The IFA and PAA have wrapped up its roadshow to get ideas and feedback on the proposal to form a new association, Financial Advice New Zealand. Apparently the feedback was "vast".
Having attended the Auckland event here are a few observations which struck me.
Firstly, there were about 60 people there and that number swelled to around 80 as the event went on - no doubt a reflection on trying to get around Auckland's congested roading network if my experience that day was anything to go by.
One of striking observations was the mix of advisers compared to other industry participants. I reckon a third to half of the audience were not practicing financial advisers. Our table was an interesting one. There were two advisers out of eight people. The other related observation was that, by my guess, the majority of comments from the floor came from people who weren't practicing advisers.
Now there is nothing wrong with the industry as a whole having a say on the proposed association, but the bit which is interesting is that the goal is to create an association by advisers for advisers. My phrase, but I think it sums things up.
When it comes down to the next step in the process it is going to be fascinating to see what the working group comes up with. Trying to make sense of a vast amount of views does raise the question: Is it possible to over-consult? I'm not offering an answer to this question, just raising it.
It becomes interesting as there were some sharply differing views on topics. Take the issue of the conference as an example. Some wanted it annually, others every two years and one group argued, quite strongly, that the association shouldn't actually run a conference.
This particular question gets really interesting when it was disclosed that the annual conference was an important source of revenue for the associations.
Over the next few weeks there will probably be a few more commentaries on the idea. In concept the idea of a combined association makes sense, but there are are also many questions to be answered especially around the value proposition of the association, whether it should have a consumer focus and of course its name.
We would welcome your thoughts which can be left as comments below to help generate some discussion.