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Members grill Finsia board

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By Victoria Young
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2 minute read

Unsatisfactory answers have been given to members about the proposed sale of the Finsia arm in $36 million deal.

Unhappy practitioners, members and students of Financial Services Institute of Australasia (Finsia) have demanded answers about its proposed sell-off to a US firm.

In a heated meeting on Thursday, members questioned why the board was not engaged in a global search for a buyer or even investigating a joint venture with a university.

"Our base case still is: why are we selling an asset where we are a market leader to the first organisation that comes along with a cheque book?" an industry practitioner who declined to be named said.

The general feeling was Finsia seemed to be in a hurry to sell without doing the proper due diligence, he added.

The sale of its education business to Washington Post subsidiary Kaplan in a $36 million deal would mean Finsia would lose its meaning, members told the board.

"They felt that people would not join an organisation that did not have a quality education offer," he said.

Members learnt Finsia would undergo a radical restructure if the sale does not go ahead. However, questions about the effect of the restructure went unanswered.

"In effect, if the members accept the proposal there will be changes and if not there would be even more radical changes as the education business is allegedly in decline," he said.

"This is lost on us especially since Finsia is the market leader in postgraduate education and have $12 million in the bank."

Reacting to criticism about lack of consultation with members, Finsia president Michael Shepherd said: "The board has a wide range of experience in the financial services sector and has broad contact with members . we are consulting now."