Simon Culhane Chartered FCSI told the Financial Planning Annual Conference that 18% of IFP members were lost after the merger.
He admitted there had been some ‘bumps’ in the transition from the IFP but he called for former members to come back.
He stressed that “Financial Planning is important to the CISI”, adding, “we are delivering in both letter and spirit” on the agreement made with the IFP.
His ambition is for the CISI to become the “prime body among Financial Planning professionals” in future.
Regarding members who have left or not renewed since the merger, he said: “We hope that some of those sitting on the sidelines will come in.
“We have brought with us the spirit and community and they’ll be very welcome to come back.”
As the first anniversary of the IFP-CISI merger approaches next month, he said: “I will be first to say we did have a couple of bumps.”
Some of the transfers had caused problems and databases “didn’t talk to each other” so the process “did take a bit longer”.
However, he would give the CISI a B+ or A- if he were marking its performance dealing with the IFP merger.
He said the “whole point” of the merger was to grow Financial Planning and that remained the same aim.
He added that it “took us a bit longer to realise we need to specialise a bit more” and that’s why the CISI brought on board Financial Planners Campbell Edgar as head of Financial Planning and Jackie Lockie as deputy.
He said there had been some important progress in the 11 months to date.
Last month a key aim was achieved – the CISI delivered a level 4 qualification to plug the gap and got FCA approval a few days ago. For the first time it can get people on a pathway to CFP certification, he said. On the main exam, he said the CISI is looking at changes and seeing if it might qualify as level 7 although “that’s a bit tricky”.
In the pipeline there is a new qualification on retirement planning, wider than just pensions, which Mr Culhane hopes to launch next year.
The CISI has done “a heck of lot of publications for Financial Planners and Paraplanners” in the 11 months and the learning suite has been refreshed, he added.