Trade Bodies  

Apfa council reveals why they back the merger

Apfa council reveals why they back the merger

Three council members of the Association of Professional Financial Advisers have explained why they are backing the trade body’s merger with the Wealth Management Association.

The two bodies announced yesterday (8 May) that they would merge, creating the Investment Management & Financial Advice Association (Imfa).

The boards of both organisations have approved the merger and it now rests with their members to do the same before it goes ahead at the beginning of next month.

Apfa members will vote on 23 May while WMA members get to have their say on 24 May.

Martin Greenwood, chief executive of Tenet and an Apfa council member, said the merger represented “excellent news” for both trade bodies.

He said: “The regulator and the government sometimes complain that they receive too many messages from too many lobbying bodies.

“This will enable a coherent message to be delivered and working on a combined basis will make the new organisation much more influential.”

He added the new body would be “very attractive” to those who were not currently members of Apfa, saying it would meet advisers’ expectations of robust representation.

Of the current members of the Apfa council, Mr Greenwood 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 Chris Hannant, director general of Apfa, 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 the new trade body’s financial advice sub-committee.

Mr Bottriell said: “I am going to move forward the adviser agenda and make sure that our representation doesn’t get forgotten about.

“From the WMA’s point of view they were attracted to the fact we were representative of the financial adviser industry.

“We would like to do more for the members. There are going to be savings in sharing offices and administrative staff and we will be able to do much more with the same level of income.”

Neil Liversidge, managing director of West Riding Personal Financial Solutions and Apfa council member, also said he was supportive of the merger.

He said: “I have been involved in membership organisations for 36 years and it is pretty much the same old story where you have got people who contribute and people who don’t.

“If you go on the forums you find any number of people moaning about what the regulator is doing and it would be an interesting exercise to find out whether the people are members of Apfa.

“Instead of whining people need to put their hands into their pockets and pay for strong representation.”

None of the three Apfa council members FTAdviser spoke to said the trade body’s financial situation was related to the proposed merger.