The AFA/FPA merger by Rob Coyte CEO of the Shartru Group

Well as most in the industry have predicted that the AFA and FPA are looking to merge. One organisation is flush with cash and the other is someone who is no fun on the weekend.

Personally, I think we do have far too many organisations looking to represent financial advisers. This dilutes the voice and makes it very difficult for regulators and politicians to meaningfully engage with the industry. However, the bigger problem and one that I have been vocal about is that traditionally a number of these organisations have not effectively represented their members in the political process.

A perfect example is that of the LIF changes which were implemented with the industry blessing as both the AFA and FPA endorsed the changes. This effectively gave the politicians the green light to say these changes were supported by industry when the reality was that a large portion of people who actually understood insurance advice and the behaviour of people said this would be a huge mistake.

For the record the change was a huge mistake with new levels of insurance being wrote has fallen off a cliff. Insurance is a classic ponzi scheme in the fact new money (of generally lower risk clients) is essential to the functioning of the system. This coupled with insurance companies having to catch up with poor underwriting and pricing standards has seen a massive rise in insurance premiums for clients. As usual the LIF changes were meant to result in reducing insurance premiums for the end consumer but the exact opposite has happened.

Whilst the merger of the big two might be a good thing if they don’t represent their members it will become academic as their memberships will continue to fall. For the record I gave up my CFP status as I saw absolutely no benefit in what the FPA was doing for me as a financial adviser and a small business owner in financial services. Hopefully, they have both and the proposed new merged entity has learnt their lesson and they look to represent their members and forget other lofty ideals like “public interest” as they are more than represented by others.

Rob Coyte is the CEO of the Shartru group. He can be contacted on 1300 478 424 or