The fiduciary issue is a hot topic among many advisors these days, but at the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, embracing a fiduciary standard is old hat. Group Editor-in-Chief Jamie Green caught up by telephone with the new chairman of NAPFA, Bill Baldwin of Pillar Financial, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, in early September.
What are your priorities? I’ll be actively working with [outgoing chair] Diahann Lassus through the end of the year in the Coalition for Financial Planning, with the FPA and the CFP Board, which is when the leadership of those two groups turns over.
The education aspect of NAPFA, which has always been important, has grown and developed. I’m determined to see it continue. Three people are directly involved: Mark Berg and John Ritter (both on the board), and then Bob Maloney, who’s running NAPFA University. They’re working with Robin Gemeinhardt [the NAPFA staffer for education] to coordinate education efforts for the association.
What specifically on education are you interested in? Everyone’s gone to college, so we should have graduate-level education, and a lot of truth in advertising in labeling the educational offerings. My long-term vision is to create a Web site where firms can manage the educational needs of their employees, not just from NAPFA but other organizations as well.
How many NAPFA members are there? Membership has grown slightly–to about 1,200 NAPFA-registered advisors and about 2,200 total–and we have a very high retention rate.