The Financial Planning Association (FPA) is drumming up support for the proposed merger with the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA)  ahead of next month’s vote.

Addressing members via a YouTube video, FPA chair David Sharpe reiterated the benefits of a merger would be stronger advocacy, professional standards and community.

“We don’t just want your support, we are going to need your vote,” David Sharpe said.

“To be completely blunt, we want thousands and thousands of people of our members voting. This is going to be a fundamental shift to our association.”

Sharpe has told Professional Planner that it is critical that members’ voices are heard on this significant matter.

“We are a member association, we don’t forget that, and on a matter this significant it is critical we hear the member’s voice,” Sharpe says.

“The board is unanimous that there is an irresistible argument for a ‘Yes’ vote and we believe the Members feel that to. We will be providing detail on how members can formally exercise their right to vote in coming weeks.”

Both associations have sent their members the merger summary and a draft constitution to prepare them for the vote. They will provide details on how members can formally exercise their right to vote in the coming weeks.

Final versions of the documents are due ahead of voting opening in early February, which will close at the end of the month at separate Extraordinary General Meetings of the AFA and FPA.

Sharpe says if there was no genuine belief that a merger would be successful in the long term, neither party would pursue it.

“Not only have both associations been working together in advocating for a merger, we have also been working closely on ensuring the long term success of a merged association,” Sharpe says.

“We strongly believe a merged association allows us to deliver greater value to our collective membership over a long period of time.”

Rock the vote

In August 2022, the AFA and FPA announced they would explore a merger requiring 75 per cent of both memberships to agree to it.