PFS 2014: Head honchos beckon in conference

PFS chief executive Keith Richards and president David Thomas addressed 1,500 advisers at the two-tiered theatre.

Richards said: “I hope you have a beneficial and enjoyable day today.

“You have a key role to play collectively in building trust for the profession that you represent. You have gone through a period of change - it was only right that we should evolve as well.

“Our mission is to serve the public by guiding you as a profession.”

He urged advisers to use the PFS logo to build trust for the industry as a whole, adding “we have the opportunity to change public perception”.

Thomas added: “Our primary role is to educate the public. I have been on the board now for some three years and as you might imagine some of that time has been dominated by the Retail Distribution Review, but in that time the society and profession have made huge strides.”

The PFS has seen its membership grow to 35,000 members, while in the last year it issued 22,000 statements of professional standing.

Justin Urquhart Stewart, founder of Seven Investment Management, who also beckoned in the conference, said: “Sometimes you need to stop and look back at where we’ve come from to see how far we’ve progressed. This is a more highly regarded profession year-on-year.

“Personal finance – you can’t know it all – you can be an expert in areas of it but you need to bring expertise from other areas as well.

“This is one of the days where you can.”