Merger conjecture back on around FPA and AFA

28 May 2020

The announcement of a significant restructure within the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and consequent job losses has reawakened calls for a merger between the FPA and the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA).

In the wake of the calling of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry both the AFA and the FPA have been working more closely together on generating a single voice policy approach but, as yet, there has been no move towards formal merger talks.

However, this has not stopped discussion of the issue, with former FPA chairman and chief executive of financial planning group, CountPlus, Matthew Rowe suggesting that a merger might be in the ultimate best interests of the industry.

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“It is great to see the FPA and AFA beginning to work closely together on some key issues. I think the forecast drop in financial adviser numbers to circa 15,000 will mean it is only a matter of time before we have a single Association representing our professional community,” he said.

AFA chief executive, Phil Kewin acknowledged the degree to which both the FPA and the AFA had been working more closely together and their shared challenges in terms of decreasing adviser numbers which would inevitably impact on membership of the two organisations.

However, he made clear that there had been no formal discussion around mergers – something which would need to happen at board level.

Recent data published by Money Management has confirmed the high level of adviser exits from the industry in the face of the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) regime and other factors, with some calculations suggesting it might take the industry up to a decade to grow adviser numbers back to pre-2018 levels.

Importantly, the FPA’s announcement around a significant restructure coincides with the organisation’s member renewal cycle, albeit that it is understood that planning around the changes began late last year.

There have been a number of informal discussions around the possibility of a merger between the FPA and the AFA over the past two decades, but little has developed with some suggesting this reflected the different nature of the membership of both organisations with the AFA being more representative of life/risk advisers.




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Considering their cooperation with Kelly O'Dwyer and the FSC over LIF/FASEA they might as well go one step further and both merge with the FSC....or appoint a former Adviser as CEO...you cannot have former Insto Executives operating Adviser focused organisations.

that's what i suggested when i resigned from my AFA membership

Overdue I would say.

wasteful organizations they will want to avoid a merger so they can continue paying themselves exorbitant salaries.

Funny how Matthew Rowe didn’t share this view when he was Chair of the FPA. I don’t recall him fostering relations between the FPA & AFA at the time of his “leadership”. Indeed there was a degree of hubris & arrogance that the FPA was the only real association that represented “professional” advisers. Now we also see the FASEA mess that he was complicit in creating when he was on the Board.

I doubt there will be a merger and hope not.
The FPA operated just fine when it had 5,000 members.
It grew a lot over the last 10 years but as the number of Advisers decreases, and the profession is established, it can operate very well at a small size.
Most CFP like me will stay as members. Sure there will be lots of critics but most of the criticism is unrealistic, over the top and unwarranted from people who just seem so angry at all the changes the FPA could not defend them from.

Unless the FPA has success in a major overhaul of Intrafund"advice" system, where up to a 1000 advisers can be paid salaries AND BONUSES without having to contend with unnecessary opt in compliance requirements, and the other group of advisers are banned from receiving BONUSES, buried with ridiculous opt in compliance requirements, their membership will continue to bleed to organisations that will level the playing field for this industrial relations inequity.

A merger is in the interests of members, however it won't happen due to self interest. Dante isn't going to give up his $400,000 salary for the benefit of his members. Isn't that a conflict of interests? Shouldn't this standard apply to the industry bodies like the FPA and AFA as well or only the members they sold down the road over the years.

that's right merge won't happen. associations are a law unto themselves. very few, if any, have a reason to exist today.

as an example, look at the major accounting bodies, there are 3 major ones and quite a few smaller ones each one virtually indistinguishable from each other as the qualifying programs are identical.

members of these associations give their associations very low satisfaction ratings, yet they continue unabated and do very very little for members

With old life agents leaving the industry in droves, I doubt the AFA could survive for too much longer.

Interesting comment Anonymous.0
These so called " old life agents" were and are deeply connected with many of their clients over many years.
The insurance protection they placed on individuals, families and businesses over many years have been the financial saviour needed when unexpected and unforseen circumstances would have normally destroyed values and placed people in financial distress.
Many of these " old life agents" knew their clients on an intimate and highly personal level.
They knew how their clients thought, their fears and concerns, their favourite hobby and pursuit, their family history and what was important to them.
These things are not a product of an over regulated and highly duplicated compliance regime.
These things are because the really good " old life agents " were and are experts in personal relations.
On many forums the reference to " old life agents " is a derogatory one as inferring that somehow they should be forgotten and put to rest.
My father was " an old life agent " for 30 years.
I can tell you now, the level of trust and respect that he had for his clients and from his clients is still very present.
So, for all those " old life agents " who protected people's livelihoods, families and businesses through the placement of quality insurance product and strategy, you should be congratulated for being the foundation of the financial planning industry because without the financial safety net in place, the rest of the plan is swinging in the breeze.
It's all very well to talk about accumulation, investment, retirement and long term goals, but if you don't make it in one piece, the plan becomes short term.

When I started in the industry nearly 30 years ago as a life agent, one of the then "old life agents" said to me, remember, the only person who gets a smile at a funeral is the person who sold the life policy!!!!!

The mistress gets an gives a smile at a funeral as well.

I'm not knocking old life agents Agent 86, just stating a fact that they are leaving the industry in droves which will certainly not be good for the AFA.

A couple of questions. Which of the incumbent CEO's is going to give up his cosy job, paid salary and incentive BONUS SCHEME in favour of the other? If one decides to go what will the payout be and who will pay for it? I cant see a newly formed Association paying out over $850,00,000 in Executive fees in its first year. Let's not forget the $10m sitting in FPA coffers.

why does a not for profit, member services organization have a bonus scheme?

Why don't you call them and ask them? I'm sure both would like to openly discuss their Member funded remuneration packages with you.

i already resigned.

You idiots. This is NOT about less Financial Planners in the industry. It's all about large institutions (banks) who have moved out of the Wealth Industry. The Banks made it compulsory to join the FPA. They then pay their employees membership fees. One nice lump sum payment and a list of names to the FPA. Apparentyly Dante de Useless is learning Japanese. Union Super Funds providing advice can't come quick enough to fill the gap.

FINSIA, Stockbrokers and Financial Advisers Association, SMSF Associations = Memberships fees $550 and you get TPB registration. Join the FPA and for $1,100 you'll be contributing to continued Government Regulation. Send the buggars broke I say. Just how is that 10 points out of 100 possible points for CPD and CFP going for you? What about the next blunders, Bachelor of Financial Planning for everyone. Don't get me started on the RC.

They’ll both be redundant in a few years. Get your quals up to a level where it’s just you and the TPB and there will zero need to pay for these till fiddling cash harvesters. They’ve done sod all for our industry so far except create their own education tranches to generate revenue. We might as well stick it to them fully and start an advocacy group once we are all directly registered... ChoiceFP springs to mind!

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