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Monday, December 1, 2008
... and One for all

ASISA was formed earlier this year by members of the Association of Collective Investments (ACI), the Investment Management Association of South Africa (IMASA), the Linked Investment Service Providers Association (LISPA) and the Life Offices’ Association (LOA). These four associations have been disbanded and staff members and assets have been transferred to ASISA.

Association of collective invetments
The Association of Unit Trusts had been established in 1967 to facilitate the development and growth of the unit trust industry through dealings with the authorities and communication through the media. It administered a Code of Ethics and performed a limited self-regulatory function. It was reformed in May 2003 as the Association of Collective Investments in recognition of its responsibility for a broader range of investment products, to represent the collective interests of SA management companies, registered foreign collective investment schemes and their investors.

Investment Management Association of SA
Fund Managers Association of SA was launched in 1991 but, as a voluntary body with no permanent staff struggled to conduct its mandate. SO in due course inertia was lost.  It re-emerged in November 2002 as a properly constituted association with 13 of the largest fund managers as new founder members. It aimed to serve and protect its members’ interests and, in particular, liaise with the regulatory authorities, the markets in which its members operated and with other related associations in the financial services sector.

Linked Investment Service Providers Association
LISPA was established in May 1998 to represent ‘Linked Investment Service Providers’ who are wholesalers of unit trusts and related investment products. Essentially, a LISP packages, distributes and administers a broad range of unit trust based investments spanning voluntary to retirement planning products into the retail market space.  Any investment made through these products provides a client a single entry into a selection of investment elements whereby a financial advisor assists in designing a suitable investment plan.
Like most voluntary associations of its kind its purpose was to advance and promote the image and reputation of members, to act as a conduit for members to make representation to the regulatory authorities, and to represent members when dealing with other industry bodies.

Life Offices’ Association
The LOA was formed in 1935 to regulate the industry and improve the general image of life assurers. Uhm, yes, well….
One concern at the time was the activity of ‘certain life assurance agents’. At the time of merging into the newly formed ASIS it was understood to have had about 40 members (comprising life assurance companies and life reinsurers).

Note: The four may be joined by a few others (mere speculation at the moment): the Association of Property Unit Trusts; the SA Venture Capital Association; and the Alternative Investment Management Association of SA.
The Banking Association of SA, of course, would remain entirely separate, nestled in the massive banking sector with its own mandate and guidelines under the watchful eye of the Reserve Bank.

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:21.11 1st December, 2008
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