Keeping in touch as an industry is vital to its continued growth and improvement. At PIMFA, the trade association for wealth management, investment services and the investment and financial advice industry, we have long known the constant communication and continual professional development are key components for firms looking to serve their clients to the best of their abilities.

In previous years, we would have held a series of in-person training workshops and conferences throughout the year. But then a year ago the COVID pandemic struck, and the entire country was forced into isolation. Fortunately, technology has enabled us to maintain a programme of events and learning that have enabled our members to continue their professional development, maintained strong communication between members and enabled them to help their clients navigate what has been by any reckoning, a traumatic year. Among these events was PIMFA’s enormously successful Virtual Fest which was held last June and which returns this coming week on March 9 and 10.

Our Virtual Fest is specifically designed to support the continued professional development of our members while we remain unable to hold in person events.

The two-day event will see keynote speeches from the Economic Secretary to HM Treasury, John Glen and the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA), Director of life insurance and financial advice, Debbie Gupta that will give the Financial Services industry a sense of the future shape of the economy as we emerge from the COVID pandemic and of course, the conclusion of Brexit.

Both these seismic events, in their own way, offer a chance to make changes and improvements that will enable us to provide Advice for All who want it and create an Industry that is Fit for the Future. As you might expect these will be key themes for PIMFA during Virtual Fest and for the foreseeable future.

And we have already started much of the work towards these dual goals through our recently published Future of Advice policy paper; our work calling for economic harm and scams to be included in the Government’s forthcoming Online Safety Bill; our work advocating for a better solution to unsustainable rises in the Financial Services Compensation Scheme levy; our contribution to the FCA’s result Call for Input on how to improve the Consumer Investment Market and our work to promote the value of advice.

Virtual Fest 2 will be a great opportunity for attendees to gain valuable insights from industry experts on key areas which members have identified as their key short- and long-term focus, including:

  • The Future of Work – What do You Need to Know?
  • What Might 2030 Hold for Financial Advisers?
  • Operational Resilience: Lessons Learnt in 2020 & What’s Next in 2021
  • The Future of Regulation and more…

Among some of our expert speakers at Virtual Fest will be Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, Stephen Timms MP; FSCS Chief Executive Caroline Rainbird; Rocio Concha, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Which?; Ryan Medlock, Senior Investment Development & Technical Manager, Royal London; Martin Andrew, Chief Executive, Close Brothers Asset Management; Sarah Soar, Chief Executive, Hawksmoor Investment Management; Adam Stage, Senior Manager, PwC and Marguerita Lane, Labour Market Economist, OECD.

Virtual Fest 2 will not only be a chance to discuss current developments in our industry such as financial services equivalence, the FSCS levy or our response to COVID-19 and climate change.

It will also be an opportunity to talk about how we reshape our industry for the future, so that the UK financial services industry continues to maintain its place as one of the great finance centres on the globe. If you are a PIMFA member tickets for the live event and on-demand access to content for 2 months after is free. So do check if your firm is a member as all staff will then automatically qualify – you just need to register your details with us at and then book your space! We look forward to seeing you there.


Liz Field, chief executive, PIMFA