Pimfa: ‘Diversity remains a key issue for member firms'

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Pimfa: ‘Diversity remains a key issue for member firms'
Liz Field, chief executive at Pimfa
BySonia Rach

A primary focus for Pimfa and its members is around diversity and inclusion, according to chief executive Liz Field.

Speaking to FTAdviser, Field said it was important to take a moment to reflect on the progress made in the face of challenging times as we approach the end of a “turbulent 2022”.

“We started our year in the thick of Covid variants followed swiftly by the start of the Ukraine war,” she said. “Both have been rightly the subject of significant political focus. 

“The economic crime bill was rushed through, with a second coming later in the year and sanctions against Russia took centre stage. We were, of course, discussing the challenges advisers faced in this regard and subsequently providing guidance to firms.”

The cost of living crisis emerged thereafter, particularly with the impact of the war on energy bills and the food supply chain.

“Clients remain reliant on advisers to help navigate this turbulent period and series of choices they need to make,” she said. 

“The pandemic also taught us all that we can work differently through the use of technology and we have seen a marked acceleration of this. 

“Clients also want greater access to markets and more flexibility and this will require new tools to service this.”

This led Pimfa to launch the WealthTech platform, which Field said “acts as primary source for market intelligence on the latest technologies and trends” impacting the industry.

However, she noted: “One of the key issues for member firms remains diversity and inclusion and it is a major priority for Pimfa. 

“In October Pimfa held our second annual diversity and inclusion awards, which attracted a huge number of superb entries highlighting D&I initiatives that demonstrated the excellence and best practice currently at work within our industry.”

This month, Pimfa also launched a campaign to encourage more people from diverse backgrounds into the wealth management and financial advice sectors.

The trade association’s ‘make it’ campaign was launched to “dispel negative perceptions around the industry”, which Pimfa said can have a significant impact on the ability of firms to attract the most talented candidates.

Pimfa has described the campaign as a “bold call to action for new talent from all kinds of backgrounds, to come in and shape old traditions into something better”.

Field added: “We will be launching further initiatives in this space in the year to come so watch this space.”

Another of Pimfa’s leading priorities this year has been access to advice which led it to propose a simplified advice model mid-year in its policy paper: “Up on the Ladder”, Field said.