IFA Centre is to cease operating as a trade body after failing to secure enough members.
Managing director Gill Cardy says the organisation’s membership of 238 individuals across 102 firms means it lacks the necessary funding to continue to act as a trade association representing advisers’ interests.
She says: “After over two years of personal and financial commitment IFA Centre’s membership does not provide the financial resources for my full-time commitment to protecting advisers’ interests, let alone the resources to provide research, policy development and a member events programme.
“Worse, irrespective of our funding, with so few firms prepared to stand together to improve how our businesses are regulated, I simply do not have enough members to provide the decisive mandate needed to provide the representation that independent advisers so badly need.”
Cardy adds : “IFA Centre was only launched because so many IFAs were unhappy with existing representation and told me how important trade bodies with knowledgeable, experienced and passionate leadership are. However, many of these advisers have not joined and I am forced to review what services IFA Centre can continue to provide to IFAs.”
IFA Centre will continue to operate as a not-for-profit organisation, but will offer resources and events for members rather than adviser representation. Any members who choose to cancel their membership will have any overpaid subscriptions refunded.
Cardy is to join IFA network ValidPath as network development director.
In July, Money Marketing revealed that IFA Centre needed to reach 500 individual members before the end of the year to avoid being shut down.
Former Professional Partnerships principal Cardy set up IFA Centre in September 2011 as a trade body purely for independent advisers in an effort to rival Aifa, as it was then known.
In November 2012, Aifa formally rebranded as the Association of Professional Financial Advisers and began accepting restricted advisers as members. Cardy argued there was a need for a body to solely represent IFAs’ interests post-RDR but concerns were raised about funding the new group.