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- 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.
The directors of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards have elected Richard Rojeck, CFP, to serve as the its 2014 Chair-elect, becoming chair of the CFP Board in 2015.
“Rojeck will lead the board in upholding the organization's mission to serve the public by granting and upholding the standard of excellence for financial planning and fulfill its vision that the public benefits from financial planning delivered by professionals who adhere to a fiduciary standard,” according to the Board.
"Financial planning is a growing and thriving profession," Rojeck said in a statement announcing his election. "The CFP certification serves as the cornerstone for the profession. The public will ultimately be best served by an established financial planning profession with the competence, ethics and fiduciary standards embodied in the CFP marks."
The organization experienced controversy recently when it announced at the FPA Retreat 2013 in Palm Springs, Calif., in May that it was considering a plan to enter the continuing education provider market, over the strong objections of those in attendance. The board is continuing to explore the idea.
The announcement also follows questions raised after a sudden resignation last fall of Alan Goldfarb, the former chairman of the Board of Directors of the CFP Board, who was found to have violated the CFP Board's Rules of Conduct.
"The CFP Board said he failed to properly disclose his compensation, after he claimed on FPA's PlannerSearch that he was 'fee-only' and later 'salaried' when in reality a 'related party' was eligible to receive commissions from Goldfarb's clients," ThinkAdvisor contributor Michael Kitces recently wrote. "As a result, the CFP Board's Ad Hoc Disciplinary and Ethics Commission that investigated the matter has issued a public Letter of Admonition for Goldfarb's conduct."
Yet Kitces went on to argue details of the case eventually emerged that suggest that the matter was "not as clear as the initially reported findings suggested;" Goldfarb's ties to the related broker-dealer were through a parent accounting firm that owned both his RIA and the broker-dealer, and Goldfarb himself held only a small 1% equity interest in the firm and was otherwise not compensated.
In today's announcement, the organization says Rojeck is currently a managing director with Sagemark Consulting/Lincoln Financial Advisors. Prior to launching a financial planning practice in 1980, Rich served six years as an officer in the U.S. Navy.
The board of directors elected Rojeck at its July meeting. He will begin his duties as chair-elect on January 1, 2014, when Ray Ferrara begins his term as 2014 Chair.
"We are thrilled to have Rich assume this prestigious leadership position," current Board chair Nancy Kistner added in the same statement. "Rich's passion for the profession and his work in bringing in a new generation of CFP professionals will help guide CFP Board to new heights. He will certainly bring a world of experience, talent and expertise to our Board and the organization. "
In addition to his professional career, Rojeck served on the national board of the International Association for Financial Planning (IAFP) from 1993 to 1999, helping to create what is now known as the Financial Planning Association after the IAFP merged with the ICFP. In addition to being a member of FPA since the merger, Rojeck serves on the gift planning advisory boards of the University of California, San Diego and the San Diego Foundation.
Rojeck received his B.S. degree in business administration from Oregon State University and an MBA from San Diego State University. He and his wife, Joji, have three children and live in San Diego.