The Association of Financial Advisers has announced experienced executive Helen Morgan-Banda will be its new CEO after what it says was a “thorough and rigorous” recruitment process.

Morgan-Banda’s appointment comes after two comparable stints leading professional membership bodies. She was most recently CEO of the 15,000 member Law Society of New Zealand and before that the CEO of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.

She has also held corporate affairs roles at ANZ and AMP in New Zealand.

The new CEO will relocate from Wellington, New Zealand to Sydney “as soon as practicable”, according to the AFA.

The association has been on the hunt for a new CEO since ex-boss Phil Kewin stepped down in May. Kewin subsequently took the role of CEO at the National Insurance Brokers Association, and is due to commence August 16.

AFA president Michael Nowak said Morgan-Banda would be a “strong fit” with the AFA’s existing leadership team.

“Over the course of her career, Helen has managed significant disruption, akin to that currently being experienced by financial advisers,” Nowak said. “She has demonstrated a deep understanding of the issues being faced by our members and the broader industry and we believe she is the right person to lead us into the future.”

Nowak also praised the efforts of the AFA’s general manager of policy and professionalism, Phil Anderson, for stepping in as acting CEO during the six month search period.

“Phil has essentially performed two demanding roles while we were engaged in the search for a new CEO,” he said. “Phil remains an integral part of the AFA’s senior leadership team and will continue to play a vital role consulting with regulators, Government and other industry bodies on behalf of our members.”

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