Today (7 September) the board of the Institute of Financial Planning has announced it has voted to proceed to the next stage of discussions on the proposal to merge with the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment.
Over the last month, the consultation process gathered feedback and input from across the membership through webinars, phone calls, emails and face to face meetings.
The board said it believes that the merger with Cisi would assist in accelerating delivery of the IFP’s core strategic objective of helping to grow the Financial Planning profession for the benefit of UK consumers while improving the service and support that we can deliver for members.
Rebecca Taylor, president of the IFP, said: “The board has greatly appreciated the honest discourse we have received from members.
“While positive overall, important concerns have been raised, to which we will give full and detailed attention, following on from the thorough discussions of all key issues which took place at the IFP board meeting on 4 September 2015.
“Now we start the difficult job of ensuring that all the important issues raised as part of the consultation process are covered off as we work with Cisi to proceed to the contractual stage.
“Over the next few weeks we will be working closely with Cisi to work through those issues and ensure that processes are in place for a smooth and effective transition.
“We are working towards a target of completion by the end of quarter four but will provide a further update on our progress in a few weeks time.
“On behalf of the whole IFP board, I wish to express our thanks to all those members who took the time to engage with us during the consultation process.
“We also wish to extend our thanks to the IFP team in Bristol for their incredible efforts in assisting with the consultation process in a highly professional manner and in the face of what has been an uncertain future.
“We understand that this merger would represent a significant change for the IFP and our profession but we believe that it represents the best way of ensuring the strongest future for Financial Planning that we all care so passionately about. In the interim, it’s business as usual at IFP as we prepare for our biggest ever conference in October, and continue to develop Financial Planning for the benefit of consumers in the UK.”
Last month the Institute of Financial Planning hit back at claims from members that a merger with the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment will damage the IFP’s brand.
Questions have been raised by members about why the consultation on merging the two organisations was launched during the summer holidays when many advisers would be away and is only four weeks long.
Members were told about the potential merger on 7 August, with views sought by 3 September.
Steve Gazzard, IFP’s chief executive, told FTAdviser that members slamming a merger with Cisi are wrong to think the deal would amount to a takeover of his organisation and revealed why they have only been given four weeks to comment.