What's Happening?

Reflections from the 2018 FIA Advisory Council meeting



On the 27th and 28th Jube 2018, the FIA held it’s annual Advisory Council meeting in Sandton at the Santam auditorium in Alice Lane, Sandton.

Below is a recap from our CEO (Lizelle van der Merwe), President (Peter Olyott) and newly appointed Advisory Council Chairman, Theo McDonald. 

Lizelle van der Merwe (CEO)

The Advisory Council is a highlight on the FIA’s calendar every year. All the branch chairs, vice chairs, Board and staff get together to reflect on the past year – what was achieved, what still needs to be done as well as identify new initiatives for the association to consider.

Our theme for 2018 was “Aligned Unity”. My opening message to the delegates was “If we take a minute and reflect of who we are as an association, how many organisations we represent, how many people depend on us to get it right, what could have been if we did not exist and what is because we are here today, our fighting spirit, our drive for consumer protection, our boldness and braveness to rise above what is intended to marginalise us, our passion for our industry, our country and our will to be here – know you have made a difference in the lives of many. For that we say thank you and well done”!

It’s been a tough year at the FIA however, there is a sense of optimism in the air. We had a few new people challenge our thinking, we were acknowledged by FSCA and the FAIS Ombud as a critical role player in the industry and our exco chairs left us with deep comfort that they understand the challenges and have their eye on the ball.

In the coming months we will be rolling out the new strategy of the FIA, it’s priorities and value proposition. We encourage our members to engage with the branches and get involved.

We cannot do this alone – “All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall.” ― Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers    

Peter Olyott (President)

The FIA, representing it’s membership, has opted to become a leading and proactive proponent of change and promoter of small to medium business (in particular financial advice and intermediary practices). Intermediaries have at least a 100 year track record of establishing, nurturing and developing successful small practices – some of which have gone on to become big names in our industry and some who are still going strong into their third and fourth generations. There is no reason why this cannot be sustained and replicated into the future. We believe this strategic positioning will serve us well into the legislative and regulatory debate, interactions and input ahead. We wish to be taken seriously as a force now and into the future and not as some member association whose time (and those of the members) is perceived to have come and gone. We helped build this industry to what it is today and we can build it even bigger and better into the future. Great deeds require great effort by great people : become an ‘FIA Great’ and help us to build our future!

Theoniel McDonald (Chairman of the Advisory Council)

It was great to see the regions working so well together. In the past, regions generally drove their own initiatives and agendas however this year, three key projects were identified and prioritised as a collective:

  • To build a business case around a CRM system for the FIA
  • To consider the possibility of developing FIA products for members only such as Professional Indemnity insurance or Cyber Risk insurance
  • To consider a recruitment portal which FIA members can use to source qualified and skilled employees;

Overall it was a very successful Advisory Council. Attendees sat through a jam packed two day agenda and still managed to be involved and to make valuable contributions. Great presentations were made by the President, CEO, Exco Chairs, Regional Directors as well as the FAIS Ombud – Mr Naresh Tulsie and FSCA – Ms Caroline Da Silva. In my opinion it is clear that we are an organisation in unity!

In the words of our Vice-President:” It is great to see how the organisation has matured and it shows in the level of professionality of all the delegates at the Advisory Council as well as in the way the meeting was conducted”.