Aifa director Robert Sinclair (pictured), Tenet distribution and development director Keith Richards and Positive Solutions chief executive Jim Reeve have all been touted as potential successors to Stephen Gay as Aifa director general.
Aifa last week announced Gay was leaving the trade body to be director of life, savings and protection at the Association of British Insurers. He is likely to step down at the end of February.
Other names in the frame include former policy director Andrew Strange and former Bluefin Wealth Management chairman John Simmonds following his departure from the firm at the end of last year. Simmonds and Reeve are on the Aifa council.
Former Aifa director general David Severn says the trade body may appoint Sinclair to take on the role on an interim basis.
He says: “Aifa may not have the luxury of time to recruit a new director general because the RDR is very near on the horizon, they have a director of policy who is inexperienced in terms of IFA issues and there is a lot of member dissatisfaction. It needs someone with real presence to try and rally the organisation.”
Aifa council member Neil Liversidge has suggested the trade body could adopt a more “collegiate” approach to leadership, with decisions taken by the elected board and chairman.
Unbiased.co.uk chief executive Karen Barratt says: “The need for someone to be fighting in their corner means advisers are going to be particular about who they see as fitting that slot. If Aifa gets it right and is able to get someone with a voice and with experience of being an IFA, that could be the sea-change for Aifa to move forward.”