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Staples, Goldfarb Departures Not Linked, CFP Board Says

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Rex StaplesThe Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards is now searching for a director of investigations to replace Rex Staples (left), whose last day will be Friday.

Staples, who was appointed CFP Board’s top cop in March 2012, headed a nine-person team to enforce the CFP Board’s standards of professional compliance.

CFP Board said in a statement that Staples was leaving “to become more involved in complex areas of securities regulation and administration.”

At least one published report had linked Staples’ upcoming departure with the sudden resignation last fall of Alan Goldfarb, the former chairman of the Board of Directors of the CFP Board, after he was found to have violated the CFP Board’s rules of conduct.

The CFP Board said Goldfarb had failed to properly disclose his compensation, and then the CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission that investigated the matter issued a public letter of admonition for Goldfarb’s conduct.

But CFP Board spokesman Dan Drummond told ThinkAdvisor that there’s “no connection between Staples’ decision to resign and the compensation disclosure issues [related to Goldfarb] or any other pending matters.”

Staples took charge of the CFP Board’s investigation process and reported to Michael Shaw, managing director for professional standards and legal. A former general counsel for the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), he was the CFP Board’s first director of investigations.

CFP Board CEO Kevin Keller told ThinkAdvisor last year that Staples would help ensure that the enforcement process was expedient, consistent and fair to all of the participants, as well as being credible to the public. To that end, he was “responsible for insuring we are investigating cases in an expedient way and [that] they’re brought to the disciplinary and ethics commission in a way that helps them make their decision,” Keller said at the time.

Check out CFP Board’s Keller Says New ‘Top Cop’ Will Beef Up Investigations on ThinkAdvisor.


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