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St James’s Place close to joining Apfa

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St James’s Place is close to becoming a member of Apfa, Money Marketing understands.

SJP has been in talks to join the trade body since October. 

Money Marketing understands SJP directors have attended recent Apfa council meetings and are thought to be close to making a decision to join the trade body.

The firm had previously stated it would not look to join the redefined trade body when it rebranded to allow restricted advisers in November.

Membership is not open to single-tied advisers.

SJP marketing director Tony Dunk says: “There are many trade bodies within financial services and we talk to a large number of them.

“The RDR is creating many interesting developments and we are considering whether membership of Apfa, or
any other trade body, would be appropriate in the future.”

Apfa director general Chris Hannant says: “We are here to represent the whole of the advice sector and to provide
a unified voice for that sector. Any advice firm that meets our membership criteria is welcome.”

Restricted national Openwork joined Apfa in April.


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There are 7 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Incompetent regulators 31st July 2013 at 9:15 am

    Just the very company that have not embraced the rdr in the true spirit of what was intended. E g exit penalties on clients contracts in the initial years and higher amcs. And yet the industry advisers who have taken this on board continue to be victimised by more unecessary changes by the regulators.

    Just another fine mess the FCA have made. It just keeps happening. Now just waiting for the next disaster!

  2. If APFA had any guts at all, it would tell SJP that entry is barred until they stop using their “vertical integration” excuse for giving 100% allocation rates whilst adding on “establishment fees” (with exit penalties until fully paid off), as a way of disguising their advisor’s’ commission.

    Totally against the spirit of RDR, and probably illegal too…the FCA will need to investigate. Inthe meantime APFA must say “not welcome here”.

  3. It’s seeemple. If APFA admit SJP then I will not be a member. I cannot envisage that I share any of the aims of that company.

  4. We have to face the reality that the FSA killed off the independent tag when it first enabled depolarisation and then used the RDR to revise the meaning of the word independent in a way that Stalin would have been proud of.

    There are so many disparate models in existence with some forms offering two or more differing options that chanting the ‘IFA is best’ mantra no longer carries any credence.

    This is a massive failure on the regulators part and runs counter to its aim of consumer enfranchisement.

    Nonetheless, it is what it is and until such a time as regulation eats itself or a more cerebral approach to regulation is forthcoming we must accept that any trade body worthy of the name must represent all aspects of the advice/sales universe.

  5. I disagree with Alan Lakey. Our clients know we are independent, not Restricted. We remind them of that fact also. Sure, the rules have blurred things a bit, but to tell your client you’re independent still resonates with them.

    I suspect Mr Lakey is trying to justify the actions of Agent Gay, who flew in from the Life Office cartel, killed off AIFA then swanned off to another cushy job within 12 months, his task completed.

    Most IFAs stayed independent post-RDR. APFA have done little or nothing for several years to help IFAs. They have become basically meaningless. If they admit SJP with its hidden commission structures, they will have disgraced themselves and will likely lose as many members as they gain from SJP>

  6. SJP is forever telling all its partners that everything between it and the FSA is hunky dory.

    So, on what points does it consider itself in need of representation from APFA? (Not that APFA’s representations are worth a light anyway, it’s just a talking shop for a bunch of dickless men in suits.)

  7. @IFA 11.14 am

    No, I don’t consider Stephen Gay’s tenure to have been notably succeesful. As a defender of the RDR he ensured that AIFA could not and would not challenge this disastrous set of rule changes.

    As for historically being ineffective, I would agree.

    I joined the APFA council with a view to changing that. If I can’t then I’ll be off because wasting my valuable time is not an option.

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