CFP Board Issues Interim Suspension for Improper CFP® Professional Conduct
Washington, DC, June 30, 2011 – Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. announces today that it has issued an interim suspension to Brian G. Doherty of Naples, Florida, suspending his right to use the CFP® certification marks.
In February 2011, following a hearing before CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued an Interim Suspension Order suspending Mr. Doherty’s right to use the CFP® certification marks. CFP Board initiated interim suspension proceedings following allegations that Mr. Doherty engaged in multiple business transactions with an elderly client despite his being aware of a conflict of interest.
The Commission determined that Mr. Doherty failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that his right to use the CFP® certification marks should not be suspended during the pendency of CFP Board’s investigation. The Commission based its determination on Mr. Doherty’s failure to consider that his interactions with the elderly client presented a significant conflict of interest.
Under the Interim Suspension Order, Mr. Doherty’s right to use the CFP® certification marks is suspended pending CFP Board’s completed investigation and possible further disciplinary proceedings. The interim suspension order became effective on March 11, 2011.
Public disciplinary actions taken by CFP Board, in order of increasing severity, include letters of admonition, suspensions and permanent revocations. The basis for each decision can be found in a Disciplinary Action Report located on CFP Board’s Web site. The public may check on an individual’s disciplinary history and certification status with CFP Board at www.CFP.net/search.
CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct, which includes the Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Rules of Conduct and Financial Planning Practice Standards, sets forth the ethical standards for financial planners who hold the CFP® certification. CFP Board enforces its ethical standards by investigating incidents of alleged unethical behavior, and following the procedures established in CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. In cases where violations are found, CFP Board may impose discipline ranging from a private censure or public letter of admonition to the suspension or revocation of the right to use the CFP® marks. The Disciplinary Rules and Procedures set forth a fair process for investigating matters and imposing discipline where necessary.
CFP Board’s enforcement process is a critical consumer protection. CFP® professionals agree to abide by CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct, which sets forth their ethical responsibilities to the public, clients and employers. CFP® practitioners agree to act fairly and diligently when providing clients with financial planning advice and services, putting the clients’ interests first.
The Disciplinary and Ethics Commission reviews all cases on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the details specific to an individual case. While CFP Board has attempted to capture the details relevant to each decision in disciplinary action releases such as this, the summary nature of these releases may omit certain details affecting the decision. Accordingly, the decisions and/or rationale described in the releases may not apply to other cases reviewed by the Commission or reflect the Commission’s future interpretation or application of the Standards.
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