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Time for the association mega-merger?

Thursday, February 5th 2009, 9:09AM 6 Comments

by Philip Macalister

All this talk about changes in companies, structures and staffing got me thinking about what could happen in the advisory industry.

There has been talk about the number of associations we have representing advisers and where they all fit together. Maybe now, when there is a lot of pressure on funding and membership numbers, we could see some of them get together.

The most obvious is that the PAA and LBA join together in some form. This got close a while back but was scuttled by some IFA people. Since the PAA and LBA have similar memberships I can see real benefit here. Also each have some very complimentary parts.

The state of the NZMBA is something which got me thinking about this subject too. As reported, it axed the chief executive role held by Megan Salt last year due to financial pressures. I would have thought that at a time of regulatory change and a time when associations need to deliver benefits to their members having a full-time CEO would be a must.

But then again mortgage brokers are increasingly looking to sell life insurance and even KiwiSaver, so maybe it makes sense that one of the logical marriages is between the PAA and the NZMBA. It’s worth a thought and I have no idea if anything is happening here, but it would be worth talking, especially now there is a change of personnel at the NZMBA.

The other thing which is useful to note is that the PAA is somewhat in the box seat here as it has been playing the long game and is financially the most robust of all the associations.

And this thought also made me check the Companies Office to see if the IFA had filed its accounts. There is still no sign of them, although they have traditionally completed them around November each year. The last accounts were filed November 27, 2007.

Hopefully members will get something soon.

Whatever, I think it would be worthwhile if the various associations opened dialogue with each other over these big issues.

PS: There is still no word on the appointment of a commissioner of financial advice, but there are a couple of interesting responses to the Blog about it.

« Who should be the commissioner of advisers?Where's the research? »

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Comments from our readers

On 5 February 2009 at 11:06 am Robert said:
Why would PAA members wnat their association, which manages expenses, has capably built up real assets and delivers real benefits to their members want to take on

a.) the members of assocations which are financially circling the drain?
b.) the damage that will be worn by other associations as the antics of their members are unveiled

PAA is in the box seat going into a regulated environment. If anything they should tighten up their membership association so they are truly the PROFESSIONAL ADVISERS ASSOCIATION.

A Professional Association is a much better group than an Institute anyway, what sort of people belong in an Institution?
On 5 February 2009 at 1:45 pm Nigel said:
This talk of mergers of differing organizations has not changed over the past three years or so and still it continues to be full of emotive rhetoric.

Sorry Phil but your comment re the IFA accounts highlights your own preferences and biases, a quick look at the Companies Office website shows that there are no PAA accounts since 2007 either, how long will their members need to wait for something?

Robert, your Professional Advisors Association(PAA)was borne out of the disillusion of the Prudential Life Underwriters Association when Prudential were gobbled up by what has become Sovereign Assurance and a very light review of their accounts will show the sources of their revenues.

Your attempts to degrade professional Institute memberships only serves to show your rather low level of understanding of Professional Organizations structures worldwide.

The FAANZ was formed in part to negate the occurrence for these types of misleading comments from individual entities, and Good Returns in my view should be reporting on comments made not initiating these comments.
On 5 February 2009 at 4:45 pm BS said:
The PAA are the professional body of choice for an increasing number of advisers and I agree with Robert that their prudent financial management at the hands of Richard Thomas, Dave McMillan, Peter Leitch and others before has positioned them superby for the long term.

However! As with many the many dealer groups in this market, the PAA are not so large that they can disregard opportunities to build greater scales of economy and in doing so increase their influence with government / regulators and add greater value to their advisers.
Building scale through an amalgamation with LBA or another association could see the PAA become a veritable tour de force in the advisory industry (and avoid the sponsorship issues that have so far plagued the 2009 conference). Joining forces with similar like minded bodies could see the emergence of a powerful, professional and INDEPENDENT entity -what a great result that would be.
On 5 February 2009 at 7:00 pm Robert said:
If the financials of the other associations keep tracking the way they have been, the PAA won't have anything to merge with.
On 5 February 2009 at 9:46 pm Peanut H said:
A debate such as a mega-merger will probably bring out some very unhelpful voices from the woodwork saying this or that association / institute is smarter than the rest because they do this or that better or their proprietary model is better.

Robert you would do well to remember a number of Advisers hold multiple memberships across the PAA, IFA, LBA, MBA & SIFA.

As most well informed advisers know FAANZ comprises IFA, PAA, LBA & SIFA. Therefore the first steps to a mega-merger have already taken place as the FAANZ core values and beliefs have buy in from all stakeholder members. The next step is to wrap some meat around the core value bones and start merging.

The government has closed the debate on how we get to where we all want to go and the only debate left is how far we are prepared to go to professionally.
On 5 February 2009 at 10:32 pm Robert said:
'most well informed advisers know' 'unhelpful voices from the woodwork' bla bla bla

Reality check, Peanut, other than SIFA, who have some excellent conferences, advisers belong to multiple assocations because;

a.) The are foced to iif they want to use a designation the association has rights to or
b.) The organisation they are an agent for forces them to

FAANZ was formed after the government looked at the various groups behavious and decided that regulation written for advisers, by advisers and managed by advisers wasn't going to fly.

Here is their contribution to the industry to date

That was before many finance companies, supported by these same 'well informed advisers' collapsed.

The government hasn't had many reasons to change their mind lately
Commenting is closed



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