The annual Association of Independently Owned Financial Professionals (AIOFP) membership fee will drop by as much as 71%, as the organisation plans to tackle institution and industry fund domination.
According to AIOFP executive director Peter Johnston, the price slash represents a recognition of tough economic tough times and the aggressive growth path that the AIOFP board is seeking.
“We have decided to lower our membership fees to both assist current members and encourage new members to join,” he said, adding that cohesion and forgiveness should be the on every independent planner’s New Year’s resolution wish list for 2013.
“After four disastrous years of market volatility and political victimisation by the Federal Government, all independents should realise that we are a vulnerable minority faction and our future success depends on our ability to act as one commercial and political force,” he said.
“For too long we have been fractured by political infighting and manipulated by third-party influences where a divide and rule strategy suits their agenda.”
According to Johnston and the AIOFP board, they are the only organisation that has the scale and business model to tackle the domination by the institutions and industry funds going forward.
“Also of particular importance is the fact that we do not have any institutional influence in our membership or management, which can and does influence thinking and strategic direction. The AIOFP’s founding objective of furthering the commercial interests of its members demands that it finds solutions to platform/SMSF options, research, compliance, PI insurance, member legal protection and new client referrals.”
Johnston stated that the minimum entry-level fee has been reduced from $900 to $325 for a one-adviser practice, and the maximum fee reduced from $7,000 to $2,000 for the larger groups. This new fee structure will apply from 1 July for current members, and immediately for new applications.
“The AIOFP Board wants to encourage all independents to realise who the real competitors and threats to our survival are, and resolve any differences with our factional friends wherever possible. The old union adage of divided we beg and united we negotiate is relevant to our future survival,” he said.
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