A Money Marketing survey of 182 IFAs found that 48 per cent are in favour of Severn’s appointment while 52 per cent are against it.
Severn, the architect of depolarisation as well as the driving force behind the abandonment of the much criticised defined-payment system, is due to start at Aifa on February 1. Director of policy Fay Goddard has taken on the role in the meantime.
Some IFAs are concerned that Severn’s background as a regulator means he is not the ideal person to take over former director-general Paul Smee’s role. Others are determined that he should be given a chance before being written off as the wrong candidate for the job.
Dennehy Weller & Co managing director Brian Dennehy says: “Shouldn’t we have someone we could all recognise and rally behind? My question is whether someone who has been at the FSA is the right person to do this.”
KS Barrett & Associates proprietor Kim Barrett says: “I think we should give him a chance and if necessary criticise him afterwards. There are too many people who have negative stances on everything. Just because he worked for the FSA does not mean he is an heinous individual.”