More On Legal & Compliancefrom The Advisor's Professional Library
- Code of Ethics Rule The Code of Ethics Rule, found in Rule 204A-1, uses severe consequences for violation to help ensure investment advisors will do the right thing.
- Client Commission Practices and Soft Dollars RIAs should always evaluate whether the products and services they receive from broker-dealers are appropriate. The SEC suggested that an RIAs failure to stay within the scope of the Section 28(e) safe harbor may violate the advisors fiduciary duty to clients, so RIAs must evaluate their soft dollar relationships on a regular basis to ensure they are disclosed properly and that they do not negatively impact the best execution of clients transactions.
“If you were the person accused, would you want more transparency?” asked Kevin Keller of the CFP Board. The CEO of the CFP Board was responding in a Thursday interview to critics, including some on AdvisorOne, who have called for more transparency in the Alan Goldfarb case.
“Let the process work its way through,” Keller (left) said, and only then, depending on the findings of the investigation against Goldfarb and two members of the Board’s ethics panel who recently resigned, would there be any possible review of the Board’s disciplinary standards and process (see original AdvisorOne story; see update provided during a Board November webinar).
Keller, who spoke during the Schwab Impact 2012 conference in Chicago, continued with comments on the three new members of the CFP Board who were elected to its Board of Directors at its Fall 2012 meeting: Blaine Aikin, the president and CEO of fi360, whom Keller called a “clear advocate for the fiduciary standard”; Professor Arthur Laby of Rutgers-Camden’s law school whom Keller noted had served for almost 10 years at the SEC and characterized as “very thoughtful and realistic; he shares the mission of the organizations”; and Thomas Nelson, president of the national anti-hunger group Share Our Strength who previously was COO of AARP, whom Keller noted was filling the public member slot on the board—“having public members in addition to practitioners brings a valuable outside perspective.”
The three new members will bring the total of board members as of Jan. 1, 2013, to 14 voting members and Keller as a non-voting member.
As for membership, Keller reported that there were 67,324 CFPs as of Nov. 15. Citing Cerulli’s data on the overall size of the advisor universe, Keller said that “we have about 18%” of that total universe. We don’t want 1,005, but we can do better” in growing its membership ranks.
That planned growth is part of the Board’s AGRA initiative, an acronym standing for the CFP Board’s major goals: Awareness of the CFP mark; Growth of membership--since the mark's founding, Keller said there had been membership growth every year but one; staying abreast of and seeking to influence Regulation of financial planners, and being the Authority in financial planning: "we keep the body of knowledge."
Check out complete coverage of Schwab Impact 2012 at AdvisorOne, including: