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ISI seeks Commission approval for APB

The Investment Savings and Insurance Association (ISI) is pushing ahead with plans to create an Approved Professional Body (APB) for salaried and institutionally-aligned advisers that could capture over 2,000 members.

Thursday, February 14th 2008, 4:58AM

by David Chaplin

According to ISI chief executive, Vance Arkinstall, the peak insurer and fund manager body hopes to meet with the Securities Commission within a month to discuss the viability of its proposals.

All financial advisers will be required to belong to an APB when new legislation governing the industry, currently before Parliament, comes into force.

At a meeting late in January the ISI board approved a strategy to investigate the best way to form an APB that would appeal to advisers employed directly or closely aligned with its members.

Arkinstall said such an APB could also include call-centre employees and certain bank staff.

"We expect that would cover over 2,000 members," he said. Arkinstall said the ISI would not formally control the APB, which instead would be managed by a grouping of financial institutions.

However, he said under the Financial Advisers Bill it appears individual employers would be prohibited from forming an APB but it was unclear whether the same restriction would apply to a group of similar companies.

"We want to meet with the Securities Commission to see if it would consider an arms-length industry association would qualify as an APB," Arkinstall said. "It the Securities Commission sees that as acceptable then we can sit down and do the costing. We want to push ahead with this as soon as we can."

A number of other advisory industry bodies are also pursuing APB plans, including the so-called 'G4' coalition of the four main insurance and financial planning organisations. As well, the New Zealand Mortgage Brokers Association and the NZX are also understood to have well-developed APB strategies for their respective members.

The Financial Adviser legislation should pass into law before the general election later this year, however, it is expected the regime would not be fully implemented until 2010 at the earliest.

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