David Tittsworth, executive director of the Investment Adviser Association, announced Tuesday that he plans to leave his post early next year.
“I have decided to step down from my position with the IAA in order to explore personal goals and interests,” Tittsworth said in a statement. “It is a vast understatement to say that I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve the IAA.”
Providing a year’s notice will give “ample opportunity for the IAA Board to explore and exercise appropriate options to identify my successor," Tittsworth, a ThinkAdvisor contributor, said in a statement. “In the meantime, I look forward to working on the many challenges and opportunities facing our organization and the investment advisory profession.” Tittsworth had suffered from a serious illness but after treatment had returned to work at the Washington-based IAA.
Tittsworth told ThinkAdvisor in a phone interview that "there's plenty of work to do at [IAA] over the next year," namely continuing to fight against the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority becoming the self-regulatory organization for advisors. This issue is "still very much alive," Tittsworth says. "I would be very surprised if FINRA didn't make another run" at becoming advisors' SRO. The self-regulator will no doubt be "looking at the political" support this year and next for FINRA taking such a role.
Said Tittsworth: “During my tenure, it has been my great privilege to work with hundreds of members of the IAA and our Board of Governors, as well as with a very talented and dedicated staff, to advance the mission of this great organization. To say the least, it has been an extremely fulfilling professional and personal experience for me.”
Scott Richter, president of the IAA Board of Governors, said in a statement that Tittsworth “will leave behind a very distinguished and successful legacy.”
In 1996, Richter said, the IAA “had two employees in New York and about 200 member firms that collectively managed $1 trillion in assets. Today, the IAA’s membership consists of more than 550 SEC-registered investment advisory firms that collectively manage in excess of $11 trillion for a wide range of individual and institutional clients.”
Tittsworth oversaw the relocation of IAA’s offices from New York to Washington early in 1997.
“I know that I speak for all members of the IAA in saying that we truly appreciate David’s leadership of our organization during almost two decades,” Richter said. “While we will miss him when he departs next year, we appreciate his able stewardship of the IAA and wish him only the best in all of his future pursuits.”
A native of Kansas, Tittsworth is a graduate of the University of Kansas and the University of Kansas School of Law. Prior to joining the IAA, he served a significant portion of his professional career in the public sector, where he held positions in all three branches of government.
He began his legal career as a research attorney for the Kansas Court of Appeals in 1978. Thereafter, he held various positions in Kansas state government, including chief counsel of the Department of Transportation.
Upon moving to Washington in 1987, Tittsworth first was an associate House Budget Committee staffer. He accepted a position as senior counsel to the House Subcommittee on Transportation, Trade, and Hazardous Materials in 1989. In 1991, he left Capitol Hill to become general counsel and a partner with a government relations firm (now Chambers, Conlon & Hartwell), where he represented the IAA and other clients.
In 1992, he returned to Capitol Hill to serve as counsel and minority counsel of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce until joining the IAA as executive director and executive vice president on Oct. 16, 1996.
By David Tittsworth on ThinkAdvisor: