FPA chief Kerrie Kelly will leave the industry body in March next year, with six months of her three-year contract still to run, and join the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) on April 3, 2006 as executive director.

The ICA has been looking for a new head since earlier this year when Alan Mason, executive director, indicated he would be leaving the organisation sometime in 2006. Mike Hawker, ICA president, said the association was looking forward to Kelly’s future contribution to developing good public policy for its sector. “Kerrie brings with her considerable experience, in particular the instrumental role she has played in policy formulation and improvement of member services for the financial planning industry,” he said in a statement late yesterday. Kelly said the move was a ‘career decision’ and was not due to any dissatisfaction with her current employer. She joined a troubled FPA late in 2003 following the departure of previous CEO Ken Breakspear who had faced much criticism for the failure of the association to adequately respond to public attacks on the planning industry. Soon after Kelly’s appointment the FPA also reported a huge loss, which was followed by a drastic reduction in staff numbers and the outsourcing of education courses. This year the FPA announced a return to an operating surplus. “I was approached about a role. It was a career decision on my part,” Kelly said. Kelly informed the FPA yesterday that she would be resigning but will stay on for the next three months and work with the board during the transition phase. Corinna Dieters, FPA chair, confirmed yesterday that the group had already begun the search for a replacement and was optimistic of making an appointment before Kelly’s departure. “We’d like to think we could find a replacement in the next three months,” Dieters said. Kelly listed an increased involvement of financial planners in the FPA and an improved representation of the FPA to government as major achievements of her tenure. “It’s been a really exciting couple of years… Collectively we’ve been able to return the FPA to financial stability,” Kelly said.

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