The Chair of the FPA has addressed criticism that the association isn’t there for its members, penning an article on its website saying the charge is “absolutely wrong” and detailing the ways its advocacy has helped advisers.

Speaking to Professional Planner, Marisa Broome said part of the reason people doubt the efficacy of the FPA is that the association hasn’t been particularly vocal in announcing its achievements in the past.

“I think we’ve been really, really poor at communicating how effective we’ve been and what we’ve done,” she said.

Broome, who became a board member of the Financial Planning Association in 2014 and Chair in November last year, was much more assertive in the article posted on the FPA’s Money and Life website.

“We have been criticised for not being there for our members and this is absolutely wrong,” Broome stated. “I can tell you that, without the advocacy work that the FPA has undertaken on your behalf, life would be much harder than it is.”

Broome proceeded to list some examples of the issues the FPA has been involved in, including FoFA, the LIF laws, FASEA and ASIC’s self-funding industry fee model.

She continues to lay out the current lobbying efforts of the FPA, including its ongoing work with FASEA on the Code of Ethics and its application to establish a unified Code Monitoring Body.

The FPA currently has approximately 14,000 members. They enjoy the largest share of adviser patronage among the associations and administer the respected Certified Financial Planner designation.

The association is facing headwinds, however, after receiving only two credits worth of accreditation towards a graduate degree for the CFP designation from FASEA.

‘We are listened to’

Broome says that while the FPA has “just not been good at telling people” about the work they do, it isn’t their style to scream and shout.

“We’ve made the very deliberate choice not to be combative in the way we’ve lobbied,” she says. “Advocating by headline doesn’t mean you achieve anything.”

Rather, the FPA prefers to take a measured approach so that they are included in regulatory decision-making processes.

“We have chosen to advocate for you in a way that sees us invited to the table by all the politicians and regulators – and importantly, we are listened to,” she stated in the article.

Broome explains that dominating headlines is “not how you get things to happen”. The path to influence is through reason, she argues, not volume.

“So please remember, just because the advocacy is not publicised doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.”

Tahn Sharpe is a Sydney-based financial services journalist with a background in financial planning. He writes on advice, superannuation, investment, banking and insurance issues, is a certified SMSF Adviser and holds an Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning.
5 comments on “FPA chair comes out swinging”
  1. Andrew ONeil

    As an inaugural member of the FPA and ASIFA before that, i asked a question at a PD Day yesterday as to how many advisers would there be in 2025. I am concerned that any current student considering a professional life will take one look at the FASEA Code of Ethics for Financial Planners, compare it to any other profession and they will choose another path.

    It is ironic (and disgusting) that some of the main institutions that make up the Financial Services Council which will decimate the life insurance industry as a result of the Trowbridge report, promoting their interests against advisers, are generally the same group that had a strong representation at the Financial Services Royal Commission in the misdemeanour section and now have left the toxic advice space.

    The question is were they also strong corporate sponsors of the FPA ? Where will the FPA get their revenue from now and could we reasonably expect the FPA to hold the practitioner membership fees constant in 2019 to reflect the hard times that advisers are currently incurring ?

    Professional advisers will continue to operate in the best interests of the clients as we always have done however we are in a political world where it is good for all sides of politics to kick a planner. The consumer will be the one that suffers.

    The many planners that dont meet the new FASEA requirements will leave and they will not be replaced quickly in the new environment even if a student wanted to be a planner.

    The professional advisers will have a choice as to what we advise on, what clients we deal with and what new clients we take on so we will be fine. We may no longer have a saleable businesses at retirement or businesses with significantly lower capital values so like all other Consulting professionals we need to make up that sale value difference between now and retirement.

    The FPA like everyone else in Financial Services and indeed business of any type will reap what they have sown. It remains to be seen whether that will be a strong increase or strong decrease in membership. I personally think there will be at least 10,000 less advisers in 2025. I also think there will be less life insurance companies in Australia and there is not many of them now.

    I suppose the community can rely on the government to set them on the right path.

  2. Value is always in the eye of beholder

  3. Jason McFadden

    The FPA’s problem is they receive conflicted revenue from platforms and product manufacturers and bundle them up and report them as members fees. They don’t know who they represent.

    This attitude and relationship clearly has lead them to be an ineffective body when it comes to lobbying Treasury, ASIC and Government. Does for example the FPA represent AMP or the AMP Financial Planner? That’s why members are confused. Given the amount of Government intervention, red tape and compliance advisers now face.., it’s time for the existing board and the CEO of the FPA to resign and stand down. We cannot keep expecting the same thing and getting the same result of Government intervention. Time for new leadership, time for a new direction, time for change.

  4. I think the FPA has severely failed advisers, especially those advisers that have a business which is not only pure ‘fee for service for high net worth clients’. You know, advisers who want to help people in the workplace and such, not just working with the wealthy.

  5. Cigdem Kadayifci

    “So please remember, just because the advocacy is not publicised doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.” sic

    Surely, you can publicise it with your members so we are aware of what you are doing.

    We also may an “advertising levy”, so if it’s not used for advertising/supporting Financial planners, what is it used for. We needed the support of the FPA over the last 18 months, and I feel we didn’t get it, when all other associations were there advertising to its members and even to the general public (and it’s the general public that need to be made aware of the benefits of a Financial Planner).

    Perhaps the FPA can communicate with us immediately on what it has done, and what it is currently doing, even add copies of its submissions for us to view, many other associations have done that.

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