Richard Rojeck, a 33-year financial services industry veteran from Southern California, has been elected to serve as 2014 Chair-elect of the CFP Board of Standards’ Board of Directors.

The move means that Rojeck, managing director with Sagemark Consulting/Lincoln Financial Advisors in San Diego, will actually become the board's chairman in 2015. For 2014, current chairwoman Nancy Kistner will be succeeded by Ray Ferrara, president and CEO of ProVise Management Group in Clearwater, Fla.

RECENT CONTROVERSIES

The Washington, D.C.-based CFP Board, which owns and administers the CFP certification mark used by around 68,000 financial advisors, has recently been embroiled in controversy following the public sanction last month of a previous chair, Alan Goldfarb, who resigned his position last November.

Goldfarb was admonished for violating the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics pertaining to disclosure of compensation arrangements. Goldfarb has vigorously denied that he mischaracterized his compensation.

The CFP Board was “assiduously mindful” of Goldfarb’s rights, and the disciplinary process “ran its due course properly,” Rojeck tells Financial Planning. Goldfarb was “given due process and the outcome was fair and appropriate,” Rojeck maintains.

Rojeck also defended the CFP Board against criticism by rival certification groups -- who have argued, following NAPFA’s policy decision last year requiring its members to have a CFP certification, that the group has attempted to create a certification monopoly.

“The public is best served by establishing financial planning as a profession,” he argued. “It’s hard to have a profession when there is a multiplicity of marks, many of which have little value and are easy to get. Other professions that are well regarded and well trusted such as doctors, dentists and lawyers have their credential as a brand. Almost by definition, a profession has only a few [designations], if not just one.”

Rojeck says he also approves of the Board’s decision last year to increase public disclosure of CFP professionals who have filed for bankruptcy in the last five years.

“I was a member of the appeals committee and have first-hand insight into the process,” he says. “The board’s decision was appropriate to the environment that we’re in and struck a good balance between due process and protecting the public.”

BOARD PRIORITIES

Among the board's ongoing priorities, increasing CFP membership through expanded public awareness of the certification will remain a “key objective," Rojeck says.

And after seeing “favorable metrics” for its efforts to date, the CFP Board will continue its two-year marketing campaign, which is paid for by a surcharge to members, he says.

The CFP Board will also continue to advocate for a unified standard fiduciary rule covering both advisors and brokers, Rojeck says, working with the Financial Planning Coalition lobbying group.

Rojeck was previously president and chairman of the national board of the International Association for Financial Planning from 1993 to 1999. During his tenure, Rojeck helped lay the groundwork for the creation of what is now known as the Financial Planning Association, and has been a member of the FPA since its founding.

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