LEAD Thousands of intermediaries look to the FIA to lead and equip them in their quest to deliver trustworthy, professional advice to their clients. The FIAâ€™s primary purpose is to represent, protect, promote and further the common interests of its members. By belonging to the FIA, intermediaries can trust that they have the support of an influential organisation with the necessary stature and legitimacy to represent them at the highest levels of the industry, including regulatory bodies and industry associations.
THE FIA - On your side Executive Committees The Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa (FIA) represents more than 15 000 licensed financial services advisers throughout Southern Africa. The origins of the FIA date back more than 50 years, with the organisation having recently evolved into a single, united national body representing the bulk of active licensed intermediaries in South Africaâ€™s financial services industry.
Four executive portfolio committees representing healthcare, short-term insurance, employee benefits and financial planning formulate and discuss FIA policy guidelines. These committees consist of industry experts who meet regularly to provide input and expertise from various disciplines within the industry. All the committees seek to address legislative and regulatory matters governing their respective fields as well as operational issues that impact on intermediaries in different industries.
The FIA enjoys a large and steady national membership comprising financial services intermediaries who cover the broad spectrum of financial planning. a) Short-term Insurance
the fiaâ€™s structure The FIA is a non-profit organisation which is governed by a board of directors, democratically elected by its members. The association is managed by a full-time secretariat and is headed by the chief executive officer. The FIA operates nationally via seven provincial divisions and 24 branches.
The short-term insurance executive committee takes care of personal lines, corporate and commercial matters via two sub-committees. Other smaller working committees - many in conjunction with the South African Insurance Association and its subsidiaries such as the South African Crime Bureau, Fraudline and Intermediaries Guarantee Fund - ensure participa-
tion across a range of matters, including several of the specialist short-term insurance sub-sectors. Members represented by this committee include several corporate broking firms and many individual intermediaries.
b) Financial Planning The financial planning executive committee oversees longterm insurance, collective investment schemes, retirement funds, assistance business and related long-term investments. The disciplines of tax, retirement and estate planning and business insurance are represented along with basic forms of risk cover. Corporate and individual brokerages operating in select markets and those offering general financial planning advice are represented on this committee. Ongoing communication is maintained with various industry bodies as well as representatives of long-term insurance companies. In executing its role, this committee frequently interacts with the Financial Planning Institute on matters of common interest.
PROTECT Within the context of increasingly stringent regulation of financial services intermediaries, the FIA plays an important role in safeguarding the sustainability of the industry. By engaging with regulatory authorities and elevating levels of professionalism amongst its members, the FIA helps to influence the longterm outlook of thousands of intermediariesâ€™ businesses across South Africa. The FIA is dedicated to promoting the role, value and image of intermediaries with the general public. This includes implementing initiatives such as targeted communication and consumer education campaigns that highlight the benefits of consulting a financial services adviser. The FIAâ€™s Code of Conduct ensures that all FIA-accredited intermediaries are held to the strictest ethical standards, thus providing consumers with peace of mind that they will receive the best possible advice and service.
c) Healthcare Committee
Forum alliance has also been formed to broaden represenThe healthcare committee fo- tation to various authorities. cuses on medical schemes and related health insurance matters, mainly with regard to the International Affiliations provision of advice on funding benefits. Corporate and indi- The FIA is a founding memvidual healthcare advisers are ber of the World Federation represented by this committee. of Insurance Intermediaries The healthcare committee has (WFII) and a member of the extensive interaction with vari- Council of International Inous regulatory bodies - an es- surance Broker Associations pecially important role con- (CIIBA). These affiliations sidering that dual control is enable the FIA to influence exercised by regulators in both international developments the medical and financial are- and provide members with innas. It also liaises with administrators and risk cover provid- formation on the latest global ers. In an effort to present a developments within the interuniform voice on important is- mediary segment of the insursues, the healthcare committee ance industry. The FIA’s asparticipates in the Joint Broker sociation with the WFII helps Forum together with several benchmark local practices other related bodies. against global standards and provides guidance for policy development.
d) Employee Benefits Committee
The employee benefits executive committee represents cor- Why belong to the porate and individual administrators. It also maintains FIA? close contact with retirement benefit bodies and is repre- Intermediaries who are memsented on several committees bers of the FIA stand to benefit of the Institute of Retirement from the association’s: Funds and The Pension Lawyers Association. Interaction •Commitment to improving with the Principal Officers Asand promoting the image and sociation and the Financial standing of the intermediary Planning Institute facilitates industry; the promotion of common interests. A Joint Management • Representation of intermedi-
aries’ interests with regard to existing and future legislation that may impact members’ businesses; •Protection of financial services intermediaries’ integrity and taking the necessary steps, including disciplinary action, against defaulting members; •Relationships with other national and international bodies or organisations that have similar objectives such as LIMRA and IQA; •Networking opportunities at a local and national level; •Facilitation of training for members; •Provision of information to members which can assist them in their profession; •Interpretation of relevant information and influencing on the regulatory process; •Opportunity for members to gain management experience; •Provision of comprehensive compliance assistance and guidelines; •Objective assessment of insurance products and services;
SUPPORT From large corporates to the individual entrepreneur, the FIA implements various programmes and initiatives designed to meet the needs of each of its members. Specialised portfolio committees ensure that the interests of financial intermediaries operating in different fields including healthcare, short-term insurance, employee benefits and financial planning are represented in the broader financial services industry. By providing members with the necessary support and information, the FIA aims to equip intermediaries with the means to grow their businesses.
•Alerts to members about po- strives to ensure that intermetential malpractices by non- diaries maintain a professional relationship with their clients, approved service providers. one another, regulators and product suppliers.
other member benefits
Code of Conduct
In addition, the FIA provides In order to maintain a high level members with the following of professionalism in the fibenefits: nancial services market, all FIA members are required to, •Comprehensive group life amongst others, subscribe to cover; the association’s own Code of Conduct which stipulates that •Income protection cover; they should: •Professional indemnity insurance scheme; and •Funeral cover.
FIA membership The FIA considers membership applications from corporate insurance brokerages and individual intermediaries who are licensed financial services providers or representatives of these providers. In terms of the FAIS Act, all members of the FIA must adhere to the requirements prescribed by the Act and its regulations. FIA members are also obliged to conduct their business in terms of the FIA’s Code of Conduct. This ethical code
•Conduct their business activities in the utmost good faith, with honesty, transparency and integrity; •Consider the interests of their clients above all else; •Honour the obligatory confidentiality requirements of members toward their clients; •Comply with all legislation and regulations relating to the financial services industry; and •Avoid any behaviour that may be damaging to the image of the FIA or its members.
Contact us To find out more about the FIA and how to become a member, please visit our website to fill in an online application form or alternatively use our contact details below: Physical address: Corporate Corner Unit No 9 Cnr John Vorster & Marco Polo Drive Centurion Gauteng Postal address: P O Box 11901 Centurion 0046 Tel: 012 665 0085 Fax: 012 665 0534 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.fia.org.za