FPA/AFA merger represents fundamental shift: Sharpe

FPA David Sharpe AFA merger marisa broome

13 February 2023
| By Laura Dew |
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A merger between the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) and Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) would be a “fundamental shift” for the financial advice industry, according to FPA chair David Sharpe.

Sharpe, who would be chair of the proposed combined organisation, said the potential merger had been a long time coming as the two associations were already working together.

Even if the merger failed to conclude, the two associations were still running a national joint roadshow in May.

Speaking to Money Management, Sharpe said: “One person asked me why it took so long and my answer to that is that we can’t change the past. It is happening now, now is the time and everyone is on board, we have had positive feedback.

“We have been working closely together on matters such as the Quality of Advice Review, the Joint Action Working Group and the Life Insurance Framework and it has got to a point where we are working well, we don’t have major fundamental differences and we can work better as one than two.

“The merger will be a fundamental shift, it is not just ticking off a governance change.”

It has already been announced the combined body would be called the Financial Advice Association of Australia (FAA) and would focus on advocacy, education, professional standards, community, events and member support services.

“We want to be bold and effective,” he said. “Advocacy is the number one for our members and we can do that better as one organisations. There will still be fringe groups but we would have the dominant voice.”

The vote would take place on 28 February, although members could vote now by proxy, and Sharpe expected to have the legal changes completed by 3 April and implemented by 30 June in time for the new financial year.

Sharpe took over the chair role from Marisa Broome last April and said it had been a significant workload for him over the past year, combining with running his own financial planning business Globe Financial Planning.

“It went into [the role] with my eyes open as the QOA and the merger discussions were both already underway so it has been a significant workload and there have been sacrifices from other parts of my life. Now we are waiting for the vote and then it will be another massive workload to unite the two organisations. But I love to get involved and financial planners are my tribe.”

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