Aifa members vote to accept restricted advisers

Chris Hannant 480

Aifa members have voted in favour of controversial plans to allow restricted advisers to join the IFA trade body and approved its rebrand to the Association of Professional Financial Advisers.

The move to accept restricted advisers and the subsequent rebrand was voted through at Aifa’s annual general meeting in London last night.

Adviser Alliance director and Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey has been elected to the Apfa council. Fundweb’s sister publication Money Marketing revealed last month that Lakey was standing for election.

Aifa announced plans to change its name in September following the proposal in July 2011 to open up membership to restricted advisers. Membership is not open to single-tied advisers.

The proposal followed a strategic review of the organisation, led by then director general Stephen Gay. Gay left Aifa in January to join the Association of British Insurers as director of life, savings and protection.

Some industry commentators have argued allowing restricted advisers was a pragmatic response to the FSA’s new RDR definition of independence, but others felt the organisation would be unable to represent such diverse industry interests.

Aifa made a pre-tax loss of £153,665 in the year to 30 June, compared to a £194,419 loss the previous year. Policy director Chris Hannant has said the lack of a director general represents a “significant cost saving” to the trade body, though the appointment of a director general will be kept under review.