The Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association (PIMFA) has announced two high profile speakers for its Virtual Fest at the start of next month.

“Virtual Fest” aims to provide a wide-ranging programme of activities to support industry professionals who are currently working from home, and the Association suggests advisers could use the event to seek support on issues such as:

  • The optimum working arrangements during the current health crisis
  • How to engage with the FCA while adopting alternative working arrangements
  • Personal wellbeing while working in isolation

PIMFA promises that festival attendees will be able to connect easily via a normal internet connection, although they will need to register their attendance in advance.

The first special guest to be announced was former Bank of England governor, Mark Carney. He served as the Bank’s governor from July 2013 to March 2020 and is now the UN’s Special Envoy for Climate Change and Finance Adviser to the Prime Minister for the COP26 climate change summit that has been rescheduled for next year.

Baroness Morgan of Cotes (Nicky Morgan) has also agreed to speak at the conference, and she will provide delegates with some insight as to how both coronavirus and Brexit might affect the financial services industry. Baroness Morgan was Secretary of State for Education between July 2014 and July 2016, Chair of the Treasury Select Committee between July 2017 and July 2019 and Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport from July 2019 to February 2020.

The Association has confirmed that conference delegates can claim 10 hours of Continuing Professional Development by attending the full two days of Virtual Fest.

Liz Field, Chief Executive of PIMFA, commented:

“We are delighted that both Mark Carney and Baroness Nicky Morgan will be joining us as keynote speakers for Virtual Fest alongside a number of other leading industry figures.

“Their expert knowledge and experience will provide extremely valuable insights into some of the biggest challenges facing both financial services and wider society as well as current Government thinking in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects.

“We said at the start of the pandemic and the current lockdown restrictions that PIMFA would be there to provide our wealth management and financial advice colleagues with as much support as possible and Virtual Fest is an illustration of our continuing commitment to supporting our member firm operations and individuals continued professional development during this period of isolation.”

Baroness Morgan of Cotes commented:

“A well-functioning UK financial services sector has been the engine of the UK economy for decades but it faces twin challenges at present from both COVID-19 and from preparations for our future trading relationship with the European Union.

“No-one can predict with any certainty what the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be on society or the economy, or how long-lasting the effects will be, and there remains a high degree of uncertainty around what the basis of our future financial services arrangements with the EU will look like.

“Understandably this is a cause of deep anxiety for many, and it is clear that a properly functioning financial services industry will be vital to ensuring that we can return to something approaching normality in the future. I look forward to sharing my insights into the current debate in Westminster on these issues, and what it will mean for the future of financial services in the UK at the Virtual Festival.”

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