Nearly nine out of ten (88.4%) answered yes to the following question in the 2013 Middle East Investment Panorama report, by strategic research consultancy Insight Discovery.
“Do you believe that the Middle East region would benefit from an association which promotes financial advice (potentially funded by service providers), such as the Association of Professional Financial Advisers (APFA) in the UK?”
Sam Instone, chief executive of AES International said he liked the concept of a Middle Eastern financial services trade body simply representing the collective point of view of those in the profession.
“The idea does have its merits provided that the partisan firms are properly licensed. Nevertheless I do believe such bodies should be established with the right ethos in mind, to ensure its purpose is in fact for the common good, and to remain impartial to external influences such as distributors. Without a clear mission and purpose all you have a mere vehicle for peddling a self-serving commission club.”
Nigel Sillitoe, CEO of Insight Discovery said that assuming association was totally independent and well managed, FECIF and UK Associations, such as the APFA, appear to be great role models.
“It's a debate which is worth starting over here. In my opinion financial advisers could benefit from having their reputation with consumers being enhanced, therefore a trade association to promote the value of financial advice must surely be a step in the right direction.”
The UAE Financial Services Association, a much more wide ranging association, both in term of membership and the views it seeks to represent, with a particular focus on regulation, was launched in Dubai last year. To read more click here.