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Apfa members unanimously vote for merger

Apfa members unanimously vote for merger

Members of the Association of Professional Financial Advisers have unanimously supported plans for its merger with the Wealth Management Association.

Earlier this month the two bodies announced that they would merge, creating the Investment Management & Financial Advice Association (Imfa).

At an extraordinary general meeting in London this morning Apfa members voted in favour of creating the new trade body.

The WMA’s members will vote on whether it wants to go ahead with the merger at a meeting next week.

Should they approve it, the merger will take effect on Thursday 1 June.

Chris Hannant, director general of Apfa, said the meeting was private so he could not go into the issues discussed but he said he had the impression there was support for the merger.

He said: "The WMA meeting is next week and while this is a step forward, it is not the end of the road."

Of the current members of the Apfa council, Martin Greenwood of Tenet will become a director of Imfa while Lord Deben, the current chairman of Apfa, will become chairman of the new trade body.

Liz Field, chief executive of the WMA, will become chief executive of Imfa, and Mr Hannant will stay on for a transitional period as a “strategic adviser”.

Gary Bottriell, another member of Apfa’s council and managing partner of Bottriell Adams LLP, will become a chairman of Imfa’s financial advice sub-committee.

The merger follows a familiar pattern for trade bodies in the financial services industry.

In 2015 the Institute of Financial Planning merged with the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment.

Meanwhile earlier this year the Council of Mortgage Lenders, together with five other trade bodies, agreed to merge into a new organisation called UK Finance.

APFA was founded in 1999, and was originally called the Association of Independent Financial Advisers.

It rebranded in 2012 after the regulator introduced changes to the definition of independent and restricted advice.

The WMA was set up in 1990 and was initially called Association of Private Client Investment Managers & Stockbrokers before rebranding in 2013.

damian.fantato@ft.com

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