AFA board rejects EGM call

10 August 2016

The board of the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) has publicly rejected a call for an extraordinary general meeting of the organisation to pass a special resolution being pursued by the so-called Life Insurance Customer Group (LICG).

AFA president, Deborah Kent, warned that the resolution risked stifling the voice of the AFA in policy issues in circumstances where there was little scope for reversing a Life Insurance Framework (LIF) that was supported by both the Government and the Opposition.

"The proposed change would mean the AFA Board would not be able to form any policy position, or negotiate any policy position with Government, other associations or consumer interest groups, without calling a General Meeting and conducting a member vote," Kent said.

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"This is a critical time in the profession's development. AFA Members need representation at the decision maker's tables. This change to the constitution would reduce and possibly remove the AFA's relevance as a voice."

She said the call for the proposed constitutional change appeared to have been motivated by the adviser's perception that the AFA did not adequately consult members on the LIF — something which was wrong and misguided.

Kent outlined the consultative processes which had been followed by the AFA in terms of the LIF, adding that the proposed constitutional change would not reverse the LIF, which has the support of both the Government and the Opposition.

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It might stifle the voice of the AFA - thats not the point - you should represent the bulk of your membership - I cant recall (20+ years) with such a divisive issue - and there is no evidence of push back - rather lets jump on board and promote the concept. The AFA membership is not happy - more to the point they think the AFA board is lacking in cojones in addressing this.

This is exactly why I am not a member of the AFA and don't use their 'professional designation' of which I have completed the course... Absolute tripe.

This is a direct misrepresentation by the board and also the president and Brad Fox who should all resign for they have a ethical responsibility as members of the AFA and the board to have this issue resolved with a vote by the members, like they should have in the first place . I took this up with Brad Fox initially about no one being informed until after the event and he said Oh we told people about it a certain functions the AFA were having every other week, but not to the members directly. I think the corporations act is being breached here.

It would depend on what the Constitution says.

The AFA and the FPA are both way off charter, expensive conferences with no real benefit, confliction with sponsors, agreeing with the FSC , we know better as we are on the board dosent cut it in this world anymore, people want real consultation, not we mentioned it at a meeting or conference you must have missed it. I am in a country area I don't get to conferences I rely on what is told to me directly, no one has ever picked up the phone or sent me a survey asking what is important. If they did they would be lobbying to get opt in taken away for a start, but no just accept it, well the LICG isn't accepting these changes to risk and they are making inroads, there will be a lot of egg on people faces if they lobby to make any changes and are successful where the associations that are paid for by us members couldn't or didn't want to. Just like planning has changed others around us need to as well, dealerships, associations, you cant operate in the 1980's with the expensive conferences and so PD days and so forth that only benefit a few that can take time off work to do those sort of things. We want more bang for our bucks just like clients do

And this is where the FSC, ISA etc have advisers beat. They have a coordinated policy approach and no one steps out of line. We are our own worse enemy and ego is the best part of that. The FPA's 10 point plan makes no mention of product and advice separation, surely at the heart of transition to a profession, and here we have another dispute about, not advice, but about how we are remunerated - its little wonder the public take up of advice is so low.

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