View more on these topics

Evan Owen applies for Aifa top job


Former IFA Defence Union chairman Evan Owen has applied for the director general role at the Association of Independent Financial Advisers, to replace Chris Cummings.

Cummings will leave Aifa in August to become the first chief executive of TheCityUK, a new, independent membership body for promoting the UK-based financial and professional services industry. Aifa has formed an appointments committee being chaired by John Gummer.

Association of Mortgage Intermediaries director Robert Sinclair is expected to apply for the job.

Owen says his commitment to championing the importance of independent advice makes him the best candidate.

He says: “Nobody is more committed to the provision of independent advice. I do not believe Aifa members want a diplomat or administrator, they want someone who will challenge the regulator.”


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There are 18 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Back in August 2005, David Kenmir refused to allow the staff at the FSA to deal with Mr Owen due to the IFADU having

    ““a consistently hostile approach to what the FSA is trying to achieve”.

    I do not believe Mr Owen’s attitude will do the industry any favours and he would not be getting my vote.

  2. Simon Webster 9th July 2010 at 9:23 am

    Time for Gary Heath mark II?

    The complacent fat cats at the FSA are cut off from reality. While sadly there are still too many rogues out there, what the FSA does about it costs money, time, and reams of paper and achieves precisely nothing. Which is why there are still rogues out there…and teh RDR won’t change very much. So may be it really is time for someone a little more hard hitting.

  3. Lindsay Lockett 9th July 2010 at 10:06 am

    I think Evan or Alan Lakey would be ideal for this job. It’s time we all started to come together to help shape the direction this industry is going in, it should not be left to a power hungry, mis-directed regulator to cause the sector to implode, so the banks can move it.

  4. Sandra Urquhart 9th July 2010 at 11:37 am

    Go Evan!

  5. I remember Evan fighting DBS in their evil days and he stands head and shoulders above the rest.How many of the others have put in as much time,effort and personal cash into supporting independents?
    Good onya Evan.

  6. Julian Stevens 9th July 2010 at 11:49 am

    Whilst Evan’s commitment to the IFA cause is not in question, what is doubtful is whether he has the right measure of diplomatic skills.

    Then again, does it really matter in practice? The FSA ignores what it doesn’t want to hear and if someone comes on too strong, it [the FSA] just slams down the shutters.

    Is AIFA really worth what we pay to support it, not least the big salary of its DG? It would be interesting to see a schedule of just what AIFA has actually achieved for us over the past three years. Earnest negotiations are one thing but if they yield no meaningful results because the FSA doesn’t have to give ground on anything it doesn’t want to, then what’s the point?

    We may as well all get the hell out to another regulatory jurisdiction and passport back in to the UK.

  7. Both would be ideal candidates, I am not sure if Alan would want it but I think he would support Evan if he did get it. They do have the potential to rock two boats that really need rocking- the FSA and AIFA.

    So AIFA, if they both applied would the choice be dictated by member concensus or behind closed doors?

  8. Evan will not have the respect of the FSA due to his past run ins with them. David Kenmir eventually refused any FSA staff to deal with him.

    We need a strong voice, but equally we need someone that will command respect.

  9. I’ll repeat the first part of what Julian said “Evan’s commitment to the IFA cause is not in question, what is doubtful is whether he has the right measure of diplomatic skills.”

    He has been a lot more diplomatic in the last two years than before. The aggressive stance was neccessary before due to the FSAs unwillingess to see reason combined with the passive nature of many IFAs (many of whom didn’t even know what the longtsop was, let alone the fact it was being ignored until they heard of IFADU) and bodies like AIFA who do their best to walk a tightrope, which sometimes they fall off (hence why I actually think Chris Cummings did the best job he could under the circumstances).

    Can Evan been seen as a mender of bridges now? Let’s see a candidate list and then decide afetr that who we best think suits things based on those who put themselves forward. Evan is an acceptable candidate to me, but there may be those better placed willing to stand, so let’s wait and see….

  10. Simon Kershaw 9th July 2010 at 1:13 pm

    I would like to propose Harry Katz for this position.

    He has the ability to fight our corner without losing sight of the diplomacy required.

    How about it Harry?

  11. Anon 12:39 … quote from Evan in MM earlier this year:

    “I recently held a series of meetings with policy-makers and those influencing the RDR debate, first, last October with Hector Sants and then with Lesley Titcomb and her team last December”

    Maybe Hector Sants and Lesley Titcomb have more respect and time for Evan than you realise?

  12. It is heartening to hear that I am considered a worthwhile candidate. However, I must make clear that I have no interest in the position as I have no wish to stop being an IFA (RDR permitting, of course).

    For once I have to disagree with Julian Stevens as I believe Evan to be an outstanding candidate.

    Let us consider the skills required

    1. Commitment
    2. Knowledge of the industry from an advisers perspective
    3. Intelligence
    4. An understanding of FSMA, FOS, FSCS
    5. An ability to be strident or diplomatic

    The David Kenmir incident was entirely due to Kenmir’s refusal to answer properly structured questions and the usual regulatory tendency to shut up shop when inconvenient questions are posed.

    In short, I am 100% behind Evan’s candidature and I would hope that the majority of IFAs and AIFA members feel similarly.

  13. To those who don’t know me all I can say is that things have changed since 2005, five long years have passed and I no longer fire anyone else’s faulty bullets. The regulators and I have new found mutual respect, I always got on with and had enormous respect for Paul Smee and Chris Cummings, I won’t mention the one in between!

    I would be happy to talk to anyone who wants to throw prejudicial and out of date material on any blog whilst hding behind the cloak of anonymity (we know who you are though!) in order to set the record straight, they might not like what they hear but they have the opportunity.

    Even if I don’t get an interview it will have rattled a few cages, the dank ones of my blinkered detractors in particular.

    When this is all over I will be happy if this is resolved by giving every member of AIFA the vote, many who have never been members have said they will join when they have a voice and that essential vote.

  14. It is said you can’t be a lion in the field and a lamb in the office. Evan is a lion in the field and a lion in the office as a result he has bitten quite a few hands that potentially could feed his cause. However, he has of late become quite the diplomat. Evan Owen has done more for the IFA cause than any man I know and all without reward. Evan may be no diplomat but just look where diplomacy has taken us, to the very edge of an abyss! Can he do any worse? It may even be that Evans success at AIFA would be a little like Claudius – based on the incorrect assumption that he is a harmless madman from Snowdonia!

  15. As someone who makes a living helping IFAs avoid falling foul of the FSA and FOS, I think you will have a long search to find a better candidate than Evan.

    He seeks a fair deal for IFAs – and does not attempt to justify the indefensible.

    Maybe he has not always been as diplomatic as some think he should be – but as far as I am aware he has yet to follow the example of Jesus of Nazareth and call the FSA a brood of vipers!

  16. That’s because Jesus is more knowledgeable than Evan.
    I do hope Evan gets the job though.

  17. I don’t know Evan in person so won’t try and come over like I do. However I have come across lots about his work and what he has done for us IFAs. From what I have seen so far he is ONLY man for the job. I think it may just bring us IFAs together to fight those who try and bring us down all the time.

  18. The voice of reason for the IFA community 28th July 2010 at 7:35 am

    Why not let the record speak for the candidate:

    Was being an IFA a success ..?

    Was the IFADU a commercial success .. because the DG needs to be a commercial animal ?

Leave a comment


Why register with Money Marketing ?

Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

Money Marketing Events
Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

Research and insight
Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

Have your say
Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

Register now

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm