ASMA director Simon Makeham – who is also the principal of SMSF specialist firm Cachewise – yesterday made public comments about the appropriate lobbying role for the newly-branded SMSF Association.
“ASMA is the only voice for trustee members in SMSFs with a growing membership base in Australia. The newly-formed SMSFA does not represent the entire SMSF industry,” Mr Makeham said.
“It can’t because it doesn’t have a category of membership available to trustee members of SMSFs.”
Speculating as to why the association formerly known as SPAA would “drop the word ‘professional’ [from] its moniker’, the SMSF trustee and adviser questioned a potential broadening of SMSFA’s membership, as suggested by some SPAA members in recent days.
Mr Makeham said broadening SPAA’s remit to include trustee members would not be appropriate.
“If this is indeed the case, this would present a conflict of interest to have the one organisation speaking for both the professionals and the actual trustees,” he said.
Calling on SMSFA to offer a “full clarification” on the reasoning behind the name change, Mr Makeham asked whether the move is merely a “marketing ploy” or whether it should be seen as a more significant strategic move.
He said ASMA’s 5,000 trustee members should be assured that “ASMA remains the ‘go-to’ member association in Australia”.
Asked whether SMSFA would be broadening to include trustee members, chief executive Andrea Slattery responded: “We do not have trustee members”, but added that the association has always played a role in providing services to trustees.
At the same time, Ms Slattery also made clear the move should not be read as a change in strategic direction or scope.
“There is no mischief in this, it’s just an evolution and a way in which people can actually intuitively find specialists and intuitively find an association to represent them,” she told SMSF Adviser on Wednesday.
A full Q&A interview with Ms Slattery regarding the recent name change can be accessed here: https://www.smsfadviseronline.com.au/columns/item/307-setting-the-record-straight