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Sofa director Butler in call for merger with IFP

Newly elected Sofa director Jason Butler is calling for Sofa and the Institute of Financial Planning to merge after less than two weeks in the job.

Butler, voted on to the Sofa board at the end of November, is also editor of the IFP&#39s journal and director of London IFA Bloomsbury Financial Planning, where IFP president Campbell Edgar is a fellow director and technical manager Robert Lockie also sits on the IFP board.

Butler says each body has its own strengths, with Sofa seen as the more technical body with a strong secretariat while the IFP focuses on the more practical issues and has a good network of branches.

As a first step in the process, Butler suggests holding joint conferences and education days and joint media relations.

He says: “If companies are merging, why aren&#39t professional bodies? Before we go for the full marriage, let us have a few dates. The CII will hold this back. Insurers are only one part of the future of financial advice and as long as we are dominated by the insurers, this will not happen.”

Edgar says: “We are happy to talk and think joint enterprises are a good idea. Lots of people are members of both. We will have lots of dates but whether we get married is another matter.”

Sofa chairman Nick Bamford says: “In terms of whether bodies merge to provide best service, then that may happen at some point in the future. It is important to discuss anything which imp-roves standards in financial services.”


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