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By Marc Shoffman | Published Apr 26, 2012

Headless Aifa ‘lacks vigour’

Mr Heath, founder of predecessor organisation IFA Association, said it was hard for Aifa to show leadership when it was yet to appoint a successor to Stephen Gay, who stepped down in February.

Mr Heath said: “It is a strange situation. Aifa does have Chris Hannant in place on the policy side. Aifa must communicate with its members on where everything is going. We are now seeing the FSA beginning to doubt whether everyone can make the RDR deadline. One would have thought you needed to push on that and try and get a wider consensus.

“It is hard for this to happen with nobody at the top.

“I spent a long time getting a trade association brand working and growing it. I do not want to see it thrown away.”

An Aifa spokesman declined to comment when asked if any candidates were being interviewed, what was the deadline for an appointment and if the role would be filled.

But in a statement, the trade body said: “The Aifa council is still considering its options in terms of a replacement or what the role will involve.”

Mr Gay resigned in January after little more than a year at the helm to join the Association of British Insurers as director of life, savings and protection.

He left amid a strategic review that would see Aifa become a three-part collegiate structure, representing IFAs, restricted advisers and mortgage intermediaries.

In addition Ami announced in February that it would become an independent body led by Robert Sinclair. Mr Sinclair said Ami would work on raising its own profile with regulators and look to work more in the areas of protection and technology.

When asked to comment at the time on industry speculation as to whether the director general role would be replaced, Gary Bottriell, managing partner of Dorset-based Bottriell Adams and deputy chairman of Aifa, said: “We have not advertised the post.

“We need to define the role first. We want to look at the overall structure and we will then be able to define or advertise the role.”

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