So, after five years at the helm Chris Cummings has quit Aifa for pastures new.
For what it is worth, I think Chris has done a very good job since taking on the role of director general with limited resources and a regulator who more often than not was in no mood to listen.
Many of Chris’s victories were behind closed-doors and it is sometimes hard to quantify the positive effect they have had on his membership.
His critics often attacked him for not being more aggressive but I am not sure if such a stance would have achieved anything more than his restrained diplomacy.
His departure leaves quite a hole in the trade body and it is far from obvious where his replacement will come from.
The internal favourite may well be AMI director Rob Sinclair who joined Aifa in October 2006 and before that worked for Abbey National. I would think that Rob will be applying. Another internal candidate could be policy director Andrew Strange, although he may not have the experience to contemplate the top job.
Former Aifa deputy director general Fay Goddard is very unlikely to be tempted away from her role as Personal Finance Society chief executive, a position she appears to be relishing. Former PFS chief executive Tim Eadon, currently chief executive of long-term care and equity-release specialist EquityCare, could be interested. How about another former PFS chief executive Mark Ommanney?
After David Severn’s brief stint as Aifa director general in 2005 could the Aifa board contemplate another former FSA staffer in the top job?
Should a practising IFA be considered for the role?
Could any chiefs of the various large IFA nationals and networks be tempted away from their huge salaries to take up Chris’s baton and promote the IFA cause?
Let me know what you think.