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Group Think

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? The Financial Planning Association’s Board voted to lay off 10 full-time employees to match an anticipated 15% drop in revenue for FY 2009-2010, which begins June 1, 2009. The 10-person layoff amounts to a 12% workforce reduction for the FPA. Among the anticipated drops in revenue for the 2009-2010 fiscal year is a 9% drop from conference registrations, a 25% cut related to infrastructure expenses, and a 66% falloff in “overall corporate participation.”

? The American College’s Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation will require a total of nine college-level courses for students starting the program on or after October 1, 2009. Already containing all of the educational elements of the generalist CFP Certification plus two additional specialized electives, the revised curriculum adds the requirement of a case analysis course. Established as a professional designation in 1982, more than 45,000 financial planners have earned this credential.

? The Board of Directors of the CFP Board has appointed Jack Harmon, founder of Harmon Financial Advisors in Atlanta, Georgia, as its 2009 chair of the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission. Two new members named to the Commission through 2012 are Robert Fleming, president of Fleming & Curti, PLC, of Tucson, Arizona, and Martin Siesta, founding principal of Compass Wealth Management, of Maplewood, New Jersey.

? Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA) is instituting changes to its Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) certification program, in an effort to better-align the program with third-party accreditation standards. These include a certification examination that must be passed in order to attain the designation, as well as changes regarding the experience requirement and certification renewal process. The majority of these changes will take effect on July 1, 2009, and IMCA has developed a special online resource center for new applicants, current candidates, and current designees on its Web site.