Apfa and WMA members give merger green light

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Apfa director general Chris Hannant

Apfa will merge with the Wealth Management Association after members of both trade bodies voted overwhelmingly in favour of combining forces.

The merger was first proposed on 8 May, and put to Apfa members two weeks later, who voted unanimously for the plans.

The vote went to the WMA’s members today at an extraordinary general meeting in London.

In a statement, the WMA said members had approved the merger, but did not provide the margin by which it was voted through.

The new body will be called the Personal Investment Management and Financial Advice Association, led by WMA chief Liz Field, and will go live tomorrow.

The statement reads: “PIMFA members will provide a range of financial solutions for individuals and families, charities and pension funds, including investment advice and portfolio management, as well as investment and execution services, financial planning and advice.

“Whatever the goals of individuals, whether it be saving for a mortgage deposit and expenses for children, longer-term financial planning for tax-efficient investing, DIY investing, and the preservation and creation of financial security for individuals and their families, PIMFA firms provide the responsible stewardship and personal advice required.”

The WMA, whose membership comprises around 180 wealth management firms and associates, had to delay its EGM in order to incorporate changing the name of the new body.

The merger comes as a response both to the need for increased bargaining power through a larger lobbying body, but also the blurring distinctions that some perceive between advisers and asset managers.

Apfa director general Chris Hannant says: “Through PIMFA, the combined experience of the WMA and APFA will create a stronger, united voice that will provide a more effective voice for the membership to deliver change.”