Financial Planning

FPA, AFA put merger on the table

FPA AFA merger

The FPA and AFA have proposed a merger and will soon outline further details to their respective members.  

The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) and Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) will explore a merger, with plans to put a proposal to members before the end of the year.

The two associations announced the move during a media briefing today, stating they had “agreed in principle to explore a merger”, with the goal of creating a “united voice” for financial advisers.

A name for the new association has yet to be decided, but FPA chief executive Sarah Abood would retain the CEO role in the new body, while AFA chief executive Phil Anderson would become its general manager.

A merged board of 12 members would include eight directors from the current FPA board and four directors from the current AFA board.

The boards of the FPA and AFA added they had signed a memorandum of understanding and will seek feedback from their members via webinars, during which they can gather more information and ask questions about the proposal, before a vote, set to conclude by November, and a merger effective from the start of 2023.

FPA chair David Sharpe said the two industry bodies had worked closely together over a number of years advocating for financial advisers and had made joint submissions on policy matters.

“Effective advocacy is consistently the number one priority for members of both associations and a merger of the FPA and AFA would create a single association which would speak for the profession,” Sharpe said.

“By creating a unified voice, the merged association would add clarity and power to the positions it takes and avoid duplication of activity and erosion of its messages. It also increases the likelihood of achieving crucial advocacy positions.”

AFA national president Sam Perera added a merged association would recognise the history of both bodies, including the AFA’s 76-year history.

“The AFA has a strong background in representing members from diverse groups and this would continue within any new association,” Perera said.

“The memorandum of understanding aims to safeguard the interests of members and includes the AFA nominating four directors on the transitional 12-person board.”

As part of the merger discussions, the two boards have proposed the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation become the primary one of a merged association.

The Fellow Chartered Financial Practitioner (FChFP) and Chartered Life Practitioner (ChLP) designations offered by the AFA will continue to be recognised and supported, but will not be available to new applicants of the merged bodies.

In the lead-up to the merger vote, FPA members can attend the AFA Conference on 21-23 September at member rates, where a joint session of the two bodies will be held, while AFA members can attend the November FPA Congress at member rates.

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