IFP to merge with the CISI

The Institute of Financial Planning is to merge with the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment in a bid to widen the CISI’s qualification offering and expand the reach of financial planning.

Under the merger terms, the IFP president would sit on the main CISI board to ensure representation at senior level. The IFP would also have its own professional interest board as part of the CISI.

All IFP staff will be offered a role as part of the new enlarged structure.

IFP members were notified of the proposed merger this morning and are being consulted on the move over the next four weeks.

The IFP will hold its board meeting in September following the member consultation, and the merger is expect to complete by 1 November subject to member approval.

IFP president Becky Taylor says: “Every year we have a strategy review, and the question has always been ‘how do we grow?’

“The IFP has always punched above its weight relative to its size, but we need to get to critical mass to take it further.

“The CISI has got the resources and the contacts, and through this merger we get a lot of growth potential. It is definitely a complementary partnership.”

CISI chief executive Simon Culhane says: “The CISI has been looking for a number to widen its target market. Members have been giving a greater focus on financial planning, particularly in light of the pension freedom reforms.

“We have been wanting to add high quality qualifications to our proposition to augment what we already have. The IFP’s CFP qualification is a very attractive part of the proposed merger. We will become the UK delivery partner for the CFP qualification, which fits in well with out aims for global reach.”

The CISI is in the process of developing a level four advice qualification, which will sit alongside the IFP’s well-established certified financial planner status.

It is thought the IFP brand will be retained in the medium term.

Culhane adds: “The plan is to integrate the two organisations. This is not just about picking the IFP and ringfencing it. This is about integrating the best bits of each body so that everyone can benefit.”