“Whilst it is fair to say the first year of the merger has been one of transition, it is easy to overlook some tangible outcomes at this time”, comments Billingham. “Certainly, attaining Chartered Wealth Manager status was a welcome addition for many CFP professionals, as it’s a status that clients have identified with as relevant to the service we provide as financial planners. I was also pleased and relieved to see Campbell Edgar and Jackie Lockie join the CISI team, as well as encouraged by the quality of the recent additions to the members of the CISI IFP Forum Committee – a mixture of youth and great Financial Planning pedigree and experience.
Building stronger connections
“Of much greater importance, I would argue, is the ‘foundation work’ that has been going on, that is just starting to appear above ground, as it were. I really look forward to seeing this having an increasing impact, but as an example the increased interaction with ICAEW is a welcome development. Being very commercial, this growing relationship has the real potential to both grow the number of CFP professionals, as well as being a potential source of new clients and introductions for Financial Planning firms such as ourselves. We look forward to replicating this progress with other bodies.
“But the IFP was always about being a community rather than a simple commercial opportunity. And, despite a slightly tentative start, it was great to feel that sense of community again at the recent CISI annual conference in October. I always enjoy – and benefit from – the flow of ideas and informal interaction at these events, and it was a relief to see that spirit alive and well this year. Long may that continue”.
“So, I’d grade this first year as a ‘B+’ (good, work in progress), but with realistic expectations of a solid ‘A’ next year.”
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