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Industry figures in talks to set up trade body rival

Industry figures have held talks this morning to discuss the possibility of establishing a new adviser trade body to rival Aifa, Money Marketing understands.

Bluecoat Software head of proposition and former Professional Partnerships principal Gill Cardy and former IFA association director general Garry Heath are thought to be involved in the talks. IFA Life founder Phil Calvert was invited to today’s meeting but could not attend as he was on holiday.

It follows Aifa’s recent decision to open up its membership to restricted advisers, marking a departure from its previous stance as a trade body solely for IFAs. Membership will not be open to single-tied advisers under the restructure.

IFA Life revealed last month that it was considering setting up a body to represent advisers, following feedback from its 7,000 members.

Aifa’s decision to broaden its membership to include restricted advisers divided industry opinion. While some believed the trade body was right to allow restricted advisers to join, some felt that Aifa should have stuck to its original objective of being “the voice of the IFA profession”.


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There are 12 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. As I have previously stated, there is already an alternative to AIFA in Adviser Alliance.

    We are still relatively small and this means we have to be cost conscious and focus on those issues that cause the greatest discord.

    However, if more of the disgruntled, disaffected or plain distrustful of AIFA advisers joined with us there is so much more we could do.

  2. This is turning into a Monty Python sketch.

    People’s Front of Judea, anyone?

  3. Round and round we go….

  4. Sounds like AIFA mk 2 to me.

    With the exception of Garry Heath (presumably) this lot are pro RDR anyway so would not represent the views of the wider IFA community anyway. Therefore completely pointless.

    One thing is for sure, the IFA is desparately in need of proper representation and proper representation soon. Adviser Alliance is the nearest thing to that currently on offer because it cares about the real issues those that effect the overwelming majority of IFAs in the real world.

  5. I’m always terribly suspicious of IFAs or (particularly) ex IFAs running (as opposed to setting up) representative bodies. To me it smacks of “Well I can’t make much out of being an IFA so I’ll have a go at being an industry politician and see what I can make out of that”.
    Then of course you have the possibility of having an organisation that emulates either the BNP or the Tea Party – not a very alluring prospect. It would seem to me that either we have the successor to AIFA or we just have the professional bodies and forget a trade body.

  6. REG:
    Listen. If you really wanted to join the P.F.J., you’d have to really hate the Romans.
    I do!
    Oh, yeah? How much?
    A lot!
    Right. You’re in. Listen. The only people we hate more than the Romans are the fucking Judean People’s Front.
    And the Judean Popular People’s Front.
    Yeah. Oh, yeah. Splitters. Splitters…
    And the People’s Front of Judea.
    Yeah. Splitters. Splitters…
    The People’s Front of Judea. Splitters.
    We’re the People’s Front of Judea!
    Oh. I thought we were the Popular Front.
    People’s Front! C-huh.
    Whatever happened to the Popular Front, Reg?
    He’s over there.

  7. I do get a bit cynical when I see practicing (or even retired or ex-IFAs) deciding to run a trade body. To me it rather smacks of “Well I couldn’t/can’t make a go of being an IFA – so I may as well see if I can ride on someone’s back”.

    It is one thing to be a prime mover in setting one up (understandable and even perhaps worthy) but to attempt to run one – even for a nominal stipend is both questionable and presumptuous.

    The blogger who referred to Monty Python has pithily encapsulated this piece of nonsense.

  8. The Life of Brian – how droll!
    Can I drag you back to the reality of what is happening?
    We are about to be regulated by FSA MK2 run by the guy who failed to do anything about Northern Rock, the banking crisis, banking bonuses and the systemic misadvice from the banking community.
    He believes that the new regulator should be at least 25% more expensive than the FSA and it should be far more “invasive”. Regulatory inflation is at least 20% and will remain so if unchallenged. Its main employment agency suggests that FSA salary levels should increase by 25%.
    It wishes to second guess every decision of every management in the sector despite having a staff which leave the regulator at a rate of 30% per year. Most of those who leave are re-employed immediately by the major industry players in a way that stinks of vested interest.
    The FSA has firmly told the Treasury Select Committee, the most senior committee of Parliament, that it will completely ignore its recommendations. It seeks to introduce the RDR system, which is completely untested with the public. The FSA is happy to see 6,000 advisers leaving the industry with their attendant client banks who are very unlikely to find another adviser. This 20% loss of capacity is described by the FSA as “acceptable” Some respected commentators believe the capacity loss could be 50%.
    The industry is 18 months away from the biggest change in distribution to decades and it does not know how platforms should behave or what “restricted” really means. The definition of simplified advice is a complete mystery and many areas of the qualifications needed are still not certain.
    RDR itself has been promoted by a number of vested interests, providers who wish to remove commission, training and qualification bodies in search of new income, consultants who needed a new policy area, networks in search of a profit and sadly other IFAs who run fee based businesses and hope to take over the mantle of the whole sector by grabbing the wealthy clients of forcefully retired IFAs.
    At no part of this discussion has the client featured except as a target for fees; certainly not the clients without the wherewithal to pay fees who will be sent to the tender clutches of the banks who are the major employers of exiting regulators.
    You may ask what the Association of IFAs is doing about this. Precious little; indeed they have become part of the problem as they represent some of the vested interests.
    21% of AIFA’s funds come from product providers and another 43% comes from networks that are completely or mostly owned by providers. They were set up by the ABI and are now run by AVIVA’s ex-distribution director who in his previous existence was a major supporter of RDR. This is the new definition of Independence.
    There is nothing at AIFA for the average IFA or his client and therefore the smaller IFA has left in droves leaving AIFA claiming under funding. Had AIFA sat on its hands less and fought more it would not have this issue. It is also over manned for the income it has.
    So what do we do – accept that the vested interests have won and make the best of it or do we get organised on both our behalf and our clients and fight the vested interest, re-establish independence and start influencing the agenda rather than belatedly reacting to it.
    You call – exchange film quotes or get organised

  9. Why does Garry Heath’s post remind me of Arthur Scargill?

  10. Re Anon @ 2.24
    I disagree, Gary’s post reminds me of William Wallace!

  11. Prefer William Wallace Anon2

  12. It’s interesting that the cynics posting comments remain anonymous. That’s precisely what they’ve been for the last 25 years. Not lifting a finger or digging into their pockets to support their own sector.

    It’s a matter of record that Garry fronted the most effective and successful Trade Association for IFAs in history. He’s walked the walk, end of story.

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