The Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa (FIA) announced the appointment of Lizelle van der Merwe as Chief Executive Officer with effect from 1 November 2016.
Van der Merwe is currently head of business development at the Fulcrum Group and has enjoyed a career in insurance and associated financial services since 1997. She joins the FIA at an exciting stage in the evolution of South Africa’s financial services regulatory environment with both the Financial Sector Regulation (FSR) Bill and Insurance Bill expected to come in force early in 2017. This new legislation will fundamentally change supervision across the broader financial services sector.
“The FIA has an important role to play in working with the Prudential Authority, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority and other industry bodies to ensure that intermediaries are not only included in the future landscape of the financial services industry but they also meet the required standards,” she says.
The FIA’s membership – consisting of advice specialists in the employee benefits; financial planning; healthcare; and short-term insurance disciplines – will look to Van der Merwe to guide the association through the final stages of the retail distribution review (RDR). This regulatory intervention is aimed at addressing the sustainability of financial advice.
Discussions around RDR have been ongoing since 2014 and the phase 1 implementation will resume soon after the FSR Bill is signed into law. Phase 2 and 3 will follow over the next two years. “The FIA has established workgroups to discuss and influence RDR however, one of my key focus areas will be to improve the communication between the FIA and its members around RDR – we have different types of members all of which will be impacted differently and therefore how we support and communicate the regulatory requirements to our members is important,” says Van der Merwe.
The association’s acting CEO Barry Taylor, says the FIA is looking forward to welcoming Van der Merwe to the fold and wishes her success in delivering solutions to FIA members and their clients in keeping with the technology trends that dominate today’s financial services environment. “The team at the FIA national office wish her well on her appointment – together we accept the challenge to build the FIA brand and grow the trade association’s membership over the coming