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.”