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FPA and AFA announce intention to merge

The industry groups have confirmed the news.

The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) and the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) have announced their intention to merge, today confirming both have signed a memorandum of understanding and will seek feedback from their members before inviting them to vote on the proposal.

In a media briefing today, FPA chair, David Sharpe, said both groups are committed to delivering a “stronger united voice for the profession” and hope to officially launch on 1 January 2023.

AFA national president, Sam Perera, added that “extensive consultation” will commence between the groups, including a new name for the merger.

However, it was noted that the current intention is for FPA CEO Sarah Abood to take on the role of CEO in the merged company, while AFA CEO Phil Anderson would work as general manager.

It is expected that members of both associations will vote on the proposal by the end of this calendar year.

“Effective advocacy is consistently the number one priority for members of both associations and a merger of the FPA and AFA would create a single association which would speak for the profession,” Mr Sharpe said.


“By creating a unified voice, the merged association would add clarity and power to the positions it takes and avoid duplication of activity and erosion of its messages. It also increases the likelihood of achieving crucial advocacy positions."

Mr Perera added: “The AFA has a strong background in representing members from diverse groups and this would continue within any new association.

“The memorandum of understanding aims to safeguard the interests of members and includes the AFA nominating four directors on the transitional 12-person board.”

The FPA has been quick to notify members, today also issuing a notice asking for feedback on the proposed merger saying it would increase “the likelihood of achieving crucial advocacy positions for you as a member”.

Earlier this year, the industry bodies dismissed speculation that a potential merger was on the cards.

In March, speaking to ifa, AFA CEO Phil Anderson said: “The message from both bodies was that we are working closely together on a range of matters, including having joint meetings with politicians and the regulators.”

“We also have a joint taskforce that is focused on the future of life insurance advice. This approach is, in part, responding to the view that financial advice needs to speak with a united voice, which is a message that we have been getting from Canberra for some time.

“We will continue to work together on issues, where we are aligned and where that is to the benefit of members.”

Similarly, the FPA board said in a statement given to ifa that it has close ties to all associations within the financial services sector.

“There are no immediate plans for any mergers, although we do believe that some consolidation of the associations representing financial planning and advice could be a positive move for the sector.”

Neil Griffiths

Neil Griffiths

Neil is the Deputy Editor of the wealth titles, including ifa and InvestorDaily.

Neil is also the host of the ifa show podcast.