Gooding must trade or lose board status

Ami chairman Charles Gooding will not be eligible to stand for re-election to the board if he doesn&#39t get his proposed network up and running in time.

AMI last week announced that the existing board had drawn up the constituencies and timetable for the elections which will take place over the next 12 weeks.

Chris Cummings, director of the intermediary trade body, confirmed last week that all board members have to be practicing intermediaries. But he refused to comment on whether or not he would support Gooding standing for the next AMI board election if he qualified to stand.

Gooding sparked controversy earlier this year after it emerged he was planning to launch a network, First4Brokers.

Since the issue was highlighted by Mortgage Strategy, concern has been growing that Gooding will not be able to remain impartial as AMI chairman.

Cummings says: “Charles is our chairman, not an executive member of the board. We support his decision to launch a network and do not see a conflict of interest.”

However, there is speculation that the election has been brought forward so that some board members will not be eligible for re-election.

But Cummings says: “We always said that the elections would take place 12 months after we launched.”

The AMI board will consist of representatives from five constituencies. These include local firms of between one to five advisers; regional firms of between six and 99 advisers; national firms of 100 plus advisers; small networks of up to 1,000 advisers and large networks of over 1,000 advisers. Each constituency will elect a board representative.

The first stage of the election is to invite members to stand for election. The results will be announced in July.

In a straw poll of 2,543 individuals on Mortgage Strategy Online 77% believed Gooding could not remain impartial in his position.

Gooding was unavailable for comment.