Long-serving chief executive Robert Sinclair added that he was expecting to remain for at least another two years but that it was important to start successions planning for his eventual departure.
Speaking on the latest Brightstar video debate, Montlake (pictured), who is also managing director of advice firm Coreco, said it was “an honour” to have been elected to the position in December as a practicing broker who still saw clients and wrote business regularly.
Montlake explained that while it had been a tough last year with the national pandemic, he felt the industry could take some positives from its situation and how people had come together.
“We’re coming into a very difficult period and its very important we go forward with a spirit of collaboration with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), with lenders, with UK Finance, the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), other trade bodies and really work together for the good of the industry,” he said.
“Because I’m sensing something we can take that’s positive out of this is that we have all started to talk to each other better and on a deeper a level and understanding the issues we’re going through.
“A more harmonious way of engagement going forward is important and making sure that us as an industry meet the demands of the consumer of the future.”
He emphasised this would mean working together in different ways and making sure that as an industry, despite whatever technology was adopted, advice was still front and centre.
In addition to AMI’s broad agenda working on regulation, Montlake also raised the issue of diversity.
“We’re delighted that Dom Scott of Alexander Hall has joined our board and diversity in financial services is something we’re passionate about and we’re going to work hard to try and do something and change the map on that. So that’s another thing that’s important,” he added.
Meanwhile, Brightstar CEO Rob Jupp hosting the debate quizzed Sinclair on how long he would be remaining at the trade body.
Having joined the former Association of Independent Financial Advisers (AIFA) body in 2006, Sinclair was part of the team that formed the separate AMI body in early 2012.
Sinclair noted he was still enjoying his position and did not have any immediate plans to leave, but admitted the time was nearing to begin a succession plan.
“While the board and membership think I’m doing a good job I will stay. There comes a point where you need to work out what your succession plan is and a conversation we will have over next two years is, what is the plan?” he said
“How do we build AMI into a shape that I can move on and out at some point – probably not in two or three years, but four years, possibly.”
“I don’t intend going anywhere in next two, but then you need to think about what that transition looks like.”
Sinclair added that it would be his fourth time of renegotiating the compensation scheme and he feared he could become a barrier to innovation, potentially repeating discussions from previous years, something which he did not wish to happen.