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ISI to stay the same - for now

Plans to form a new association representing financial services companies has been shelved for now.

Monday, December 14th 1998, 12:00AM

by Philip Macalister

Plans to form a new association representing financial services companies has been shelved for now.
The Investment Savings and Insurance (ISI) Association, the Insurance Council and the Health Funds Association have been exploring the possibility of merging to form a larger association.
While there is a need for a bigger, more representative body, the merger option has been canned, ISI acting chief executive Vance Arkinstall says.
"Merging for the sake of merging didn't make sense at the end of the day."

He says while all the parties explored the option each went cold on the idea in the end as the merger proposal wasn't likely to deliver the desired outcomes.
Arkinstall says the ISI board supports and acknowledges the need to develop a new financial services organisation and it will now look at other options with other parties.
He says the key to a new association is having involvement of all the banks.
Currently the ISI has a number of banks as members, however they are members just for their funds management and life insurance businesses.
He says as the life insurance, banking and funds management industries converge there is a need to have one association representing their various interests.
Such an association would be more effective and have more clout, he says.
While the need for a bigger, more representative association is growing, the formation of such a body want happen quickly.
More work will be done on the issue next year.
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