Mergers for unity

Isaac Moledi

Isaac Moledi

There has been some movement in non-banking financial services, with some associations disbanding and others merging to create one united force to engage the government on policy issues.

The Life Offices' Association (LOA) recently said its members had voted overwhelmingly to disband and join other industry bodies to form one united association.

The associations that have already dissolved in favour of a new body are Association of Collective Investments (ACI), Investment Management Association of South Africa (Imasa) and Linked Investment Service Providers Association (Lispa).

At a special general meetings held in Johannesburg recently members of the Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa (FIA) and Luasa (the Association of Professional Financial Planners) also voted overwhelmingly in favour of merging the two bodies.

The new body - which will retain the name of FIA - will serve as a unifying body that will collectively represent and protect the interests of all financial intermediaries operating in Southern Africa, said FIA president Arnold van der Linde.

Luasa president Fanie van Wyk said the merger would also ensure that industry efforts are no longer duplicated and that intermediaries speak with one voice.

Gerhard Joubert, outgoing chief executive of the LOA, said now that members had voted to join the new association it would coordinate an orderly transfer of the LOA's staff, assets and activities to the new association by the year end.

The new association aims to formally open its doors on October 1, with Leon Campher as chief executive.

Joubert said the aim was to create a single body to enable the financial services industry to work towards greater "level playing fields, creating an environment for more holistic regulation".