FPA plays down monetary ties to product providers

The Financial Planning Association now derives less than 5 per cent of its total revenue from licensees and financial product manufacturers, CEO Dante De Gori has claimed.

Appearing on the latest podcast of ifa sister title Risk Adviser, released today, Mr De Gori was asked whether financial ties to licensees, life insurers and other financial product manufacturers make it difficult to negotiate policy in members’ and the public interest. 

"[The FPA’s] revenue isn’t beholden to, or dependent on, any product manufacturer or licensee,” Mr De Gori said. “The majority of our revenue actually does come from membership fees and education.”

Pressed on the breakdown between these two revenue streams, the professional association chief said that “effectively less than five per cent of our revenue would generate from product manufacturing, of course notwithstanding our congress, which is sponsored by our partners and those who sponsor the congress”.

The FPA’s congress, which was held in Perth last month, is sponsored by a number of commercial partners, including subsidiaries of the four major banks and a range of life insurance providers, according to the event website.

The revelation follows comments by FPA head of policy and government relations Ben Marshan at the congress in Perth that the association will move to put greater pressure on “licensees, employers and product manufacturers”.

Mr De Gori made clear that the FPA’s five per cent revenue derived from product manufacturers in no way colours or influences its approach to policy issues.

“It’s very important and clear that the objective here, number one, we advocate in the public interest in terms of the positions that we take that we feel are right for consumer outcomes,” he said.

“Number two, our membership is made up of individual practitioners, and they’re the lifeblood of the FPA and the financial planning profession, and we support them before all else in that respect as well.

“So I think it’s really important that that is considered and the positions that we take and the discussions that we have, and the debates that we’re involved in, revolve around those key objectives.”

The FPA reported $8.7 million in total income from members for the year ending 30 June 2015.

To listen to the latest Risk Adviser podcast featuring Dante De Gori, click here.

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