In a statement, the UK financial advisory organisation said it will adopt a structure designed to “represent the best interests of financial advisers who are independent or are not restricted to recommending the products of a single product provider”, but left open the possibility of membership for those firms that may represent a restricted range of products from a number of providers.
The change is being introduced to accommodate new rules under the pending Retail Distribution Review, which sets out new terms and definitions for the various types of advisory structures.
As a result of the change to formally accept members who are not fully independent, AIFA will necessarily undergo a name change, a spokesman noted, adding that the new name is not yet decided.
“It’s critical that we respond to the changing advice and regulatory landscape, and also to the needs and priorities of our members,” AIFA director general Stephen Gay said.
“The new structure will enable firms to continue to be eligible as members, despite the rule changes placed upon their businesses. We will represent all advisers that do not restrict themselves to a single product provider, and who put the interests of their clients first.”
The strategic review, which was intended to map out a direction for AIFA in the transformed landscape in the UK once the pending Retail Distribution Review takes effect in 2013, was described by the organisation as setting a course that would enable AIFA to “champion the interests of professional financial advice firms [both] in the UK and at the increasingly important European level”.
AIFA will be governed by an elected board, and will operate on a “college based system” intended to ensure fair and balanced representation and policy formation for all sectors of the advice profession.
Based in London, AIFA was founded in 1999, to represent the interests of independent financial advisers in such arenas as the Treasury, FSA, UK and EU governments, and among other policy makers and moulders of public opinion.
More information may be found on AIFA’s website at www.aifa.net.