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Editorial: Backers show IFAP’s worth

With a clarity that must leave some trade bodies and advisers looking on enviously, IFA Promotion is to remain an organisation for independents alone.

It has secured the backing of 11 of its biggest provider supporters to continue on the independent path. There will be no Multi-tied Adviser Promotion service. As part of what may be a difficult process, IFAP will remove advisers which multi-tie.

That IFAP has secured support from so many sponsors is significant. The organisation is largely dependent on provider support although it has managed to diversify its income streams, with nearly a quarter of revenue coming from advisers themselves. Many of those providers supporting IFAP will have several strands to their distribution strategy. No doubt, some market share will be eroded both by multi-tying banks and currently independent and whole of market advisers which convert. But this is a clear vote of confidence for the independent channel.

Other organisations will not have it so easy. It will be interesting to see how the Personal Finance Society will evolve in the depolarised world. It is making some bold and at times unpopular moves to encourage its members to professionalise but while depolarisation may be a challenge, it is less of a hurdle for an organisation born of the LIA and Sofa, both of which represented independents and tied advisers.

There may be more a challenge for Aifa. Inevitably, as a trade body not a professional body, it occupies a slightly different space. It already has some members which are developing multi-ties so its conversion to a different type of organisation is happening. But if it does have to lose the I for independent, it may find it more difficult to get a clear message across – a problem IFAP does not have.

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