Sarah Abood, FPA chief executive.

With the departure of ex-CEO Dante De Gori, former Profile Financial Services CEO Sarah Abood will be crucial to the success or failure of the Financial Planning Association’s policy advocacy.

De Gori, highly regarded by his former FPA colleagues, was known for his behind-the-scenes work that gave the association a voice to government ministers.

The FPA aims to continue priortising policy leadership in the industry, but Abood said she would also bring her “lived experience” from running an organisation that had a fiduciary duty.

“I can help members in the business of running their practices as well, as the profession of being a financial planner,” she said at a media lunch Wednesday.

Abood was referencing her time in professional practice at Profile Financial Services, which she led for nine years.

“That was a long and productive journey with Profile,” Abood recalled. “Going through the process of understanding what does it take to grow a firm that has a fiduciary duty to its clients as well as an obligation and a need to run a financially sustainable organisation.”

While acknowledging the association had seen a drop its membership, Abood said their market share has grown as a result of larger membership drops from adviser associations.

“That said, I’m not going to celebrate any increase of market share in this environment,” Abood said.

Eyeing completion of policy platform

With a new chief executive firmly in place, the FPA’s aim for 2022 is to fulfill all recommendations from its policy proposal.

Released 18 months ago, the association’s ‘Affordable Advice, Sustainable Profession’ policy paper outlined 19 recommendations it wanted to achieve over the next five years. Six recommendations have already been implemented.

Ben Marshan

Ben Marshan, FPA head of policy, strategy and innovation, said 2022 was going to be an “incredibly busy year” for the policy team.

“This year we have the ALRC review into the Corporations Act and Treasury’s Quality of Advice review, we can make really good progress in getting those reports and reviews to consider 10 further recommendations out of that policy platform,” Marshan said.

“The real focus of the policy team is going to be bringing those recommendations that we’ve made to life, getting in front of those reviews and talking to them about how we think the future of profession needs to be developed.”