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Professional trio close in on merger goal

A merger between the three IFA professional bodies appears to be closer, with key figures saying they would welcome the move.

Sofa, the LIA and the Institute of Financial Plan-ning are talking of the prospect of closer co-operation, saying industry iss-ues such as depolarisation and the Sandler review make it essential for them to speak with one voice.

The LIA and the IFP say that the three bodies have been in talks for some time, with the only obstacles remaining being practical details such as what the new organisation would be called and who would be in charge.

IFP chief executive Nick Cann says: “We are talking with the others. A merger would have to be the goal but you would still have to retain what is important to the membership of the individual bodies.”

Sofa chairman John Porteous says: “For a long time, a number of people have felt that a single body is the best way forward. I am prepared to entertain all options.

“We are ruling nothing out but we are also ruling nothing in.”

LIA director of public affairs John Ellis says: “We have been having talks. I think it would make sense for the professional bodies to be represented by one voice. I am not sure that there are any major barr-iers but there is still a lot of detail to be sorted.”

•Professional blend, p17

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