“Like any merger, I believe that at the start there were cultural uncertainties as these two very different organisations came together – as others have commented here” Howe says. “There is generally a wide acceptance that the transition into CISI wasn’t quite as smooth as had been hoped for, with practical issues around data and mailings – all of which could have been expected. Thankfully, these practical, logistical issues have all been ironed out now. So, it’s a year on and yes, I think it was a good decision. There are good people at the CISI and culturally there is a real alignment. We all want to work with integrity, and it’s good that they are keen to put resources into building the financial planning profession.
“On the positive side, as others will have echoed, the appointments of Campbell and Jackie were really good. Due to the fact that resources are greater at CISI than they ever were at IFP, it was great that both could be recruited and it is clear that they work well together.
“From a member perspective, branch meetings have been getting back on track, having floundered somewhat at the start. The new aim is to get three financial planning members on each branch committee to ensure that the financial planning voice is heard and embedded. Having the level 4 qualification in place has set a proper pathway to take someone through CF30 to becoming a CFP professional and is a real achievement. The annual conference went well, with high level of delegate engagement keeping the culture of sharing best practice alive. This event, just like the Scottish and paraplanner conferences, are vital to ongoing success.
“My appointment last month as chair of the financial planning professional forum committee means I’ll be involved for the next three years. The role couldn’t be more different to that of the former IFP Board President. It is to manage and galvanise the committee into working as a strong team to advise the CISI on all things financial planning. At conference we announced 7 new appointments to the committee, the majority being new members. Our vision and strategy will be co-created by the committee and I’m looking forward to kick starting this at our meeting at the end of November when we will map out what we would like CISI to achieve into 2017 and beyond.”
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