Elms stepped down last October and his role has been handed over to Karen Barrett.
David Graham, chairman of IFA Promotion, says: “Although fully aware of the health issues which resulted in David’s early retirement last October, his sudden death on Tuesday was both unexpected and shocking. I will miss him a lot.
“David’s drive, enthusiasm and total commitment to promoting the positive benefits of independent, professional financial advice to both consumers and the media, have put IFAP in the strong, influential position it holds today. All of us at IFAP will continue to fulfil his ambitions for the betterment of the whole of our industry.
“Our thoughts and support are with his family and friends at this sad time.”