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IFP members resign after Cisi merger

IFP members resign after Cisi merger

The Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments (Cisi) has admitted 12 Institute of Financial Planning members resigned following the two organisations merger.

The merger, completed late last year, brought about widespread criticism from members, who launched a ‘save our IFP’ campaign.

A spokeswoman from Cisi said the body was concerned by members being unhappy about the merger but added her organisation needs to be “realistic” about it.

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“There will always be some people who don’t like change and there are some who were not happy while they were members of the IFP, mainly due to the difficulties with the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) process and the low pass rate,” she said.

“One of the changes Cisi is making will enable more people to pass the CFP exam and case study.”

Of the 2,173 IFP members listed on 30 October last year, 12 resigned and 106 were already members of Cisi.

The rest have transferred their membership across to Cisi.

The decision on the merger was taken by the IFP’s board following a consultation with members on August.

During the consultation, more than 80 per cent of IFP members responded in favour.

Although there was no official vote, all members were given multiple routes to give their opinion on the merger, which were recorded as positive, neutral or negative, the Cisi spokeswoman said.

“This gave everyone the opportunity to say what they would like to see as a merged organisation, as well as any comments on what they didn’t like about the proposal.”

She also said Cisi has received a number of encouraging emails and feedback from IFP heritage members who have been “pleasantly surprised” at the greater choice of resources available to them.

“We are proactively working with our Financial Planning members and encouraging them to get involved.

“The forum is already making good progress and will be holding a launch event which we hope will attract many members where they will be able to see the commitment we have for the future of Financial Planning.”

In September last year, the IFP’s interim chief executive Stephen Gazzard stepped down from his role as the merger was approved.

Eugénie Cameron, chartered financial planner at Cameron and Company Financial Planning, said: “I believe it is too early to tell the true effects of the merger of the two organisations. It will be at renewal time when members may decide not to renew.

“For me, I am one of the fortunate ones that has not lost our local branch. I expect in the regions where the IFP branch remains, there may not be much change.

“That said, I can’t help feeling it is a shame to lose our only true financial planning-focused organisation,” she said.

“The real effects of the merger will come out in the wash over the next few years. We will then see the true compatibility of the two organisations.”