of IRAT for example, he/she has serious issues for sure.

    Finally, Paul, he won’t be replaced by an IFA, the rules forbid such a thing from happening, I think I can understand why when you read what some of them post on here.

  13. Chris is a good guy, but I met with him a couple of times to try and motivate him to push harder for the IFA community. Unfortunately he believed he was dealing with honourable people at the FSA, how wrong can you be!!!

  14. IRAT

    You’re an embarrassment to your profession. Learn to spell.

    Then again, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks…

  15. Good luck Chris – you will be missed by AIFA members.

    Come on Ivan – time for you to take over.

    Kind regards

    Tony

  16. Firstly, in all my limited dealing with Chris Cummings he came across as a gentlemen and that goes a long way in an industry full of duplicitous cutthroats! Chris was and is a diplomat.

    However, that strength may also be a weakness when dealing with duplicitous cutthroats i.e. the UK regulatory regime.

    I wish Chris Cummings all the best luck in his new career and I watch with anticipation for his replacement but please forget the diplomacy it’s time to do some bloodletting of our own.

    Diplomacy has taken independence to the very edge of an abyss and it may well be that Chris can now see that AIFA will not even have sufficient IFA’s to even pay his wages let alone John Gummers burgers.

    Good luck Chris – I wish you well now that you are free from this regulatory hell hole.

    SIMON MANSELL
    TEMPLE BAR IFA LTD

  17. Stewart Hutcheson 16th June 2010 at 2:25 pm

    One of the issues that the IFA side of the industry has had for as long as I can remember, has been the lack of a coherent voice that really speaks for IFAs. AIFA under the leadership of Chris Cummings appeared to be bringing some hope in this area. Its therefore disappoining to see him go at this time. However how many IFAs actually join and pay money to such organisations? Unless they do have they really any right to complain about the job Chris or anyone else does?

  18. Also leaving just as AIFA were going to become involved in the Diploma Alternative Assessment market. Not sure what that says about such initiatives, it is certainly one a very strange one for the association to diversify into!

  19. Thanks must go to Chris for all his work and efforts. Over a very difficult time period trying to influence and educate a mass of disinterested regulators intent on only increasing their empires, pay and perks. Be it the FSA, Government officials or the EU.

  20. Good luck in your new job. As an IFA what we need is someone who is not scared of the FSA and is prepared to stand up for the rights of IFAs, this has been lacking now is the chance to change. IFAs need a strong voice who is not scared to put forward ideas without the FSA coming down on them

  21. Come on guys- he did nothing, like the guy before him and the twit before that. They are just suits taking a salary.

  22. Hope I wasnt the “twit before that” Brian

    Garry

  23. Gareth Fatchett 17th June 2010 at 10:25 pm

    It is not an easy job trying to please everyone.

    AIFA need someone who will stand up to the FSA and its statutory cohorts.

    When I grumble about the SRA and then compare it with the level of representation IFA’s have, I feel lucky.

    Maybe time for a more campaigning approach ?

  24. As a general observation, I am apalled by the very poor spelling from so called ‘professional’ people.

  25. 2 p’s in appalled Bobby.

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