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CFP BOARD REPORT
January 25, 2018
In This Issue:
Richard Salmen, CFP® Takes the Helm of CFP Board’s Board of Directors
Richard Salmen, CFP® – a former air traffic controller with 25 years of financial planning experience – is now the 2018 Chair of CFP Board’s Board of Directors. In this leadership position, he takes the helm of the professional body that certifies more than 80,000 financial planning professionals in the United States.
“This year promises to be significant for our profession and for the CFP® mark as we finalize the proposed revised Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct,” said Salmen. “This major undertaking and other important initiatives demonstrate our commitment to benefit the public through competent and ethical financial planning provided by CFP® professionals.”
Salmen has served on CFP Board’s Board of Directors since 2015. He was the president of the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) in 2009, at the height of the sub-prime mortgage financial crisis. Along with the chairs of CFP Board and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, he helped to form the Financial Planning Coalition, which advocated for public policy that protected investors and advanced the financial planning profession.
On January 1 of this year, Salmen joined Family Investment Center as President to spearhead expanded financial planning services at the firm’s suburban office located outside of Kansas City, Mo. Most recently, Salmen was interim Chief Executive Officer of Northern Financial Advisors, Inc. Prior to that, he was an owner of GTrust Financial Partners (later sold to BOK Financial), overseeing the firm’s financial planning practice.
Salmen learned early on in life that ability combined with discipline are key elements to success. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1984 and went to college on a three-year Army ROTC scholarship the following year. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and an MBA from the University of Kansas.
Salmen also served on active duty in the U.S. Army and as a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, where he played a pivotal role in building a new type of brigade focused on helping soldiers become more tactically trained for battle. For nearly 25 years, Salmen was also an air traffic controller in Kansas until his retirement in 2013. He continues to enjoy taking to the skies as a private pilot.
"Richard is a recognized leader in the financial planning profession and he is a strong advocate for CFP® certification,” said CFP Board CEO Kevin R. Keller, CAE. “I look forward to continuing to work with him as he leads the Board of Directors this year.”
Marking Milestones: More than 80,000 CFP® Professionals in the United States
The American public can now rely on more than 80,000 CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals in the United States – including a record 1,250 women who were certified in 2017 alone – to provide competent and ethical financial planning services.
“CFP® certification has become the must-have designation for those providing financial advice,” said CFP Board’s Chief Executive Officer Kevin R. Keller, CAE. “We look forward to 2018 as we build on our success and see more professionals become certified and more Americans using CFP® professionals for their financial planning needs.”
The record number of women CFP® professionals can also be attributed to the programs delivered by the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning. The Center was established to facilitate the future of the profession and to create a more diverse and sustainable financial planning profession. With programs like “I Am a CFP® Pro,” a job re-entry initiative, its Women’s Initiative (WIN) Council and other efforts, the Center helps create opportunities for women and people of color to learn about financial planning as a career and, specifically, how to earn the CFP® certification.
“While we are proud that the ranks of CFP® professionals continues to increase, we know that more can be done to encourage young people, women and people of color to join this great profession,” said Keller. “The Center for Financial Planning is helping to plant the seeds for a growing and thriving profession that serves the public.”
Universities and Colleges Express Support for CFP® Certification and Fiduciary Advice
Leading academic institutions that offer financial planning education programs are voicing support for CFP® certification and fiduciary advice, encouraging their students and graduates to work at firms that support the CFP® marks and its high standards.
Twenty-one academic leaders who oversee the nation’s top baccalaureate degree-granting financial planning programs at universities and colleges express their support in an open letter that will appear in a CFP Board-sponsored advertisement in the January 29 print edition of InvestmentNews.
The directors of these programs note that they “applaud CFP Board for its work to uphold high ethical standards for CFP® professionals, and to lead the industry toward a fiduciary standard for financial advice.”
“We strongly encourage our students and graduates to pursue careers at financial services firms that support the high standards of CFP® certification and embrace fiduciary advice,” the letter concludes.
CFP Board-Registered Programs are central to CFP® certification. Candidates for certification must successfully complete CFP Board's education coursework requirement in order to sit for the CFP® certification exam. To become certified, candidates must also hold a bachelor’s degree (or higher), undergo and pass a background check and have two to three years of professional experience related to financial planning.
The advertisement is being released as CFP Board is proposing revisions to its Standards of Professional Conduct, which set forth the ethical requirements for more than 80,000 CFP® professionals. Under the proposed revised Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, CFP® professionals would be required to adhere to a fiduciary standard whenever they are providing financial advice – not just when providing financial planning services as is required now.
“We are grateful to our Registered Programs for their support of financial planning education. Not only do their important programs satisfy requirements for CFP® certification – they are a foundation of the financial planning profession,” said Kevin R. Keller, CEO of CFP Board. “The opinions of our academic leaders have great influence within the profession, and we appreciate their support of the certification and a fiduciary standard that puts a client’s interests first at all times.”
View a PDF of the Open Letter >
Share Feedback on Revised Version of Proposed Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct by February 2
Time is running out to share your feedback on CFP Board's second proposal of revisions to the Standards of Professional Conduct. If you haven't already provided your comments, please make plans to do so before the comment period ends on Friday, February 2, 2018.
The full text of the revised proposed Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct is available for review, along with several documents to assist you in reviewing the proposal, including:
- A redlined version of the revised proposal
- A side-by-side document showing the revised proposal alongside the current Standards of Professional Conduct
- An annotated version of the revised proposal that provides context and commentary on the initial proposal, addressing some of the comments received on the initial proposal and the changes CFP Board made in response to the comments
All of these documents are available on CFP Board's website at www.CFP.net/proposed-standards.
Comments may be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or through an online form. All comments submitted to CFP Board will be posted on our website with the name of the commenter and date submitted.
CFP Board's Board of Directors will consider the feedback received during this comment period with the expectation that it will approve and release a final version of the Code and Standards by the end of the second quarter of 2018. Pending the outcome of the second comment period, CFP Board intends for the final Code and Standards to have an effective date of January 1, 2019.
CFP Board's standards for ethics and practice are an essential part of the CFP® certification and an important element of the public's trust and confidence in CFP® professionals. We want your feedback on the revised proposed Code and Standards and encourage you to make time for a careful and thoughtful review of the proposal and to submit your comments to CFP Board during the comment period.
Continuing Education Credit for IRS VITA/TCE Volunteer Training
CFP® professionals can report continuing education (CE) when taking part in the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)’s free tax preparation program. Those who volunteer for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program may earn and self-report CE credits.
“We are very pleased to have the IRS as a partner in offering the VITA/TCE program for continuing education opportunities,” said Elizabeth Stewart, CFP Board’s Chief Operating Officer. “This cooperative arrangement will benefit financial planning firms, our CFP® professionals, candidates for CFP® certification and the communities they serve.”
In general, individual volunteers can earn CE credits by completing the required tax law certifications and serving as an IRS tax law-certified volunteer instructor, tax return preparer, and/or quality reviewer in the VITA or TCE Program. However, individuals interested in volunteering and earning CE credits should refer to the IRS Fact sheet for all requirements. For more information on the VITA/TCE program, visit www.irs.gov/vita.
Current CFP® professionals who meet the VITA/TCE volunteer requirements can self-report their CE-eligible activities by logging into their secure CFP Board account.
VITA/TCE volunteer hours completed by candidates for CFP® certification will also be accepted by CFP Board toward the Experience requirement for initial CFP® certification. Candidates for CFP® certification can report their professional experience to CFP Board at any time through the online Experience Reporting Profile available in their CFP Board account.
CFP® Examination Update
The next CFP® exam testing window is March 20-27, 2018, and Standard Registration is available through Feb. 21, 2018.
Please encourage your qualified colleagues to continue their pursuit of CFP® certification, and remind them to register for the CFP® exam early for the best date and site availability. Learn more and register at www.CFP.net/exam.
Resources for Colleagues on the Path to CFP® Certification
Growth in the number of CFP® professionals strengthens the profession and the certification. Share these resources to help a colleague along the path to CFP® certification.
- Share our updated Why CFP® Certification guide that outlines the reasons pursuing CFP® certification is a great career move.
- Share the CFP® Exam Candidate Preparation Toolkit, which helps candidates develop study strategies, manage time and build support from employers and peers as they prepare for the CFP® Exam.
- Share this video of CFP® professionals discussing the different pathways they took to gain the professional experience required for CFP® certification.
- Refer your colleagues to CFP Board so we can introduce them to CFP® certification on your behalf.
CFP Board Disciplinary Action
CFP Board recently imposed automatically an interim suspension of Charles Henry Frieda’s CFP® certification, effective January 8, 2018.
CFP Board imposed an automatic interim suspension after discovering that Mr. Frieda entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) in which he accepted and consented, without admitting or denying, to the entry of the following findings by FINRA: Mr. Frieda and another representative recommended an investment strategy to more than 50 customers, which was a majority of their customers, causing the customers’ accounts to become significantly over-concentrated in a single sector of the overall market. The over-concentration primarily involved four speculative equity securities within the energy sector. Due to the speculative nature of the recommended securities, the volatility of the energy market, and the high level of concentration, this strategy exposed customers to significant potential losses. Mr. Frieda failed to properly consider and failed to obtain accurate customer investment profile information to determine the suitability of his over-concentration strategy and the securities he recommended as part of that strategy. FINRA determined that Mr. Frieda violated FINRA Rules 2111 and 2010. FINRA imposed a bar from association with any FINRA member in any capacity.
Pursuant to Article 5.7 of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures, “[a]n interim suspension shall immediately be issued without a hearing when CFP Board Counsel receives evidence of a conviction or a professional discipline in accordance with Article 13.1 for…revocation of a financial professional license (securities, insurance, accounting or bank-related license).” Read the full news release >
CFP Board in the News
CFP Board’s public relations, earned media and social media activities support CFP Board’s Public Awareness Campaign to increase public recognition of CFP® certification and highlight the importance of working with a CFP® professional when seeking financial advice. During 2017, 17,350 earned media placements generated an estimated reach of nearly 10.3 billion impressions, with an estimated advertising equivalency value of $94 million. Read notable media mentions of CFP Board and the CFP® certification >