FPA, CFP Board Formalize Their Collaboration

The stronger collaboration is designed to benefit the organizations, the financial planning profession and the public

The Financial Planning Association and Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards have formalized their collaborative relationship.

As part of an agreement announced Tuesday at the FPA’s annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, the FPA will encourage its members to contribute to the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning and become more involved in its programs, and the CFP board will encourage CFP professionals to become FPA members. Both organizations will work together to ensure that they neither compete nor duplicate each other’s efforts.

(Related: FPA Partners With TD Ameritrade to Boost CFP Content)

“The cooperation between our organizations will allow us to fully embrace the important roles we each play,” said 2017 FPA President Shannon Pike in a statement. 

Increasing the number of FPA members is a “big piece” of the formalized collaboration, she said in a meeting with reporters.

(Related: DOL Fiduciary Rule Delay Likely to Be Challenged in Court)

The FPA currently has more than 23,000 members, almost three-quarters of them CFPs. Nearly 79,000 financial planners hold the CFP certification.

“The profession needs both an exemplary certification body that is appropriately expanding and diversifying the pool of CFP professionals and an exceptional professional membership association nurturing the next generation of financial planners to their highest abilities,” said Lauren Schadle and Kevin Keller, the respective CEOs of the FPA and CFP Board, in the statement.

The two organizations, along with the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) constitute the Financial Planning Coalition, which has supported the fiduciary standard promulgated by the Labor Department and has opposed its delayed implementation, now set for July 2019. 

The coalition also supports the Securities and Exchange Commission establishing a fiduciary standard so long as it does not undercut the DOL's fiduciary rule.

(Related: CFPs Lack Clarity on Board's New Standards, FPA Says)

The FPA and CFP Board, however, are not yet totally in sync about the CFP Board’s proposed updated code of ethics and standards. It would require all CFPs to act as fiduciaries when they provide investment advice, and not just financial planning advice, as is currently the case. The FPA wants more guidance on how the changes will be implemented and enforced and how CFPs will need to change their practices in order to be compliant with the new standards, according to its late August comment letter.

 

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