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Skip Schweiss Talks Priorities as He Takes FPA Helm

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Skip Schweiss, former president of TD Ameritrade Trust Company and managing director of advisor advocacy for TD Ameritrade Institutional, officially became the 2021 president of the Financial Planning Association on Jan. 1.

In a Tuesday morning interview with ThinkAdvisor, Schweiss said that while the new year will include serving as FPA’s president, a volunteer role, he’ll now “get a bit more active” in pursuing another professional position since leaving his former job at TD Ameritrade in late August.

Schweiss says he’s been on a “passive search” for a new position since leaving TD Ameritrade and has been “receiving a lot of phone calls,” but was “dialed in to getting my CFP,” which he earned in November.

As it stands now, “I’m being picky about my next professional role,” Schweiss said. “Nothing yet has really cleared that bar.”

While Schweiss told ThinkAdvisor in August that he’d like to land in an advocacy role, he said Tuesday his new role is not likely to be in advocacy.

“I’ve served RIAs for 30-some years from a custodian perspective and worked for larger companies and feel very well qualified to continue on that path. But I’m really interested in helping an RIA firm to grow. That’s something that I’m exploring as well.”

FPA Priorities

As to FPA’s goals in the new year, besides advocacy, “priority No. 1 is member value,” Schweiss said. “It’s not a big secret we’ve had a decline in membership, but still have a solid core and a lot of younger planners” are coming into the profession.

The pandemic had a “significant impact” on FPA’s conferences, Schweiss said. The FPA chapters say “they’re getting higher participation levels in their virtual meetings,” and FPA will work to “harness that to meet people where they are.”

Another priority will be “looking at higher and broader degree of educational content,” Schweiss added.

As to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest,  Schweiss said to expect the agency to toughen the rule “mid to later this year,” a move that “will receive lots of opposition.”

A graduate of the University of South Dakota, Schweiss earned his Master of Science degree in finance from the University of Colorado.

He is a newly minted certified financial planner, an Accredited Investment Fiduciary, received a Certificate in Financial Planning from Boston University in 2020, and holds Series 7 and 24 licenses from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Schweiss will become FPA’s board chairman in 2022.