FPA Experience 2011 kicked off in San Diego on Thursday with a plea from Marty Kurtz, this year’s president, to let bygones be bygones.
Kurtz (left), introduced by the organization’s taskforce chair, Evelyn Zohlen, opened with a brief history of the organization and the merger between the Institute of Certified Financial Planners (ICFP) and the International Association for Financial Planning (IAFP) that was its origin.
He then said he hoped attendees would leave with “a notebook full of ideas, a briefcase full of new business cards” and a wrist band handed out at the event with the slogan, “Clients First.”
“We can all point to a specific niche we are a part of, but we are truly unified in purpose,” Kurtz said. “Everyone in this country needs a third party with which to discuss life-changing events. It is far too complicated for them to do on their own.
“And it needs to be done in accordance with the highest fiduciary standard,” he added to applause.
Kurtz then addressed an ongoing controversy about the organization; its mission, execution and history.
“I’m going to resend a message that’s been sent before,” he said. “FPA was launched in January of 2001 as a result of the merger [between ICFP and IAFP]. It threw its door open to any advisor who subscribed to its values and core mission. Yes, there have been challenges, which include the spinoff of the broker-dealer industry [establishment of FSI], our bold stance against the SEC and the market turbulence of 2008. FPA is not only still standing, but back on a path to growth. Why? Because we are great at who we are.”