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G4 to launch FAANZ club

The advisory industry associations currently co-operating under the 'G4' banner are about to formalise the grouping as the Financial Adviser Associations of NZ (FAANZ).

Thursday, May 29th 2008, 5:43AM

by David Chaplin

Representatives of all four industry bodies – the Institute of Financial Advisers (IFA), the Professional Advisers Association (PAA), the Society of Independent Financial Advisers (SIFA) and the Life Brokers Association (LBA) – have told Good Returns they supported the FAANZ concept with an official launch expected within weeks.

FAANZ has been floated by the four organisations as a high-level industry think-tank and lobbying body and would not replace the existing groups.

According to Murray Weatherston, SIFA head, FAANZ would provide an opportunity for "liaison and lobbying of matters of mutual interest".

"We're in. I think it's a bloody good idea," Weatherston said.

Outgoing IFA president, Simon Hassan, also gave FAANZ an in-principle blessing saying all four bodies were committed to lifting the professionalism of the financial advisory industry.

"We all see the benefit of a formalised relationship," Hassan said.

He said FAANZ membership could also extend beyond the current G4.

LBA president, Kevin O'Gorman, said the independent life brokers group had approved the idea at its annual conference held in Nelson last week.

O'Gorman said while the advisory industry has been criticised because of its "disjointed lobbying", particularly around the formation of an approved professional body (APB), FAANZ would help it "move forward".

Dave McMillan, PAA chief, also said the G4 negotiations had uncovered more areas of common interest between the bodies than they had first thought.

"This is just taking the G4 to another level – it will have a wider brief than forming an APB," McMillan said.

Relationships between the four groups during the APB talks were fractious at times, however, those differences now appear resolved.

Hassan said tensions between the bodies may have eased somewhat after the government shelved the APB model and co-regulation of the industry.

"But we were moving that way [to closer co-operation] anyway," he said.

It is understood the final structure for FAANZ will be agreed within two weeks with chairmanship revolving between representatives of each of the four groups.

« Proposed new rules for life companies unveiledSovereign takes regulation bull by the horns »

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