|ABOUT THE FIA|
The FIA is a professional, structured and disciplined organisation that is committed to promoting the image and standing of South Africa's risk and financial advisers. Since our formation we have worked tirelessly to improve perceptions of intermediaries and promote the value of financial advice. The FIA speaks with a collective and unified voice to industry stakeholders on all issues that affect the intermediary across the financial services landscape. If you are serious about the long term sustainability of the financial services advice industry you should be part of the dynamic solution that our organisation offers. Whether you are part of a large brokerage or financial advice practice or an individual intermediary you will benefit from participating in our structures. That is why the bulk of key individuals and representatives at South Africa's licensed financial services practices are already members.
FIA Members support and abide by the regulatory framework that applies both to advice giving and to the financial services discipline that they participate in, including the FAIS Act, Short Term Insurance Act, Long Term Insurance Act, Medical Schemes Act, Pension Funds Act etc. Because professionalism is important the FIA has implemented a Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct, both closely aligned to the FAIS Act and its accompanying Codes. We are proud that our members accept these codes and live by them in everything they do. The FIA exists to protect the integrity of its members and the broader financial advice sector and will take the necessary disciplinary action against members that do not comply with our Codes. We also run a FIA Watchdog initiative to facilitate the reporting of wrongdoing by any stakeholder in the financial services landscape.
The FIA exists to represent our members' interests to stakeholders throughout the financial services industry. We have therefore built strong relationships with the regulators, National Treasury and the Financial Services Board, and are widely consulted when new laws are being formulated and drafted. Our primary function is to represent intermediaries' interests on issues that impact the business of intermediated financial services distribution. We also have influence with various national and international organisations that have similar objectives to our own. Most notably, the FIA is a founding member of the World Federation of Insurance Intermediaries (WFii) which in turn affords us input to the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).
The FIA is resourced to provide powerful business support to your practices. We have a full time staff based at FIA offices in Centurion and Johannesburg as well as supporting administrative staff in Cape Town, Durban and Bloemfontein. We also have four full-time Regional Managers who cover South Africa in four regions, namely Coastal, Central, Rand and Northern. The FIA has an extensive national footprint thanks to our 26 branches which are each headed up by a chairperson and vice-chair drawn from our member firms. Our externally-facing executive committees, also made up of elected volunteers from our membership, handle the tough industry-specific discussions with regulators, industry bodies and product suppliers. You will find that our Employee Benefits, Financial Planning, Healthcare and Short Term Insurance executive committees have the requisite skills and experience to assist with the most technical of insurance or investment challenges.
Business support includes:
- Knowledge Base
The FIA offers its members exclusive access to a Knowledge Base that collates and presents the collective knowledge contained within the FIA and its structures. The FIA Knowledge Base is a searchable document repository that addresses the information needs of South Africa's risk and financial advisers.
The FIA prides itself on transparent two-way communication. We provide up-to-date information to members on matters that are relevant to running a financial advice practice in a tough business and regulatory environment. We also alert our members to potential malpractices by non-approved service providers.
Aside from our bulk emailing system we also offer a quarterly FIA Insight Magazine free of charge to our members. The magazine contains a range of useful articles on topical issues from an advice perspective.
- FIA Financial Calculators
The FIA FInApp is a FIA-designed calculator that assists financial advisers with complex financial calculations for use in their face-to-face interactions with clients. The application is well received by financial advisers and has been used by the Financial Services Board to study the impact on business valuations caused by changing revenue streams. The Excel-based application is available free of charge to our members and can be downloaded for use on desktop computers or laptops.
- Group Cover
Main members of the FIA benefit from a range of negotiated product solutions including Group Life, Income Protection and Professional Indemnity.
- Internal Compliance
The FIA assists members with compliance questions through two full-time employees, namely our National Manager: Compliance and National Technical Portfolio Manager. The experienced individuals who fill these positions not only field and respond to queries from our members, but also update and share their knowledge by way of dedicated communications and articles which are available to our members via the FIA Knowledge Base.
- External Compliance
Following requests from our members the FIA has partnered with a number of independent compliance practices to offer their verified compliance services to FIA members. We refer to these partners as FIAAffiliated Compliance Practices.
Education & Development
The FIA operates an education and development committee which is part of our membership committee. This committee focuses on the education and continuous professional development of our members. The FIA promotes numerous training and education initiatives each year and invites respected industry experts to present at both branch and national events. We also work closely with INSETA to assist our members in availing of the bursaries and skills development funding that are on offer from that organisation.
Financial Services Community
The FIA provides a vital hub for networking in the broader financial advice community. Our 26 branches host numerous formal and informal gatherings where FIA and industry business can be discussed. These functions provide invaluable face time with your peers in the risk and financial advice disciplines. The FIA, in partnership with the IISA and SAIA, hosts The Insurance Conference Southern Africa at Sun City each year. We also host the annual FIA Awards event, considered by many stakeholders as the highlight of the financial services product supplier calendar.