FEIFA appoints Blacktower founder as new chairman

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John Westwood, managing director and founder of The Blacktower Group, has taken up the post of chairman at The Federation of European Independent Financial Advisers (FEIFA).

Westwood’s appointment was officially rubber stamped at the trade association’s AGM on 21 September and released in a statement by the organisation earlier today.  The Federation’s membership also voted to add Andrew Jackson to its board and used the AGM to announce two new membership categories, both of which will be fully unveiled in the coming weeks, according to FEIFA chief executive Paul Stanfield.

Westwood replaces outgoing FEIFA chairman Chris Marriott and follows two years as an an executive committee member.

Westwood has more than 30 years’ experience in the financial services sector and has built up one of the longest-standing wealth management companies in the UK and EU, and latterly the Caribbean.

“I am both pleased and proud to take on this important role,” he said. “I am looking forward to the challenges ahead, particularly as the UK faces the prospect of Brexit and all the change that this may bring about for the financial services sector.

‘IFAs at the forefront’

“FEIFA exists to benefit members and consumers alike, and aims to ensure both are protected under the stringent legal and regulatory framework in place for our industry. As the UK’s withdrawal from the EU goes ahead, IFAs will be at the forefront in ensuring consumers’ financial dealings are secure,” he added.

Stanfield thanked outgoing chairman Chris Marriott, who remains on the FEIFA committee and as vice-chairman as he welcomed Westwood to the role.

‘Significant change’

“Following the Brexit vote we will no doubt see significant change in our world over the next 12 months and beyond,” said Stanfield. “FEIFA will ensure that our members are kept fully informed and advised during the whole process, and John’s know-how will be invaluable in this, I am sure”.

FEIFA member companies are English-speaking advisory businesses, active across Europe and advising on cumulative assets in excess of €4bn. The Federation is a non-profit trade association and has partnerships with a wide range of companies, including all of the relevant international life companies and the major asset managers.