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The final word on merger

There is just over a week to go until the big vote on the merger of the LIA and Sofa. The proposals have sparked fierce opposition from many well known and respected IFAs. Other senior figures in the industry have given the proposal their full support or qualified backing. We hope Money Marketing has allowed both sides to make their case.

So, how should those members on the ground vote? Well, MM cannot give the two boards perhaps more than five out of 10 for how this campaign has been run. Not enough consultation was done with the member-ship, including senior past members.

The CII should learn some humility. At least part of the blame for why just so many hackles have been raised at the LIA is because of its attitude.

But overall we feel that all those involved in advocating the merger have behaved honourably, even if they have made mistakes in presentation. This newspaper also has the greatest respect for those in the no camp such as Len Warwick and Gary Bottriell, who have worked on behalf of IFAs for years and their views bear listening to.

We must also offer one very significant piece of advice. The name does not appeal to the vast number of IFAs. A search for a new name should be put out to consultation as soon as possible and the name the Per-sonal Finance Society consigned to the bin.

But what would Money Marketing do if it had a vote? Most cards are stacked against advisers, including the likely shambles of depolarisation, and we feel that one united organisation best serves the broader cause of advice.

While we are unhappy with some details, we fear it may be the last best chance to create one merged entity. So Money Mark-eting would vote yes but it is not a member and the final decision lies with you, the advisers.


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