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Lakey insists one trade body is not enough

Fragmentation of the IFA industry is not necessarily a disastrous thing, Adviser Alliance leader Alan Lakey has told FTAdviser.

Because advisers differ so strongly in opinion and priorities, Mr Lakey questioned the ability of a single trade body to appeal to all of them.

In an interview with FTAdviser, Mr Lakey said: “If you consider the term adviser, which is used pretty much constantly, it doesn’t actually have any meaning.

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“It is like saying a dog: there are hundreds of breeds of adviser. All of them have different needs, requirements and viewpoints, so it isn’t surprising people see Aifa or Adviser Alliance in one light or another.

“If you look at the disparate nature of the financial advisory market there can’t be a one-size fits all. It isn’t really a good thing but it is here and likely to stay. I can’t see any mechanism where you can get all advisers to agree to any one concept.”

At present, Mr Lakey estimated that only one in three advisers belong to a trade body, but that more organisations with differing mission statements could encourage more IFAs to sign up to organisations like his.

Mr Lakey also wouldn’t rule out joining rival the Association of IFAs.

He said: “If I join Aifa, I might go along with two out of three matters but if it’s something of huge importance I would have to leave. I couldn’t be party to an organisation that so clearly goes against my beliefs.”

To read the full interview, click here.