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Who should replace Chris Cummings?

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.


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There are 18 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. My vote (if AIFA members have one) will go to Ivan Martin, which would represent both an internal appointment, whilst also ensuring that the IFA community would be looked after due to his role of the head of Sesame/Bankhall.

    Come on Ivan – throw your hat into the ring.

    Kind regards


  2. John Blackmore 16th June 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Hector Sants would get my vote if I were a member of AIFA – perhaps that way he would occasionally listen to the voice of the IFA ?

  3. Philip Whitworth 16th June 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Chris Cummins? Is he the New Zealand coach?

  4. Bureaucracy Rules? 16th June 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Oh, the bliss of bureaucracy and apparently doing deals ‘behind closed doors’. I might suggest the following could strike a cord with many?

    NOT TO DO.

  5. You must b joking 16th June 2010 at 3:03 pm

    My vote would have to go for “Larry the Lamb”

    Like Chris, Larry has never, as far as I am aware, been an IFA.

    The FSA are equally as unlikely to listen to Larry.

    There, we retain the status quo!

  6. Richard Dasterdlay 16th June 2010 at 3:09 pm

    How about John Goings…..then people can say we have seen some Cummings and Goings at the AIFA

  7. My vote goes to Michael MacIntryre.

    The whole thing is a not very funny joke now.

  8. Harry Katz is an absolute no-brainer for this job. I would even be happy to pay for the privilege.

  9. Sorry but I feel Harry Katz is too pro the dumb RDR. Alan Lakey talks far more sense.

  10. Someone with honour and esteem? A rare combination of qualities in this industry.

    Will there be an AIFA in 2013?

  11. Kermit the frog would be a step up in terms of effectiveness and leadership.

  12. Could I nominate myself? I need a cushy number with a high guaranteed salary and a much need boost to my pension fund. Paid holidays sick pay car allowance, lunch allowance – I can start straigt away but need two weeks off in July I will accept just the basic pay for that period.

  13. Nice to see that a few still have a sense of humour.

    Chris has done an excellent job for IFAs as those of you who have bothered to get involved with AIFA will know.

    Hopefully AIFAs RDR compliant level 5 qualification will be a lasting legacy of Chris’s work.

  14. Robert Donaldson 17th June 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Sorry Tom you can’t have the job because you can’t spell ‘straight’. Having said that failure at most things in our industry seems to get you a job.

  15. Gareth Fatchett 17th June 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Somebody with a bit of backbone please.

    Not a time for someone who believes the FSA (or what remains of it) like IFA’s.

  16. Straight straight straight straight straight. Now can I have the job

  17. John McFall, the ex Labour MP.

    He has backbone and is not afraid to take on the powers that be!

  18. Exasperated me 18th June 2010 at 3:09 pm

    PensionMan, you should stop smoking that stuff. Joh McFall hates IFAs with a vengeance.

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