MF distributors float individual forum

ET 26/5/09

Mutual fund distributors have realised the importance of a union body to hold their own against the mutual fund lobby and its parent body Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI). A group of mutual fund distributors have come together to form Financial Intermediaries Association of India (FIAI).

The association will present all case on behalf of distributors on various aspects relating to mutual fund and insurance industry. According to some wealth managers, the idea to launch a distributor body stemmed from the ill-will caused during Sebi discussions pertaining to removal of mutual fund entry loads. “Fund houses (through AMFI) lobbied hard to open direct investment route for investors and they got it.

We didn’t have any say in the entire proceedings. That prompted distributors to have a parent body of their own,” said a Mumbai-based distributor. According to sources, FIAI has already received approvals from Sebi (though not formally needed) to represent distributors. Office-bearers of FIAI, however, maintain that the distributors’ body will work in tandem with various financial intermediary groups, including AMFI to iron out various issues plaguing the wealth advisory and distribution industry.

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