Following the recent announcement that the CISI and IFP are set to merge, Jason Stather-Lodge, CEO of OCM Wealth Management says it could degrade the years of hard work that put in by Chartered members both with the CII and CISI to date:

“If the comments are true that to become a Chartered Wealth Manager post-merger an IFP member just has to take the ethics qualification, then, as both a Chartered Financial Planner with the CII, a Chartered Wealth Manager with the CISI and Certified Financial Planner, it looks to me that the CISI have not yet grasped the level of attainment required to be a CFP.

They are not comparable at all and it takes many years of study and completion of a masters in wealth management to become a Chartered Wealth Manager as, indeed, it does to become a Chartered Financial Planner, both of which I am very proud off. I am also proud to be a CFP member but for a different reason in that this qualification, in my opinion assesses my ability to execute and apply the knowledge learned in the other specialist qualifications and apply it in the context of a client’s situation.

The CFP qualification is far more easily attained and does not require such specialist qualifications and accreditation, the likes of which can only be attained from years of commitment to study, that are required for both the CII and CISI attainment to become Chartered.

In my opinion, the CFP alone does not give me the required in-depth knowledge to be a specialist in the individual advice areas as is required with the CII and CISI to become Chartered. Although I believe the merger may be good for the CISI and good for the industry as it will upscale the CFP qualification and open up more CPD channels for CFP professionals, it will be the death of the CFP and recognition of what the qualification means whilst heaping even further confusion on the general public.

If someone wants to become a Chartered Wealth Manager with the CISI then they should complete the IMC and go through the correct academic channels and the bodies should remain independent of each other.”