NAPFA Has Big Crowd, New Chairman-Elect

Fee-only group welcomes 700 to Chicago; Orecchio elected chairman

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The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) launched its annual meeting May 3 in Chicago with a very healthy crowd and a new chairman elect--advisor Tom Orecchio, who is currently serving as NAPFA treasurer.

Chairman Dick Bellmer, who will serve in that position until August 31, said in an interview on the eve of the conference's opening that the fee-only group is in "as good a position as we've ever been," citing the "growth at a nice pace" that has led to 1,107 full-fledged NAPFA registered advisors and 1,618 total members and affiliates. That growth is evidenced as well by attendance that is up over 60% for the national conference, Bellmer said, to 730 registrants. Commenting on the recent court ruling overturning the SEC's broker/dealer exemption rule, Bellmer expressed some satisfaction that NAPFA's fiduciary standards are gaining wider acceptance, but cautioned that "we've just been through round one" of the fight.

To help further its aims, NAPFA said it will launch its second annual Focus on Fiduciary campaign, a consumer education effort that begins June 1 this year and will continue through the summer. The campaign will include a Web portal for information on fiduciary standards--www.focusonfiduciary.com--radio and print public service announcements, and a lobbying effort in Washington.

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