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Apfa looks to merge with WMA

Apfa looks to merge with WMA

The Association of Professional Financial Advisers and the Wealth Management Association have agreed to merge.

The resulting organisation will be called the Investment Management and Financial Advice Association (Imfa) and will be led by Liz Field, currently chief executive of the WMA.

All members of the two associations will be asked to approve the merger and, if they do so, it will take effect on Thursday 1 June.

Chris Hannant, director general of Apfa, said: “The proposed new trade association will provide a stronger, united voice that can better lobby on behalf of the combined membership.”

Both trade associations’ boards have recommended the proposed merger and Imfa is expected to be financially positive on a standalone basis by the end of the first year.

The proposed merger reflects the current changing landscape, and comes at the same time as other trade association merger activity in the country’s financial services industry.

Ms Field said: “The resulting trade association will continue to lead the debate on policy and regulatory recommendations to ensure that the UK remains a global centre of excellence in the investment advice and financial management arena.”

The announcement comes after a number of trade body mergers in the financial services sector.

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