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‘Robust debate’ expected at PFS national conference

Lynda Blackwell, the brains behind the FCA’s mortgage market review, and pensions minister Steve Webb, are scheduled to attend the Personal Finance Society’s national conference.

The 2014 national conference for financial planning and mortgage advice will be held on 6 November in Birmingham, and is set to kick off with a discussion between PFS president David Thomas and PFS chief executive Keith Richards on their plans for next year.

As well as a talk from Mr Webb, there will be keynote speeches from journalist Paul Lewis and Stephanie Flanders, chief market strategist for JP Morgan.

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According to a spokesman for the PFS, there will be a range of specialist classes, with a choice of eight topical discussions, including a talk by Ms Blackwell on the implementation of the MMR.

There will also be a session on retirement solutions, with Steven Andrew from Jupiter and Katherine Dryer from M&G, as well as a panel of advisers exploring the challenge of underpinning robust profitability and sustainable growth within regulated advice firms.

The next set of classes will include sessions on tax changes, equity release and gold and asset allocation.

After lunch, there will be key discussions on retirement advice and the great protection debate before more breakaway sessions. Subjects include advice surrounding the care Act, the topical issue of the housing market, the big technology debate and compliance.

This year’s conference is being condensed into one day, as the organisers said that two full days plus travel, would be “too significant a commitment of time”.

Members can benefit from 20 continuing professional development sessions, insight and business-relevant ideas.

The organisers said: “This is the one event where professional financial planners and mortgage brokers can come together to debate the salient and important issues impacting the future of their profession.”

Mark Hassell, director of Cambridgeshire-based Moneyology, said: “The conference is a great opportunity to catch up with other professionals and enjoy robust debate.”

Adviser view

Aj Somal, financial adviser at West Midlands-based Aurora Financial Planning, said: “It is the biggest industry event of the year. I have been going for the past five years. It is not just the specialised seminars and CPD that is useful, but more importantly, it is great for networking, building up contacts and sharing ideas.”