Kevin Keller, CEO of CFP Board, told AdvisorOne that the Board’s new director of investigations named March 15 would help police the growing number of CFPs. Rex Staples, the former general counsel for the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), will start his new post as “top cop” on April 9, and will head a nine-person team to monitor and enforce compliance with the CFP Board’s standards of professional compliance.
The team will pursue its work of ensuring the organization’s approximately 65,000 members—a group that has grown some 20% since 2007—stick to the rules. Staples also spent nearly 10 years with the Washington State Securities Division, where he last held the post of branch chief for enforcement and compliance.
Keller (left) said the decision to create the new post and appoint Staples is not due to an increase in the number of compliance cases handled by the organization, but rather, said Keller, “to build our capacity to achieve our mission of benefiting the public.” While Keller said there has been “a gradual increase over time” of compliance issues, he pointed out that the membership of the organization has also grown substantially over the same period.
“I came [to the CFP Board] in 2007,” he explains, “and there are 20% more CFP professionals [now] than there were in 2007, so you might expect the number of cases to increase as well.” Still, at a time when all eyes are on compliance issues throughout the financial services industry, Keller pointed to Staples’ experience in enforcement and compliance in Washington—experience he said “should be directly transferable” to Staples’ new position.