What you’ll get from the new Apfa

Liz Field, who will head up the replacement for the Association of Professional Financial Advisers, has revealed what intermediaries can expect from her.

On Monday (8 May) Apfa and Wealth Management Association members were asked to give the go-ahead to a merger of the two trade bodies to form the Investment Management and Financial Advice Association.

Speaking to FTAdviser, Ms Field – who is currently chief executive of the Wealth Management Association – said she would be clear in what the new trade body had achieved and what members could expect in the next 12 months.

Ms Field said every year she produces a dear CEO letter for WMA members along with their annual invoice and on this she itemises all the things that have been achieved for firms in the last year.

Apfa members, if they vote to merge with the WMA on 23 May, will now also get this itemised statement moving forward.

Ms Field said she would also spell out when requesting membership fees for the year ahead what the focus of the trade body would be for the next 12 months.

When quizzed on what victories she has achieved as head of the Wealth Management Association, Ms Field said she had been extremely active in Europe and there had been “notable wins”.

She pointed to key information documents, and the fact at one point the European Union had been pushing for this piece of paperwork to be made available to everybody before a trade could be executed.

Ms Field said: “That (requirement) would have completely killed the execution-only space, which is a huge piece of business for the financial services sector and for individuals to be able to access their stocks and investments.

“Getting that requirement changed was a key achievement over the last few years.”

On how to change watchdog’s minds, Ms Field said: “At European level and within the main regulator we are the only one among 14 trade associations that talk about the private investor. That gives us a slightly different voice.

“When the Brexit vote came through we were contributing to the financial services asks. 

“You have the large funds, the large banks talking about impact on GDP, etc. What the MPs want to hear is the ordinary people’s stories. That is where we come to the fore.

“The combined membership of WMA and Apfa will be able to provide real value. It is about ordinary people and ordinary voters.”

When asked would she go out and meet financial advisers, as Apfa’s director general Chris Hannant has done, Ms Field said she lives in Derbyshire so can travel around from the centre of the country.

She said: “You won’t find me at my desk 24/7 in London.”

In terms of her knowledge of financial advisers and how they work, Ms Field said her background before the WMA was she worked for the Financial & Legal Skills Partnership.