The Money Management Institute (MMI) and the Forum for Investor Advice (FFIA) today announced the merger of their organizations, a move that joins two industry leaders in the financial services industry that runs the gamut from asset management and brokerage to banking and insurance.

The MMI is the national organization for the managed account solutions industry, representing portfolio manager firms and sponsors of the investment consulting programs. The FFIA is a nonprofit trade association of asset management firms, broker-dealers, insurance companies and banks. The merger, which is expected to be completed by the end of the month, will create an entity serving more than 275,000 financial advisors.  

 "The growing retirement needs of the baby boom generation and the increased focus on the importance of financial advice in developing an investment strategy were important drivers behind this merger," said Kevin Hunt, Chairman of MMI's Board of Governors and Executive Vice President at Old Mutual US Holdings. "The new organization will provide a powerful platform to promote the benefits of professional financial advice and needs-based investment solutions." 

"With the decline of traditional defined benefit plans, retiring Baby Boomers are the first generation in nearly a century responsible for managing their own retirement assets, and they will have longer life spans than any prior generation," said Keith Sloane, a co-chairman of FFIA and managing director, director of product marketing at Wachovia Securities. "Although a sound financial plan is essential for these individuals to ensure that they don't outlive their money, many have never met with a professional financial advisor."

The primary mission of the new organization will be to advance initiatives that support the value of professional financial advice for individual investors and enhance the overall client experience with a financial advisor. A key component of this will include comprehensive research and analysis of important issues and trends within the financial services industry, as well as educational and charitable efforts. The merged organizations also will act as a resource for public policy makers and help raise the overall standards for professional service and the delivery of investment advice.