Articles - AIFA's new vision for financial advisors

 The Association of Independent Financial Advisers (AIFA) has today announced its vision for the organisation's future following its strategic review.

 The review sets a direction for the organisation to champion the interests of professional financial advice firms in the UK and at the increasingly important European level.

 The organisation will adopt a structure to represent the best interests of financial advisers who are independent or are not restricted to recommending the products of a single product provider. There will be an elected Board that will govern the organisation. The structure will work on a college based system ensuring fair and balanced representation and policy formation for all sectors of the advice profession.

 The objective of the review is to build a better trade body, with greater capability, and more research to influence policy and regulation, and communicating with members in a more regular and engaging manner.

 Stephen Gay, Director General at AIFA, said:
 "In the 12 years since AIFA was formed it has built a solid reputation amongst policymakers for its depth of expertise and has provided a consistent and serious voice for the IFA community. We want to create an even better trade body that speaks more authoritatively for the advice profession, improves its influence on policy and regulatory discussions and is better able to inform, educate and consult with its members.

 "It's critical that we respond to the changing advice and regulatory landscape, and also to the needs and priorities of our members. The new structure will enable firms to continue to be eligible as members, despite the rule changes placed upon their businesses. We will represent all advisers that do not restrict themselves to a single product provider and who put the interests of their clients first."

 AIFA is evolving to meet the needs of its members and also reflect the new regulatory world where Europe is increasingly important. AIFA has been closely involved in European directives and initiatives to ensure the needs of UK advisers are listened to. But with dedicated European resources this will become a greater focus for its work.

 Stephen added:
 "The broadening of representation is also consistent with the direction of travel in Europe and reflects the balance we need to strike between the need for clear operational policy positions, and the requirement to be recognised as the voice of a broad community of interest. It also reflects our continuing commitment to the principle that professional advisers should act without conflict of interests and for the benefit of their clients.

 "In order to remain vital we must continue to develop a more attractive member proposition. This will include improving the output of member communications on policy matters, and further strengthening the base of evidence we work from through greater research. We will work hard, but the steps needed to reach our strategic vision are many and the project will take time to achieve."

 The strategic review has been carried out by the AIFA executive team, supported by the elected AIFA Council, the elected representatives of our members. The review took a consultative approach and carried out extensive online and face to face research with members and key stakeholders from across the industry.

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