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Canterbury rebels

The Canterbury branch of the IIAA opposes the proposed merger with the IAFP.

Sunday, July 19th 1998, 12:00AM

by Philip Macalister

The Canterbury branch of the Insurance and Investment Advisers Association (IIAA) says the association's proposed merger with the Association of Investment Advisers and Financial Planners (IAFP) has been poorly thought through and offers its members no benefits.
It says, in a letter to the IIAA president, that if the merger goes ahead as proposed then a number of Canterbury branch members will resign in favour of the Life Brokers Association (LBA).
The Canterbury branch is most concerned that the merger proposal is considered a "fait accompli" considering that no underlying value or benefits can be immediately identified from the proposal.

Among the branch's main concerns are that the LBA has not been included in the negotiations. It says the IIAA represent 800 practicing members, the IAFP has 350 members and the LBA 200.
"Surely LBA should be included - particularly since they are the transactional sales people that the life offices and fund managers need to write next year's new business budget," branch secretary Donald Walker says in the letter.
Also it is concerned that some IAFP members have been awarded higher qualifications through grandfathering as opposed to passing the necessary exams.
"The branch categorically and unreservedly has stated that it will under no circumstances accept or recognise persons who purport to be qualified in any area of financial advice, who has not completed the appropriate study and sat and passed the necessary examinations," Walker says.
The Canterbury branch says the IIAA name should be retained as it clearly describes exactly what advisers do, plus it is concerned over the bureaucratic structure and the proposal to hold council meetings in secret.
It is also concerned that the IAFP's Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation is ranked, under the new structure, more highly than the IIAA's Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation.
"Overseas a ChFC is of a higher standard than CFP and the branch does not accept that the present ChFC holders should be downgraded to the lesser qualification of CFP. The CFP holders should be forced to complete the higher education standards and become ChFC."
"We would hope that the executive have thought through all the issues that we have presented and not just 'caved in' to an anxious IAFP and 'bullying threats' of no sponsorship funding from the Investment Savings and Insurance Association (ISI) representing the life offices and fund managers."
The Canterbury branch says that the information and knowledge gained from the merger exercise can be put to good use refining the IIAA's structure.
It recommends that the IIAA executive refocus on issues such as, a standard Agency agreement, a standard electronic download of information and a minimum continuing education standard.
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