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LIA and Sofa merger to unite 25,000 advisers

The IFA industry&#39s two leading trade bodies, the LIA and Sofa, are proposing a merger to form a single organisation with a membership of 25,000 advisers.

Sofa has around 10,000 members and the LIA has about 20,000 members but some advisers are members of both bodies so the total is exp-ected to be around 25,000. The membership is expected to generate an income of £3m, with additional income from events and other services.

LIA director general Mark Ommanney says a single body will have greater financial resources to deliver services.

It is hoped that the new organisation will attract some of the estimated 50 per cent of advisers who do not belong to a trade organisation. Both org-anisations believe the change will mean simpler, more cohesive and more influential representation for advisers.

They are planning a joint programme of member communication before the full merger proposition being put to members in September. The name of the new body will be announced in October.

The bodies will bring tog-ether Sofa&#39s exams and training expertise and the LIA&#39s strength in developing adv-isers&#39 business skills.

There will be a number of membership categories reflecting an adviser&#39s qualifications. A student category is also being considered.

Sofa managing director Bob Bullivant says: “The new body will have strong appeal to potential members who are confused by competing professional body propositions.”

•Comment, p31

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