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Financial Advice NZ: Much ado about nothing?

It could be next year before the groundwork is fully laid for the new financial advisers’ association, pundits suggest.

Friday, September 29th 2017, 6:00AM

Murray Weatherston

Former IFA president Nigel Tate said he was not surprised that it was taking some time for Financial Advice New Zealand’s establishment board to finalise its constitution and move towards incorporating the association.

It had been hoped that the association would be incorporated in time for this year’s IFA/PAA adviser conference, which was held last month.

Tate, who said he had no direct involvement with the new association, said there was a lot of things that needed to be aligned.

“The constitution is a great document to have but it needs to reflect the goals and objectives of the new organisation and needs to be reflective of the needs of each participating organisation. I don’t expect there will be a final document for probably another couple of months at least.”

Each organisation would have different “bottom lines” to add to the negotiation process, he said, and would have to determine where their existing constitutions were in alignment or differed.

The IFA also has a certification process, while the PAA and NZFAA do not. Tate said it would have to consider whether it applied that across the board, or if memberships were kept separate for certification purposes.

Tate said it could be well into next year before Financial Advice New Zealand was in a position to take its next steps. “I tend to expect that once the structure is finalized then they would start the process of incorporation. They can’t do that until the documentation is together. They can’t get that together until they reach an agreement.”

Tate said the IFA, PAA and NZFAA were at three different stages of evolution, with varying expectations of their members. If Financial Advice NZ were to bring all the members back to the “lowest common denominator” of expectations, that would be a retrograde step, he said.

“The objective should be to take everyone forward.”

He said he was not surprised that the development was taking some time. “They’re better off to take the time to get it right rather than rush in and not be any better off than we already were.”

But adviser Murray Weatherston said it seemed to be taking “a dreadfully long time”.

“Given that they announced it in June last year and we’re now at the end of September. They made a big fuss of their 100-day plan… we’re now four-and-a-half months later. All they seem to have done is appointed an establishment board. As far as I know they are still having lengthy discussions between themselves about what their constitution is going to be – frankly I wouldn’t have thought it was that hard,” he said.

“Shakespeare’s play comes to mind – is it much ado about nothing?”

IFA president Michael Dowling said there was no update to report yet.

Tags: Financial Advice New Zealand IFA Murray Weatherston Nigel Tate PAA

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