Apfa members vote ‘unanimously’ for WMA merger

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Apfa director general Chris Hannant

Apfa members have voted “unanimously” in favour to merge with the Wealth Management Association.

At an extraordinary general meeting held at Queen Anne’s Gate in London today, Apfa members agreed to the board’s proposal to form a new trade body combing advisers and investment professionals to be called the Personal Investment Management and Financial Advice Association.

The merger is still subject to approval from WMA members, however.

Speaking to Fund Strategy after the vote, Apfa director general Chris Hannant said the members had voted “unanimously” to merge.

He said: “You never want to take things for granted, but we did feel it would pass.”

The merger was first proposed on 8 May as both boards recommended the merger to members.

Apfa chairman Lord Deben told members in a letter that “a larger trade body will have more members and resources, so will be able to cover more issues and make a more effective case on your behalf.”

The WMA had to delay to their EGM until 31 May to reflect the addition of the word ‘personal’ into the merged trade body’s branding.

WMA deputy chief executive John Barrass tells Fund Strategy: “The EGM has to agree the name change. At the last minute it was decided that it would be better to have the word ‘personal’ in our new title to reflect more accurately the client base served, so that instead of IMFA the EGM will be asked to vote on PIMFA – the Personal Investment Management and Financial Advice association. To accommodate this alteration, we had to change the EGM timing.”

The WMA has around 180 wealth management firms and associate members on its books.

WMA chief executive Liz Field will lead the new body. Hannant, who has run Apfa since 2013, will step down after a “transition period”.

The completion date for the merger was set for 1 June.