Speaking at the PFS Forces event at the Intercontinental Hotel at London’s O2 this afternoon Mr Richards addressed broad themes in the profession and spoke about the PFS’ achievements over the last year.
Turning to the future he revealed the planned new diversity and inclusivity scheme to root out what he called “subconscious bias.”
He said the programme would be “shared across the country” and said: “We need to be diverse because the public is diverse.”
Mr Richards claimed the new focus would help to “reach millennials.”
Also looking to the future he revealed what he called “a lofty ambition.”
He said: “Our vision is that every school in the country will have an ambassador that is a member of the PFS.”
Speaking about the PFS’ achievements over the past few years he said: “It’s tremendous going around the country to see just how far we’ve come.
“What’s been achieved in the last six years is miraculous.”
Mr Richards said CPD had “grown significantly over the last five years” and revealed 22,000 attended one of the PFS’ events last year.
He pointed to new initiatives like the Financial Planner-focused Power Live and Keystone, which is targeted at practitioners.
He revealed that both would now ben made permanent PFS events.
Mr Richards spoke glowingly about Paraplanners, using Star Wars-inspired language congruent with the event he said they were “a new light in our profession, a new force that has awoken and continues to grow.”
He said they “play a vital role in increasing our reach.”
Mr Richards signed off again by focusing on the future.
“You have the power to change events, with our colleagues we have the power to change the future.
“Together may we build a united profession that continues to make a difference - may the Force be with you.”
• Financial Planning Today will be covering the event live today so check back for updates and follow us on Twitter @FPTodayMagazine