After two years on the job, Louis Garday, CEO of the CFP Board, has resigned his post effective July 31. The former investment banker and Vice Chairman of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT), says he’s ready to return to the for-profit world.

In announcing his resignation, Garday said, “I have accomplished the key goals that I set out to accomplish when

I accepted this position.” Lance Richlin, senior editor of the CFP Board, says Garday’s for-profit experience was one of the key reasons he was tapped as CEO two years ago. At the time, “we wanted the CFP Board to run on a business-like basis,” Richlin says. “He was a change agent for us,” helping the Board to kick-start a number of initiatives during a rocky economy and after 9/11.

During Garday’s tenure, not only did the number of CFP registrants increased from37,649 to 42,233, but the number of CFP Board-registered programs jumped from 189 to 271. He was also instrumental in launching the Board’s diversity outreach initiative, which educates diverse populations about the benefits of financial planning and also provides an identifying mark to professionals who serve those populations. Garday also supported the first PhD program in financial planning at Texas Tech University with a $2.5 million contribution. “Lou would love to see [financial planning] taught broadly,” Richlin says.

Gary Diffendaffer, the CFP Board’s EVP, will take over Garday’s responsibilities until a new CEO is appointed. The Board of Governors is now appointing a search committee to conduct a national search for a new CEO.