Alan Goldfarb, the chairman of the board of The CFP Board of Standard, the organization that grants the CFP credential for financial planning has resigned amid allegations that he violated the group's ethics rules.
I was pleased with the response of Dr. Larry Barton. President and CEO of The American College, which issued the following statement to members of the Society of Financial Service Professionals, a credential-only professional society of which this author is a long time member. Dr. Barton writes:
This is a very sad day for our friends at The CFP Board of Standards.
Earlier today, they released the following announcement (below).These are serious allegations, of course, and we hope that our profession is not damaged by the charges behind them. We remind you that the persons named are innocent until proven otherwise.
Your College has been guided by a simple and clear standard first articulated by Dr. Solomon S. Huebner in 1927. He stated that we should always place the interests of clients above our own. I am hoping that the CFP Board, the Financial Planning Association and others will reflect upon recent incidents and help us come back to basics:
- No single designation has a monopoly on quality
- We need an independent, national body to review and certify designations based on rigor
- We need to work together, in partnership, to protect the integrity of our profession.
This should be a time for all of us to reflect on how the various organizations that support financial professionals can support one another in a meaningful manner".
Some of the points made by Dr. Barton are also spot on for the settlement profession.
The CFP Board announcement
"Board of Directors of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. today announced the resignations of Chair Alan Goldfarb, CFP® from the Board and two members of the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (DEC), effective immediately.
CFP Board became aware of broad allegations that members of the Board and other volunteers may have violated provisions of CFP Board's Standards of Professional Conduct. The Board of Directors created a special committee made up of public Board members who have no ties to the financial services industry. The special committee of the Board retained outside counsel to investigate and report its findings directly to the committee.
The committee found sufficient merit in the allegations against Mr. Goldfarb and the two members of the DEC to refer them for further proceedings under CFP Board's Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. When presented with the committee's findings, they decided to resign from their positions" more.