Policy and advocacy head departs FPA

FPA AFA Ben Marshan phil anderson

8 March 2023
| By Laura Dew |
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Benjamin Marshan, general manager for policy and advocacy at the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA), is to leave after seven years ahead of its merger with Association of Financial Advisers (AFA).

It was announced last month that the FPA would be merging with the AFA to create the Financial Advice Association of Australia (FAA) following a vote which achieved 95% member approval. The ability for better advocacy as a joint organisation had been cited as a proposed advantage throughout the campaign.

He joined the association as a staff member in the policy and professional standards team in December 2015 from his role as an associate director of wealth management at KPMG. 

Marshan had previously spent time as a member of the organisation, including in its technical working group and professional standards and conduct committee.

He had held a variety of roles during his time with the association including as head of policy and standards and head of policy, strategy and innovation.

This included working on over 300 submissions to Government, 600 meetings with Government, departments and regulators and 1,650 stakeholder meetings. He had also worked to develop the FPA’s Video SOA guide, Code of Ethics guidance, COVID-19 relief measures and Budget reports.

He said: “I couldn’t think of a better job and it’s been an honour to lead the FPA’s policy and government relations strategy and be given the opportunity to develop a number of thought leadership and guidance tools for members over the past 7 ½ years.

“In short - it’s been a long journey, I am burnt out and it’s time for a change. The new merged association needs someone who is fresh to get it humming - and I reflected deeply and I can’t give as much as it needs at the moment, so I knew it was time to step away.”

Phil Anderson, current chief executive of the AFA, would act as an interim general manager of policy and advocacy for the new merged association and a permanent decision would be made once the merger was finalised.

Sarah Abood, chief executive of the FPA, said: “We thank Ben for his dedicated work on behalf of the FPA’s members over the past almost seven years and wish him all the best in the future”.

The legal completion of the FPA/AFA merger was expected to take place on 3 April, 2023 and a transition period would run from April to June, including adoption of the new name and constitution, finalising and launching a new brand and logo, new board formation, and membership transition.

The transition was expected to be completed by 1 July, 2023. 

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Submitted by Tim Lindsay on Wed, 2023-03-08 11:36

All the best for the future, Ben

Submitted by Anon on Wed, 2023-03-08 11:51

I've always said the needs of AwareSuper are quite different to the needs of an Adviser working at AwareSuper and you can't always represent all those parties. That's something the FPA didn't get. Along the way the needs of AwareSuper the entity became more important or were prioritized than Advisers and Australians. I would say that's more of Dante De Gori's direction but there's a real cultural problem that needs a reset. Of course, I'm pretty sure ben will reappear as a Senior manager with TelstraSuper or similar in a months time on a lot more money too and as I don't stand to profit or sell some course, I happily say Hasta la vista baby.

Submitted by Stephen Hunt on Wed, 2023-03-08 12:34

Thank you Ben for your tireless advocacy for the industry and distilling often complex legislation into language that the industry participants can understand. Best of luck with the next stage of your career.

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