The non-profit Initiative for Financial Wellbeing (IFW) has been awarded 'institute' status by the secretary of state for business Kwasi Kwarteng.
The term ‘institute’ is protected, government regulated and only given to organisations that carry out research at a specific standard.
In granting the IFW institute status, recognition was given to three sponsored white papers it has produced, as well as becoming a CPD accreditor and launching the ‘Financial Wellbeing Certificate’ programme.
The new status means that the “I” in the IFW name will change from “initiative” to “institute” in due course, with rebranding work currently underway, according to the organisation.
IFW chief executive Nick Marsh said the recognition sets the organisation up well for the next stage in its growth plan.
Marsh said: “Put simply, we want the IFW, with its new Institute status, to be the gold-standard benchmark for financial wellness in the profession. We want to attract more members who share our values and who serve similarly like-minded clients.”
Since its launch, the IFW has been supported by Aegon UK who became the founding partner member.
Marsh described Aegon’s engagement as pivotal to the organisation's ability to build its member base.
Aegon UK’s chief marketing officer, Andrew Manson said IFW’s recognition as an institute “demonstrates just how important financial wellbeing is and will continue to be”.
Founder and chair of the IFW, Chris Budd, said: “When I made the decision to set up the initiative, to reach this milestone in such a short period was a pipe dream. An institute has a purpose, they are permanent and do not end when one person is gone. The IFW is the sum of all of its parts, the members, the board and the operational team.”
IFW is also supported by Parmenion, whose chief marketing officer, Sarah Lyons said achieving institute status is a testament to the work done by Marsh and his team over the last three years.
The latest partner member to join IFW was Benchmark Capital.
Benchmark's managing director of wealth, Ed Dymott said: “For our advisers and firms, improving financial wellbeing is a core purpose of why we all exist. We are delighted to see the IFW has been awarded Institute status. We are seeing great value in engaging with some of the most forward-thinking financial planners in the UK, and are excited by the IFW’s future plans.”
The IFW is a non-profit membership-based organisation which launched in September 2019. It provides research, tools and knowledge focused on financial wellbeing.