Shared Goals, Distinctive Missions​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Letter from 2015 FPA President Edward W. Gjertsen II, CFP®

The FPA Annual Conference is officially in the books and it proved, yet again, to be an event to remember. The conference was a showcase for the association, while providing more than 2,000 attendees with the latest trends in financial planning, business building resources, networking and more. And while the camaraderie was palpable among attendees (see this great article in RIABiz​), it provided FPA an opportunity to recognize the working relationship we enjoy with many aligned, likeminded organizations that are all doing great work for planners and the profession.

Among those organizations that FPA enjoys a close relationship with is the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board). For many years, FPA and CFP Board have worked together on several shared goals:

• Advocate for the recognition and regulation of financial planners.

• Create greater awareness of the important role financial planners play in the lives of their clients.

• Encourage professionals to make planning their vocation and the CFP® certification their designation of choice.

While FPA and CFP Board collaborate on these and other shared goals, our organizations are rooted in unique missions of equal importance.

As the professional membership association for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) professionals, FPA’s mission is to support the growth of CFP® professionals and advocate on their behalf and for the profession as a whole. With a focus on the CFP® professional, FPA ensures there is a support system in place to help them be successful planners and business people while protecting them and the profession. FPA’s four core service lines of professional development, business success, advocacy and community guide FPA’s programming and policy development which makes FPA’s value to CFP® professionals unique and indispensable.

Whereas FPA is a professional-facing association, CFP Board is a public-facing, standards-setting entity whose mission is to ensure high standards are maintained for the benefit of the public. According to CFP Board, they are a “non-profit organization acting in the public interest by fostering professional standards in personal financial planning through its setting and enforcement of the education, examination, experience, ethics and other requirements for CFP® certification.” While CFP Board, as the public-facing certification body, inherently must place its focus on the public, FPA is built to serve the profession of financial planning through the elevation and protection of CFP® professionals.

A recent example of how FPA is structured to support CFP® professionals is with the taxation of financial services. Over the past few years, and more recently in California, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, state legislatures have considered implementing a consumer-facing tax that would make financial planning services less accessible by Americans. FPA, our chapters and our members in those states worked in an organized effort to help defeat those measures.

With that said, a profession needs both a conflict free certification/regulatory body of the highest integrity and a content-rich and business supportive membership association advocating on behalf of professionals.  The financial planning profession has both in FPA and CFP Board. We understand the importance of keeping our organizational missions and roles clear and distinct. In so doing and as the professional membership body for CFP® professionals, we will continue to advocate on your behalf to CFP Board and all other organizations, companies and agencies who have a connection with our members. All CFP® professionals can rest assured that FPA has their backs at all times.​​

Warm regards,​​

Edward W. Gjertsen II, CFP®

2015 FPA President​


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