Chartered Insurance Institute  

CII boss stands down, saying 'more needs to be done' on PFS

 CII boss stands down, saying 'more needs to be done' on PFS
 Sian Fisher, CII's outgoing CEO

The Chartered Insurance Institute’s chief executive has announced she will step down next year, acknowledging "more needs to be done" to reassure members of the Personal Finance Society.

Sian Fisher’s six-month notice period begins today (October 1), meaning she will exit her post on March 31, 2022.

In a letter to members announcing her exit, Fisher said: "I fully acknowledge that more needs to be done to reassure our Personal Finance Society members and with the opportunities presented by our forthcoming member consultation, I hope we can encourage as much member engagement as possible and work together to resolve this important governance matter."

In June, the PFS board voted down a proposal to deregister it after it caused uproar among members.

But many remain concerned, with some chartered financial planners telling FTAdviser they wouldn't hold their breath yet that the PFS was in the clear.

The CII first proposed deregistering the PFS as a legal entity in 2016 and then again in 2019 with a view to making cost savings and reducing the tax bill.

Both times the proposals were rejected by the PFS board but Fisher told FTAdviser in June that back in 2019, it was agreed that it would be considered again following the formation and establishment of the structure of the CII’s Insurance Societies. 

The CII said Fisher’s decision to step down today “has been timed to cover the full period of the forthcoming membership consultation”, which launches this month and is set to conclude in the first quarter of 2022.

Fisher’s successor will then take forward the board’s refreshed strategy, including a new five-year plan.

“I have every confidence that, following all the work we have done together, the next phase of development for the CII, under the next CEO, will be able to focus on enhancing professionalism for our sector, providing a vital contribution to society and fulfilling our strap-line of ‘Standards. Professionalism. Trust.’”

The outgoing chief executive, who took on the role in March 2016, would have stood down at the end of 2020 when her five-year term expired. But the ongoing impact of the pandemic, paired with the arrival of a new CII chair in July last year, meant Fisher extended her tenure.

In her exit letter, Fisher highlighted several “important advances” at the CII during her tenure.

This included the Institute’s modification of its bylaws, which Fisher said has “paved the way for modern contemporary governance of the organisation with a truly professional and diverse board and chair and committee structure, achieving the full support and buy-in of our valued volunteer members and affiliated institutes”.

She also drew members’ attention to the body’s IT transformation, freeing it from relying on its own servers and “high-cost IT resource”, as well as replacing all its ;end of life’ platforms for exams, learning, membership, events and customer service.

Fisher concluded her career highlights with the launch of Insuring Women’s Futures, a market initiative established by the CII to promote and enhance the profession’s role in relation to women and risk.