The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors might move to reduce its reliance on formal local chapters, and make other organizational changes, in September, at its annual conference in Orlando.

The NAIFA board has included organizational change provisions in a package of proposed bylaw changes based on recommendations from a NAIFA member experience task force.

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Members of the Falls Church, Virginia-based group will vote on the revision or removal of 20 bylaws. Here are some of the proposed changes:

  • The definition of active membership would be broadened to include advisors licensed to sell securities. The definition would also allow for an individual to be a member in any state near where the individual lives, works or is licensed.

  • Officer role descriptions would be simplified. References to the title of “honorary vice president” would be deleted, because that title is not used.

  • The number of standing committee would be reduced, and the committees’ descriptions would be streamlined. The updated provision would let the board appoint other committees as needed.

NAIFA may also rely more on the national association and state chapters, and less on chapters in local communities, to coordinate activities.

A summary of the proposed changes and other documents are available here.

In an open letter to NAIFA members posted online, NAIFA President Paul Dougherty said the membership experience task force originally proposed having the national association run national programs, and having state associations coordinate both state activities and local activities. NAIFA would no longer have formal local associations.

Since then, in response to member coments, NAIFA has revised the bylaw update proposal to include the establishment of some local chapters, in addition to the state chapters, Dougherty said.

“If adopted, the new NAIFA bylaws will be effective Jan 1, 2019, and the federation will work together towards implementation between now and 2019,” Dougherty said.

NAIFA is an association for insurance and financial advisors. It promotes ethical conduct, provides professional education programs, and represents members in regulatory and legislative affairs.

Challenges and Opportunities

The membership experience task force told NAIFA that one challenge the group faces is its current business model. The current structure inhibits NAIFA’s ability to deliver consistent unified messaging on subjects that relate to industry trends, practices, and legislative and regulatory information, the task force reported.

NAIFA also faces problems with holding anyone accountable for providing quality programming and services, the task force said.

But the task force told NAIFA the group has great opportunities for growth.

Reducing the number of entities making up the organization could create stronger chapters that will have stronger member participation rates and higher levels of member engagement, the task force said.

Better use of technology could help increase member access, and new governance requirements for chapters could create a wider pool of leadership candidates, the task force said. 

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