Stephen Gay quits Aifa for ABI


Aifa director general Stephen Gay is to leave the trade body to take up the role of director of life, savings and protection at the Association of British Insurers.

Gay (pictured), who also held the role of director general of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, joined Aifa in December 2010.

He joined from Aviva where he was director of distribution development and replaced Chris Cummings.

During his time at Aifa’s helm Gay has overseen a strategic review of the organisation which opened the trade body’s membership to restricted advisers.

Gay’s leaving date, and when he will join the ABI, is yet to be decided.

Aifa chairman the Rt. Hon.John Gummer, Lord Deben, says: “During a difficult economic year for members, Aifa and Ami have continued to provide a strong and essential voice for their professions. Aifa has reduced its costs, while increasing revenues, and has improving operations and governance. Aifa is now in a better position to provide the single, strong and united voice that is able to exert greater influence on regulators and policy makers in the UK and Europe.

“Stephen’s leadership has been crucial to Aifa’s improvement over the past year I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his valuable contribution to our work and the development of the intermediary profession.”

Gay said: “I am proud of the work that Aifa and Ami do for their members and what we have achieved during the past year. I am also extremely grateful for the support shown by our council and boards, and the dedication of all the staff at the organisation during what has been a difficult year for advisers. I have no doubt that Aifa will continue to offer the profession an effective voice that is both listened to and respected by regulators and policy makers now and into the future.”

Aifa announced the appointment of a new policy director earlier this week. Chris Hannant joined from the British Chambers of Commerce and has also held roles at the EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, and the ABI.

Former Aifa policy director Andrew Strange says it is critical Gay’s successor has a good grounding in policy to be able to tackle the significant regulatory challenges in the UK and Europe.

Strange says: “At such a crucial time in both the UK and Europe, including the creation of the Financial Conduct Authority and the implementation of RDR, and the significant legislative agenda stemming from Europe, it will be critical for Aifa to secure an experienced policy professional, with extensive IFA experience, who can really hit the ground running.”

On Gay’s appointment to the ABI, ABI director general Otto Thoresen says: “We are delighted that someone of Stephen’s undoubted calibre will be joining us to drive forward the ABI’s work on pensions, saving and protection.

“This is an absolutely crucial time for the industry and we have a unique opportunity to change the UK’s low saving habit through the introduction of automatic enrolment. If we get this right we could change the way people save and protect their futures for good and I know Stephen is absolutely focused on helping the industry rise to this challenge.”